When I was eight years old a friend gave me a diary for my birthday. It came with a lock and keys and I was very excited to start writing in my new diary. I was going to write about my day, tell it my secrets, talk about my eight-year-old friend politics… it was going to be great!
Turns out, my life was not that interesting. I remember sitting down to write and all I could come up with was what I ate for lunch that day, and that I finished my homework. I might have tried again a few times, but the diary writing did not last long at all. I should have stuck with it, because I’d have been trendy before my time. Keeping a journal is really popular right now, and it has some really great benefits! Here are some ways that journaling is so good for you:
1. Get a break from your day:
With the busy lives we live these days, it’s important to take a break from the madness. Set aside a few minutes every day to write in your journal and you get a mini escape.
2. You’re the boss:
Your journal is not a writing assignment for school or work- it’s for you and only you! So make your own rules, or decide that there are no rules, and just write what’s on your mind, in your own style, in your own format.
3. Understand yourself:
When you put pen to paper and write what’s going on you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts and feelings. That understanding can be a useful and powerful guide.
4. Explore your goals:
Seeing your goals and dreams on paper makes them more real. You’ll be more motivated to make them happen and you’ll have more clarity, which makes it easier to set up a plan.
5. Solve problems:
Writing will allow you to see issues and problems with a clearer head, so you’ll approach and solve them in a different, more constructive way.
6. Record gratitude:
Make it a point to recognize what you have to be grateful for; in fact, some people keep a dedicated gratitude journal. Recognizing the blessings in your life puts things in perspective and makes you more positive.
7. Relieve stress:
Writing in a journal is grounding- when you’re doing that you’re not doing anything else, and what bothered you ten minutes before doesn’t apply anymore. Writing is a great way to just be in the moment.
8. Keep track of inspiration:
There’s inspiration all around, as long as we notice it. When you have your journal handy you can jot things down as they come to you as a way of holding on to what inspires you.
9. Be creative:
Writing itself is a creative exercise, but you don’t have to limit your journal to writing- draw, attach clippings, write poetry. Using your creativity is therapeutic, so just let it go!
10. Stay motivated:
When you write consistently you’ll become more focused on what you want and what is required of you to get there.
11. Keep your memories:
Of course you can record events in your journal, but a journal is richer than that. You’ll be able to read and look back on your feelings.