Benefits of Journaling
- Keep your thoughts organized. Journals help us to organize our thoughts and put them into a memorable and understandable format.
While many people use journals to simply write when the occasion prompts it. Yet others organise their journals into themes, topics or sections that classify their content in a way which is meaningful to them.
There is no right or wrong way, there are no set rules. Journaling is a very personal thing and you are free to choose your own path.
- Improve your writing. Journaling helps you to develop your writing skills.
As they say, “practise makes perfect” and, the more we write in our journals, the more proficient and confident we become at writing.
And, I don’t just mean the mechanics of putting ink on paper. I mean the ability to let go and to let our writing flow from our unconscious mind.
- Setting & achieving your goals. It’s human nature to do those things that get recorded. The very fact that we write down our goals increases the likelihood that we will work on achieving them.
The process of writing down our goals tends to make them more concrete. Having our goals written down and recorded in our journals helps us to focus on the actions that move us towards achieving them.
- Record ideas on-the-go. We sometimes get random thoughts and ideas that would be lost were it not for the opportunity we get from having a journal in which to record them.
I like to keep a small notebook on my bedside table, I have another in my car and I keep yet another in the day-sack I take with me when I go walking.
So, whenever I get an idea or an insight that I want to review at a later stage, I simply jot it down in my notebook and then transfer it to my main journal at an appropriate time.
- Relieve stress. If there is anything worrying me, or if I feel under stress in any way, I find that writing down my understanding of the problem and how I feel about it goes a long way in helping to reduce that stress.
Don’t allow the act of journaling to get you stressed. Often people new to journaling can be intimidated by their first blank page. Don’t worry, just use a writing prompt to get you started.
My next step is to consider what the situation would look like and feel like if the stressor was gone. I find using some form of visualisation can help me to see what action I need to take to eliminate, or dramatically reduce, that stress.
- Allow personal self-reflection. It can be cathartic to take a step back from things and review our personal development.
Having a journal provides the opportunity to look back at old entries. To compare your observations from a moment in the past to the “you” of today.
Being able to see evidence of personal development and growth helps to build confidence and momentum.
- Boost your memory. The physical act of journaling often requires us to use our recall skills to remember things that happened since our last entry.
Keeping a journal is good for enhancing our memory. Having a journal in which to search can also be a very helpful “aide memoir” when trying to remember situations from our past.
- Inspire creativity. Journaling is, by its nature, a creative process.
While the vast majority of us write in our journals, there are others that record their thoughts and feeling through a more creative medium such as painting, drawing or collage.
There are no rules. You can be as creative as you wish. Your journal is for you. Write, draw, doodle, whatever suits you.
Bonus Benefit. Journaling is fun! Enjoy the process, use it to learn new skills. Above all enjoy the process of self-discovery in a fun and enjoyable way.