Everything you Need to Know about Starting a Reflection Journal

What is a Reflective Journal? This is an everyday writing device that’s found to be extremely useful. We use it every single day to remind ourselves of the simple things in life: How we feel whenever we’re writing things down, how we can get out of the weeds and enjoy the garden in front of our house, what we think on daily basis… These are all things that happen every day, but somehow, we do not always see or realize these thoughts. 

What is a Reflective Journal?

Reflective journals (also called “Reflective diaries” and “Reflective memoirs”) are a type of diary that gives an account of one’s life, recorded in the form of a text document-like form. They are written in the third person and are often notary and do not necessarily need to be signed or dated. A Reflective Journal is an important tool for your mental health and anyone who want to study their behaviors, moods, patterns, and day-to-day thoughts and experiences over some time without having to individually observe each event. A Reflective Journal can tell you things about yourself or someone that you wouldn’t otherwise know without notes made at a reflection period.

It is a diary of sorts. It has a series of pages that are all written from the perspective of the writer. Each day, you will write down a small paragraph in your journal. Each morning, you will read back through your Reflective Journal and reread some of the previous entries that day.

Reasons to Write a Reflective Journal

Clear Thoughts

Learning how to fight negative thoughts can be the most important step towards improving your mental state. It’s important to realize that negative thoughts are a normal part of everyday life. When you notice the negative thoughts coming in you most people would advise you to distract yourself by doing something you enjoy such as taking a walk or shopping.

To clear your mind of negative thoughts A reflective journaling exercises can be quite helpful. As you begin to get unpleasant thoughts, write them down. Whatever thoughts that you might be getting, write it down so you can review it later. By doing this, you are clearing your mind and removing all of the stressful and irritating thoughts that may cross your mind throughout the day.

You Find your Purpose

If you want to figure out what it is you truly want to do, then writing down your purpose is going to be very important for you. You simply need to jot down some notes so you can go back and read them later. Reflective Journaling would find that the real reason you want to do a task or your purpose at large. For example, if you feel like you need more money because you feel you are not financially stable, writing down your financial goals and how you will go about getting them is a good way to begin.

You Boost your Memory

When your start reflective writing consistently, it helps you to remember things for a longer period. It develops your critical thinking skills, improves your memory, improves your editing abilities, and makes your viewpoint more clear and understandable. If you truly want your life to be exciting, productive, and safe, you should consider the importance of writing and remembering your thoughts.

If you’re not sure about the effectiveness of writing as a memory booster, simply try to write something, anything. If you’re able to make your mind focus and remain focused on the task at hand, or your thoughts, your memory will improve because it allows you to expand your perception of words, concepts, images, etc… And therefore, helps you boost your memory

You Heal Faster

The importance of writing as you learn how to heal mentally can never be overemphasized. The mind is the gateway to the highest realms of existence and should therefore not be treated lightly or without due respect. It can be used to guide one’s self to enlightenment but in addition to that, it can also be used to help those around one improve their lives by imparting knowledge, wisdom, and enlightenment to those who are near and dear to them. Writing can help you channel your energy and provide guidance

Learning how to heal mentally, starts with gaining a positive and proactive attitude, and gaining a proactive attitude is difficult for some people hence writing down the reflection does boosts your healing abilities

You Become More Self-Confident

A major part of how to become more self-confident also involves making sure that you are taking the steps necessary to build your inner strength and self-esteem. This however requires awareness and Reflective writing allows you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings. There are many small things you can do to improve your self-confidence and one of them is writing a Reflective Journal.

What are the Four Types of Reflection?

Reflective Journaling also comes in different shapes, sizes, and needs. The purpose of having 4 different types of reflection journals is to specialize one need and write down solely about that one thing. So for example you may only write down things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal and so on.

So, what are the types of Reflection Journal?

  • Gratitude Journal

There are many reasons why people should start keeping a Gratitude Journal. One of the main reasons is a personal improvement. Being grateful is feeling a strong sense of satisfaction with what you have. 

Sounds simple, but many are too busy every day in their lives to take time to be thankful for the little blessings that may have been taken for granted in the past. When a person can sort out the good from the bad in their lives, they will find a greater appreciation for all the little things that go on in between which allows us to write our Self-Reflection

This visual record, or journaling, allows you to stay connected to the present time and to gain perspective on all that you are grateful for. A Gratitude Journal also serves as an excellent tool for enhancing self-confidence and for developing motivation.

  • The Classic Free Flow Journal

The Free Flow Journal is a simple and easy-to-use method of writing down your daily events at the moment, as they happen. The Free Flow Journal is unique because it combines the benefits of journaling with a visual aspect, so you can see what your thoughts and feelings are liking at the moment – rather than just recording them in your Book. When used regularly, the Free Flow Journal can help change the way that you experience in your life, as well as allowing you to connect to your intuition and understand where your needs may be coming from. This will give you a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

  • A Dream Journal

A dream journal is a journal where our dreams are written. A typical dream journal may contain a recording of every dreamed experience, personal reflections, and night visions. Some people also use dream diaries as a method to help induce lucid dreams without having to try to do so. There is a huge importance placed upon having a dream journal. Having one allows us the opportunity to document in detail our dreams. 

Another way of making sure you remember your dreams is to create a dream dictionary. This is a set of words and images that we associate with every night’s dream. An example of a dream dictionary would be something like “blue flower”, “lightning bolt” etc. The beauty of creating a dream dictionary is that not only will it allow you to remember your dreams, but the more you use it, the easier it will become to recall them.

