In order to journal effectively, there are few suggestions to keep in mind:
1. Keep tabs on how you feel throughout your day. Chances are, you react to everyday situations the way you do because of someone's suggestion or maybe because of a learned behavior pattern. A single word might be all you need to remember in order to start your next entry. For example, if you notice something about your day, positive or negative, write the word that best describes it on a sticky note, or a cell phone. Sad - happy - mad - stupid. These are all words that you can use to start your next entry that describe your feelings. If you save the word stupid, for instance, you may start this way: I felt so stupid when Charlie looked at me and rolled his eyes, it's as if he knew I ate his lunch.
2. Always record your time and date for each entry. This will help when you need to recapture the essence of a mood you were in, or one that you subconsciously repeat. Reading past entries helps tremendously because it not only demonstrates the involvement of your feelings, but it also helps you identify mood patterns.
3. Keep it passionate. Remember, journaling is private - put all of your emotions forward - not just the ones that look good on paper to you. Be descriptive about how you feel, no matter how ugly it might be. If anything, you'll get a laugh out of it later on.
5. May I suggest that whatever you are experiencing emotionally right now is the result of your past? Every day of your life is a new chance to create a better future for yourself. So, keep in mind that by acknowledging your feelings right now, you are creating more space for new positive feelings, or letting go of emotional baggage. You really can't move on until you've examine what you've lived. Warning: writing down feelings will eventually lead to confronting them!
6. Do not end your current entry without writing everything you feel. Even if you cannot resolve your issue at the present time, write what is bothering you. This will help you confront and remember the exact way you felt.