There are so many stereotypes when you think about keeping a diary. Whenever you see someone in the movies keeping a diary it is usually a teenage girl writing about how much she loves boys and makeup. I was totally that girl when I was younger but I still kept a journal all the way through college. I have found that keeping a daily journal has helped me so much in my life. For those still on the fence if keeping a journal is right for you, here are 6 benefits that will inspire you to start writing!
Clarify Your Thoughts and Feelings
Do you ever feel like there are too many thoughts and emotions jammed inside your head? What I like to do when I start feeling this way is take out a piece of paper and start writing whatever comes to mind. Don’t think critically about anything you are writing. Just put the pen to paper and see what comes out. This technique can help you clarify some thoughts you did not know you had about a certain situation. It helps you unlock feelings that you had inside of you that you didn’t even know were there.
Get to Know Yourself Better
The more you write the better you will understand yourself. You will be able to see patterns of things that make you happy, scared, sad, excited, passionate, etc. Writing can help you notice things about yourself and your daily life that you never noticed before.
Writing about anger, sadness, grief, or just things that went wrong in your daily life can be a great stress reducer. Why? You are taking these thoughts out of your head and placing them somewhere else. You are no longer allowing these thoughts to have real estate in your mind. Therefore, you are able to fill your mind with more positive thoughts.
When you write about happy memories in your journal you are allowing yourself to relive them over again. This releases happy endorphines and dopamine into your blood stream which help elevate mood and self-esteem. Your journal can be a great place to create a running log of good things that happened to you in your life. When you start feeling low you can pull out your journal and remember the good times!
Achieving your Goals
I like to write about goals that I want to achieve in my journal. I like to explore why I want the goal, create steps to achieve the goal, and document my progress in my journal. Sometimes you don’t even know this is happening until you read your journal over. It’s good to have a space where you can talk about your goals openly with yourself and physically see the progress you are making. I like to do this by creating goal trackers, daily top 3’s, or creating monthly goals for myself!
Journaling can be whatever you want it to be. It does not have to always be writing about your day. There are many things that you can do within a journal to spice up your creativity including:
- Doodle or draw something you saw that day.
- Write a recipe that you found that you don’t want to forget.
- Tape movie / concert tickets into your journal like a scrapbook.
- Write your daily to-do list in your journal.
Journaling allows you to be as creative as you want. Remember, journaling is just about you and no one else. You can create whatever you want without any judgement from others.
Want to start journaling but don’t know where to start? Check out 31 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery and Healing!