If you ever feel you need a therapist to talk about your problems, I suggest you try journaling first.

Seriously.

It’s amazing what happens when you talk things through with YOURSELF by slowing down your thoughts and writing them out, word by word. You end up uncovering a lot.

Many of the emotions you’re feeling become exposed as the byproducts they really are, while the CAUSES begin to reveal themselves the deeper you go.

You don’t even need to journal every day… I don’t.

In fact, here’s my way of doing it:

I usually “check in” every 2-3 days by labeling each journal entry the way I would a blog entry and begin by simply free-writing for a few minutes, as though I was talking to a best friend… or therapist. 😉

Then I categorically break down various sectors of my life and give them each a score, followed by a brief explanation how and why I came to that score.

My categories are:

PHYSICAL – how’s my body feeling? How are my health and fitness goals coming along? Etc.

EMOTIONAL – how is my self-esteem, self-confidence, overall life satisfaction right now? Etc.

CREATIVE – how well are my creative projects coming along? How excited am I currently as an artist? Is there any sludge preventing any process? How can I reduce it? Etc.

PROFESSIONAL – how are my business ventures progressing? Am I getting closer to becoming the contributing member of the music industry I’ve envisioned for myself? How much value have I been giving lately? Can I be achieving more? Am I working hard enough? Etc.

SPIRITUAL – how do I feel about life and my place in it right now? Am I feeling fulfilled in life, how’s the self-actualization coming along? Etc.

I suggest you create your own categories, but feel free to borrow mine to start!

Then I always try to wrap up on a positive note and give myself some “action items” for the next few days.

That’s it!

I don’t journal by hand because my thoughts move way too fast and my handwriting is garbage. Instead I use an app called Penzu.

Check it out here: https://penzu.com

The key is to as open, honest, and consistent as you can. The power of journaling didn’t reveal itself to me until about a month or so in, then the epiphanies and revelations came far more frequently.

Anyway – hope this is useful for you. 🙂

Leave a comment if you’ve got a suggestion on journaling yourself!

-H