15 Benefits of Journaling
I’ve experienced the benefits of journaling almost my whole life, since I started journaling at around age 10. I’ve recently rededicated myself to a daily journaling practice, and it has made a huge difference in my life!
If you’ve been thinking about journaling, it’s time to start! If you still need a push, here are 15 reasons to get going!
- Improves Memory – Keeping a regular journal forces you to “study” the important moments of your day. You bring something to mind, judge its importance, and write it down. You solidify the moments in your memory and can recall them easier later on.
- Creates a Valuable Life Chronicle – After you’ve journaled for some time, you’ll come to see your collection of journals as the history of your life. They are the encyclopedias of you.
- Builds Self-Knowledge – Journaling gives you the chance to figure yourself out. The more you write, the deeper from within yourself you are able to pull. One of my favorite benefits of journaling is that I’m in a constant state of comprehending myself which reveals delightful insights.
- Builds Honesty – Journaling helps you practice honesty. You’ll find it hard to lie to your journal, because any fib will look silly on the page. As you practice writing honestly, you can use that practice to learn to speak honestly to others as well.
- Turns Dreams Into Actions – Writing down your wishes, hopes, and dreams makes them a little more real. Writing them down over and over through the course of your journaling will make it easier for you to bring them forth in your real life.
- Helps Decision-Making – If you’re unclear about what to do about something, journaling is an easy way to work it out. The process of committing different options to paper and musing on what you think of them usually makes one choice clearer than the others.
- Facilitates Change – Many people begin a journal in order to achieve a feeling that they don’t already have – gratitude is a common one. If you force yourself to write down what you are grateful for every day, over time you will grow a true sense of gratitude about your life.
- Provides Daily Rhythm – Even if you aren’t a person who likes a highly scheduled day, having a few “anchors” to your routine can be soothing. Journaling. A cup of coffee. Washing your face at the end of the day. Simple daily habits like these bring peace to your routine.
- Releases Stress – The act of pen to paper, as well as the stillness and quietness of journaling releases stress. I get a small boost of peacefulness just looking at a blank page or a new pack of pens!
- Captures Ideas – You are constantly brilliant, but most of your best thoughts flicker in and drift back out of your brain. Keeping a journal handy lets you capture your good ideas when they happen. Get into the habit of keeping your journal with you all the time, and you’ll soon be delighted at the amount of your own brilliance you’re able to tap into.
- Lets You Be 100% Yourself – With social media we have increasingly put our private thoughts out for the world to see. But we still have parts of ourselves we don’t show off. Those thoughts deserve expression and exploration as well. Your journal is a place where you can be yourself with no judgement.
- Provides Catharsis – When you talk to other people, you have to hold back a bit. With your journal, not so. Yell, vent, rage, threaten, berate, get it all out there. Getting it all out lets you let go and move on.
- Increases Creativity – One of the benefits of journaling is the creative flexibility. Your journal can be more than words. It can include doodles, color patches, collages, drawings, paintings, and so on. No one is looking and no one is grading you. You can let loose with your creative expression.
- Improves Physical Health – Spending a few minutes of still, quiet, stress release each day is good for your physical health. Besides the physical benefits of having less stress, daily emotional writing even causes people to heal wounds and injuries faster.
- Improves Emotional Health – Writing about your thoughts and feelings allows you to heal your past, process your present, and shape your future in a low-key, non-judgmental environment. It’s like therapy. It’s like meditation. It’s journaling!
My notebook in the photo is an Eccolo. They have tons of great notebooks for journaling. Here’s a link to check them out, and I get a cut if you buy, which is awesome! :)
Do you have a journaling practice? What other benefits of journaling have you noticed?