Hello lovely bloggers and readers of the internet!
Have you ever kept a journal? Maybe it was a written diary, maybe it was a book of poetry, or maybe it was something completely different. In my opinion, journaling can mean a variety of different things, not just writing down the ins and outs of your daily life.
When I was a little girl, I used to journal about all kinds of things, but as I got older it became heteronormative and my peers began teasing me… so I stopped. I ripped the pages out of my diary, tore them up, and threw it all away.
Looking back, I regret this decision so much.
Those shredded pages contained the secret thoughts of the younger version of myself. They contained my secrets, my accounts of daily life, my feelings. Those pages held details that would have been crucial clues to who I once was that I have long forgotten. I can’t help but wonder how many memories have been lost that would have been held in those tiny shredded remnants of my childhood diary.
Fast forward to the here and now and I’ve been journaling the details of my life for the past 2 years. Gone are the days when I let the pressures of my peers deter me from doing something that I love. Journaling has had such a positive impact on my life, and for this reason I would like to share with you some of the reasons why you might love journaling too!!
1. A journal is like a book of memories and treasures.
I don’t think you can really appreciate the value of writing in a journal until you have been at it for a while and you look back at old entries to reminisce about the events and people in your past, and reflect on how far you’ve come.
Reading my journal entries from even one year ago helps me feel as though I’ve come so far in regards to becoming a stronger, more independent, happier person. It can be difficult to look ahead to the future and think things will get better, but keeping a record of your experiences allows you to look back and see just how much can change over the course of a few weeks, months, or years.
2. Journaling is a great emotional release.
Are you going through a difficult time? Are you overwhelmed by emotions? Maybe you’re angry or sad or even just really happy! Whatever it is that you’re feeling, writing about it can help you release pent up emotions. Journaling can help you release negative emotions and often provides an opportunity for self-reflection to help you figure out a solution to a problem…which leads me to my next point.
3. Journaling can give you an opportunity for self-reflection.
Reflecting on your experiences can be a crucial step in overcoming challenges and becoming a better person. How can you hope to learn from your mistakes if you never take the time to think critically about them? Writing in a journal gives you an opportunity to do this which can be great for personal growth and self-improvement.
4. Writing can help you gain clarity.
If you’re grappling with an issue and can’t seem to figure out what to do, writing can give you an opportunity to get all of your thoughts out on paper. Often, you might discover that some of your thoughts are a bit illogical or unrealistic. But there’s something about writing your thoughts down which can help you see clearly which thoughts makes more sense than others.
5. Journaling can help you with the decision making process.
We’ve all been there, life throws us an opportunity or a challenge and we have to make a life changing decision. While this can be stressful, writing about the decision to be made can help you determine which course of action would be best for you. This could mean writing down a list of pros and cons, or maybe it means writing how you feel about one option versus another. If you notice that you’re extremely anxious or hesitant about one option, journaling can help you determine why you feel this way and whether or not those feelings are grounded in factual information or driven by anxiety.
6. Journaling helps you see your personal progress and development.
For me, journaling became an essential way for me to track my recovery process. As someone who has struggled with mental illness for years, I’ve often felt as though I’m stuck in limbo, never moving forward or making any progress. However, since I started journaling regularly I’ve been able to notice huge strides toward recovery that I might not otherwise recognize. Conversely, I’ve noticed small changes and witnessed these small changes adding up to a huge difference over time.
7. Journaling can help you discover your passion and goals for life.
Writing about your life experiences and the things that are important to you can give you an opportunity to discover things that you have a hidden passion for. Maybe you have a ton of passion for mental health and want to become a therapist but you need to work through your self-doubt and fears first (…or maybe that’s just me…haha). Journaling can give you the chance to do this!
8. Journaling is a great coping technique.
Again, I will draw on my struggles with mental illness. For me, writing in my journal not only helped me recognize the triggers of my anxiety, but it also helped me cope with that anxiety. By writing about the things that make me anxious, I am able to reflect on the validity of that anxiety and determine a solution to the source of the distress.
9. Your journal is a space where you can be authentically YOU!
Sometimes when you talk to others, you might feel the urge to hold back your true opinions about a certain topic or issue due to a fear of judgement…which sucks! Thankfully, a journal can be a great place for you to express your true self if you do not feel comfortable doing so with others.
Conversely, writing in a journal can help you gain confidence in your opinions and thoughts which can help you be true to yourself in the future. Embrace your opinions and don’t feel pressured to hide them from the world!
10. Keeping a journal can help you get to know yourself in the past and present.
This point kind of relates to #1 in the sense that the memories that you document in your journal will help you remember who you were in the past. However, journaling can also be a great way to get to know yourself in the present as well. Writing down your thoughts can help you achieve an awareness of who you are as a person and who you want to become in the future.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post!! Journaling is something that I do on a(n) (almost) daily basis and it has become such an integral part of my daily routine that it feels strange when I miss a few days.
I honestly believe that keeping a journal has changed my life for the better, and I can’t wait until I’m 60 years old looking back at my journals and (hopefully) admiring the girl that I once was and the accomplishments that I achieved.
Until next time,