  • A Meditation Journal

A meditation journal is a small book, notebook, or journal that records your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during meditation. It serves as both a record for yourself and as a repository for your spiritual experiences. I’m not entirely sure what the point of a meditation journal is, but I’ve always seen it as an important part of a meditation process. If you do it correctly, you’ll be able to store a lot of information about your meditation experience in this small journal.

It should include things like where and how you did each meditation, what kind of feelings and thoughts came out of each one, how many times each feeling or thought occurred, etc. It’s also important that your journal is as detailed as possible because it will serve as a guide for future meditations. This works as a self-reflection journal and allows you to improve your life for the better.

How to Start a Reflective Journal?

Reflective Journaling is Fairly easy to pull off once we maintain consistency in writing. These 3 Steps: Describe, Analyze, Learn, and a repeat would help you write down reflective journaling effectively.

3 Steps to Writing Reflective Journal

1. Describe – 

Learning how to describe a moment in a sentence can sometimes be a challenge. We have all heard a few people use the words “went to the store” or “went to the park” to explain what they did on any given day. But learning how to describe your day is a little more difficult than going to the store and saying I went to the store. That is because there are a million other things that happen on our days.

Try to fill in the blanks where possible. The best way to describe your thought is to ask questions. If you took two days and spent an hour writing out your best way to describe your day, what would your summary look like? You may surprise yourself by how accurate this description is.

To recall an event you can ask questions like – 

  • What Happened When I _________
  • Did I ________

2. Analyze

When you can describe your thoughts in your journal the next step is to analyze what it means. It’s never too early to start thinking about how to analyze something so that you can provide the best arguments for your thoughts. If you are like most people, though, you do not know how to analyze your thoughts and so you look at it from only one angle-that of finding an angle that will support your point of viewer thought. 

Learning how to become a good interpreter is not hard, nor is it something that should take months or even years to achieve. Once you grasp the concepts of understanding or describing your thoughts the interpretation becomes easy. A few questions you can ask yourself is 

  • What does it mean to me?
  • How is it different or similar to others?

3. Learn

After you describe and analyze your thoughts in your journal it is now time to understand what it is trying to teach us. The reflection journal is all about getting the thought, writing it, understanding what it means, and learning from what it is trying to teach us. This is where you would be labeling your thoughts as good or bad and draw an action plan further to tackle it if the thought is not pleasant.

If however, you fail to learn what it is trying to teach then it is most probably because you did not either describe it well or analyze it well. So the best solution is to start again by describing, analyzing, and learning the thought. 

50 Prompts to Write Reflective Journal

  1. What makes me the happiest?
  2. What would make me happy about myself?
  3. What was I grateful for in the past week? What could I be grateful for?
  4. What was my mental mood 70% of the time in the past week?
  5. How can I be a better person in the coming week?
  6. How did I spend 80% of my time? Was it procrastination or was it action?
  7. What was one thing that I tried to avoid this week?
  8. How was my day today?
  9. If I was supposed to be in a desert with no hope of life. Who would I want to be the most? (This would make you feel grateful)
  10. What images did I click on this past week? And why?
  11. What moment in your life would you want to relive?
  12. Where do I want to be the most? Which country or state?
  13. How can I get the most experience for my age? Professionally or personally
  14. How well is my physical body?
  15. What food do I eat the most? Do I know if it is good or bad for me?
  16. Did I have a bad day in the past week or month? How did I deal with it? How could I potentially deal with it?
  17. How does being loved and respected feel like to me?
  18. If I had the opportunity to spend the day on my terms. How would I do it so I can grow physically, mentally, and financially?
  19. How do I define a perfect day?
  20. Did I ever set a goal in the past? How many goals have I set up till now? How many did I achieve? What went wrong? What could go right?
  21. What motivated me to write down those goals?
  22. Why did I stop hunting for them?
  23. What scared me about those goals?
  24. If I had to set a similar goal now. How prepared I am? What is my knowledge level?
  25. How would I feel when I achieved that goal?
  26. I feel amazing when?
  27. What are the things that need to happen to make me feel amazing?
  28. Describe your current life in 250 words
  29. Describe your future life in 250 words
  30. What could be the defining moment in my life?
  31. What side of me needs improvement?
  32. Imagine living my dream life?
  33. Recall 3 moments from your professional life that you would like to live again
  34. If I could invent something, what would it be and why?
  35. What gift did you bring to this world?
  36. How do you plan on contributing to this world? 
  37. What is your unique and creative side?
  38. Define a moment where you were extremely creative
  39. How do you deal with a bad day?
  40. What is your USP? What differentiates you from the rest?
  41. What is the best compliment I have ever received?
  42. Do you wish to fail? How would you deal with failure? How did you deal with it in the past?
  43. What is one thing I could not live without?
  44. What was the funniest thing that happened this week?
  45. How do you want to be perceived?
  46. Who do you admire the most?
  47. Who could be your potential mentor and why?
  48. What does success mean to you?
  49. What do you love the most in your life?
  50. Write down words you need to hear right now
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Hey, y'all I'm Faisal!!👋

I’m SO excited you’re here!  I’m super passionate about improving ourselves and the daily challenges we Millennials go through, gives me hope to change our lives for good!

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