People are always asking me what the “big deal” is with journaling.
I have to laugh, because there was a time when I saw very little value in it…now I publish journals and run a website devoted to journaling…LOL.
Before I learned about all the possibilities journaling offers, I thought it was just “complaining on paper.” And yes, it can be that…but, it can be so much more.
I also told myself that I wasn’t a “journaler,” as if there were a “certain type” of person uniquely suited for journaling…or maybe someone who “should” journal.
The truth is, journaling can benefit anyone. Here’s a list of reasons why everyone and her sister should keep a journal. Hopefully, you’ll discover at least one benefit to use as fuel for starting—or continuing—to journal!
1. Journaling Helps You Deal With Stress
Unless you’re a hermit living far away from society, you probably experience at least some stress in your life. It’s epidemic. And powerful. Much more powerful than people realize.
Stress can harm nearly every part of your life—especially your mental and physical well being—so, it’s important that you try to reduce your stress in any way you can. Writing in a journal lets you see what’s causing your stress, which helps you figure out what you can do to stop it.
Another thing you can do is write a list of things that make you feel calm, then refer to it whenever stress hits. Click here for a list of 100 ideas from LifeHack.org to get you started.
2. Journaling Helps With Your Mental Health
Mental health professionals all agree that journaling is key to improving and maintaining mental health.
Regular journaling helps you see why your self esteem is suffering, or why your anxiety is skyrocketing. It can help with depression by tracking your moods, activities, and effectiveness of medications or supplements.
It’s also a powerful tool for dealing with grief, and is essential for all types of recovery work and 12-step programs.
3. Journaling Is a Safe Way to Release Emotions
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time sharing my deepest feelings.
Maybe it’s because my family never really talked about our emotions. Who knows? At any rate, I never had much practice, so it’s something I struggle with.
It’s hard talking with another person about what you’re thinking or feeling because you feel vulnerable, embarrassed, or afraid that you’ll be judged. A journal is a safe place to express all those feelings and not worry about someone reacting badly or looking at you differently.
4. Journaling Can Change Your Mental Outlook
I admit there are people and circumstances in my life that make me want to scream. I know that’s normal, but it’s still not something I’m proud of.
Sometimes you simply need to get things off your chest or out of your head, and keeping a journal is the perfect way to do that.
You may start out venting about something you didn’t know bothered you, then end up seeing it’s just the opposite…you’re actually more positive and optimistic about a person or situation than you thought you would be.
(I love it when that happens!)
5. Journaling Supports Your Physical Health
Even though journaling is nothing more than you, a pen, and some paper, when you put them all together, the result is often a healthier body.
How? Glad you asked!
You can better manage your weight by tracking the foods you eat, recording your exercise, and developing a healthy meal planning system. You can narrow down the reasons why you aren’t drinking enough water each day, or why you’re drinking too much alcohol.
You can improve your energy level by tracking your sleep habits, and even find out why you have certain ailments by tracking your symptoms and looking for patterns. It can also help you stay motivated to stick with resolutions because it’s a way of holding yourself accountable.
Virtually any aspect of health can be improved by journaling.
6. Journaling Lets You Learn New Things About Yourself
All “navel gazing” jokes aside, writing in a journal is a great way to gain more clarity into who you are and what you want out of life.
Challenge yourself to start writing on a page without thinking too hard beforehand. Just start with one word and continue writing your “stream of consciousness.” You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn about yourself when you write in a continuous flow of words, undirected and uncensored.
7. Journaling Helps You Set Goals That Matter
There are literally thousands of books and courses on goal-setting, but I find most of them too generic and hideously boring!
Sure, they may teach us how to be efficient and squeeze more out of the 1,440 minutes each of us are given every day, but they don’t really tap into what would make those minutes more meaningful and juicy.
Journaling is an awesome way to explore your “why”—who you’re meant to be, and why you’re on the planet. Along with this, you’ll probably want to write about what you want to accomplish while you’re here, and journaling helps you to come up with actionable things you can do to achieve those dreams.
If you believe in the law of attraction, journaling is a perfect tool for “visioning” and manifestation. It also helps you understand your successes and failures so you can focus on doing more of the things that result in success.
8. Journaling Can Make You Richer
Money and finances can be a squeamish subject. It’s definitely not my favorite!
The very fact that most of us would rather not think about money makes it an ideal subject to address in a journal.
In a recent article, The Kansas City Star issued a “money challenge” to help readers get richer based on the simple equation of spending less than they earn.
The key to spending less is knowing how much you’re spending and on what. The easist way to do this is to write down everything you spend money on in a journal. Do this for 30 days, then review your entries and see where you can cut back or eliminate spending altogether.
While it may give you the heebie jeebies just thinking about it, it’s easier than you might think, and it’s a powerful step toward prosperity.
9. Journaling Helps You Be Better Organized
“Bullet journaling” was actually invented as a tool for organization, but a regular hand-written journal or art journal will also work.
Never again will you end up buying 5 jars of mayonnaise when you track the contents of your pantry. Late or missed appointments and rushed deadlines will become things of the past as you learn to better control your time.
You can use journaling to organize any area of your life from carving out time to declutter your home to packing for an upcoming vacation to preparing for disaster or emergency.
10. Journaling Helps You Enjoy Life More
The older I get, the more I appreciate the saying that “you need to take time to smell the roses.”
With our busy, fast-paced lives, it’s all too easy to let the small moments and little things that make life worth living slip by in a blur.
Journaling helps you slow down—even if it’s just for a few short minutes—to savor your life, your world, and the living beings around you. It brings you back to the now, so you can savor the moment, the seasons, the holidays, and make the most of the passage of time while enjoying more meaning and happiness every day.
There you have it: Ten reasons why everyone should keep a journal.
Which one resonates most with you? Is there one that feels urgent?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below….0