I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 12 years old. I still have that first Diary, complete with a lock designed to keep out nosy older brothers. Sometimes I’ll read through it when I need a good laugh. Not surprisingly, most of my problems revolved around school and boys who I thought were cute.
But, sometimes I delved into deeper issues related to things like self-confidence and ambition. It always made me feel better to put my feelings down on paper, and it’s a practice that still offers me comfort to this day.
As an adult, I’ve tried to maintain the habit of keeping my journal. It not only is a great way to keep an archive of my life, it also has many proven benefits.
- Relieves stress. The act of writing out your feelings helps to reduce their intensity. After writing about what’s bothering me, I always feel a little bit lighter, calmer, and more prepared to tackle the issues in front of me.
- Gives clarity. Do you ever have a decision or problem you’re facing and you have no idea what to do? Journaling has always helped to provide me with more clarity on how to handle difficult situations. You might not know how you really feel about something until you lay out all your thoughts. Going through that exercise can help you to know which direction to take when you’re unsure.
- Shows you how much you’ve grown. A couple of years ago, I went through a very difficult personal situation. At that time, I was writing every day. Those first few entries were filled with sadness, anger, despair. As the months went on, the entries got a bit brighter, and today, they’re light years away from where they were. Rereading through my journals has helped me to see how far I’ve come. Whenever I feel like I’m facing something insurmountable, I remember how I’ve been able to overcome dark times in the past and can do it again.
- Provides a record of your life. Life moves fast. We are all busy, and sometimes we have these really fantastic moments that we hope we won’t forget, but inevitably do. Having a journal helps you to keep a record of your life’s big and small moments so that you can look back and remember all that you’ve experienced. It’s like a photo album for your mind.
Do you keep a journal? If so, what benefits do you get from it?