What do Anaïs Nin, Ray Bradbury, and General George S. Patton have in common? They’re all influential people who knew the importance of keeping detailed journals of their lives. And if their successes aren’t enough to convince you to take up a pen and journal once a day, maybe these seven journaling benefits will!
Your Journal Can be Your Therapist and BFF
While one way to get into journaling is by treating it as a daily log, full of facts and figures, it becomes an even more effective habit when you start really taking advantage of the 100% judgement-free theoretical ear sitting in front of you. You can tell your journal what you feel you can’t verbalise, which can help take the edge off more toxic feelings and emotions, as well as help you better understand what you’re feeling.
Journaling Can Also be Your Best Problem-Solver
Often when dealing with an ongoing problem, our thoughts can become muddied and uncertain the more we dwell on them. Writing these thoughts out gives you a more accurate perspective on the situation, which can help point you toward the right solution.
See Where You’ve Been
Life has a tendency to cycle; sure the details may change, but a lot of the time we find ourselves facing obstacles similar to those we’ve seen before. When you journal daily, you’re not just keeping track of those obstacles, you’re also recording your solutions for overcoming them. It also helps put in perspective just how far you’ve come along your way.
Plan for Where You’re Going
Visualization is a big part of not only forming goals for yourself but also in achieving them. When you take the time to journal about your dreams and aspirations, you’re actually taking the first steps toward making them a reality. Combine that with the fact that you’ve got all the evidence of how you’ve succeeded so far right there in your hand-held, judgement-free BFF, and you’re laying the building blocks for concluding that you’re worth the life, relationships, and successes you want.
Relieve Some Stress While You’re At It
In your journal, no one can hear you scream. While in space that may be a scary thought, in your journal it should be a comforting one. Remember: the only person reading this is you. So if you’re feeling frustrated with your boss, significant other, BFF, kids, situation, etc., LET IT OUT. You’ll feel much better.
And Unleash Your Creativity
There’s no “right way” to journal. Some days you may write paragraphs of prose while other days your words may come out as a poem. Some days you may just need to make lists and some days you may not even write at all, choosing instead to doodle or sketch. Your journal’s your safe place to express yourself however you need.
Journal Habitually, Become Habitually Grateful
When you journal, don’t forget to express gratitude. It can be easy to sit down to write and just dump all of your negative emotions and vent. And while that does help relieve some of the tension negative emotions cause, taking time to make a note of what you’re thankful for can greatly relieve anxiety and stress and help you enjoy life to its fullest.
How has keeping a journal changed your life for the better? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.