Keeping a daily journal—in a notebook, on your phone or even on the computer—offers a lot of benefits to our mental health and wellbeing.
Not only does journaling inspire creativity and allow you to keep track of your ideas (perhaps for that novel you've been working on?) or to help you remember something important, but it improves you mood as well as memory.
Journaling is a means to empty your head of worries and work through your problems in a safe, private environment, and what's not to feel great about once you've lightened that load?
In this post, I'll be exploring 5 important benefits of journaling. Check back soon for another 5!
Your journal is private and should be a safe, personal space for you to express how you feel. If you're concerned about other people reading what you write, consider buying a lockable journal or storing it somewhere only you have access to.
JOURNALING ENCOURAGES AUTHENTICITY
When your journal is for your eyes only, there's no fear of judgement. You can be 100% honest, even if you feel that honestly is initially unreasonable (or downright b*tchy!). It's safer to express these thoughts and feelings where they can do no harm and plenty of benefit. They are no longer poisoning your mind and therefore your mood.
Once on the page, you may then see them as purely ramblings in the heat of the moment. Wouldn't you rather do that in a confidential notebook than saying something you may regret aloud?
JOURNALING INSPIRES CREATITIVY
Writing your ideas down in a journal allows you to explore them in a new light and keep track of each and every change or addition to those ideas. If you're writing a book, it's a great way to develop the storyline (plus any subplots, which can get confusing) and the characters, because you can use your own thoughts, emotions and experiences to bring those fictional people and places to life.
In the non-fiction universe, you can also use your journal to plan for business ventures or how you can resolve real-world problems, however minor. Creative solutions can be better explored on the page—it's easier to walk away from notes on paper than it is to carry those thoughts around with you all day, every day.
JOURNALING IMPROVES YOUR MEMORY
Writing things down allows you immediate access to your notes in future, so you'll never forget your logic behind decisions you make.
If you journal daily and review the previous night's entry the next morning, you can reduce your use of an additional task/to-do list or reminder sticky notes—everything is in one place, de-cluttering your mind and your workspace.
>> LEARN HOW TO BULLET PLAN <<
JOURNALING CAN BE A HEALING & MINDFUL EXERCISE
Journaling through choice because it takes you away from the screen and allows some 'me time' is a mindful exercise. Journaling by hand forces you out of the fast lane—it's a breath of fresh air, especially if you create a comfortable and personal space before you begin (for example, pairing it with aromatherapy oils, candles and music).
Whilst it can therefore help to heal the mind, it's also a way to track symptoms to medical conditions and triggers for anxiety, depression and OCD. Once we know the causes for these struggles, we can more easily and effectively look for solutions.
JOURNALING PROMPTS POSITIVITY
It's important we feel we can be ourselves around the people we love and be supported through the decisions and mistakes we make. Of course, journaling gives us the option to write about what's bothering us without bothering other people, but it's also great to write about things we love and enjoy—hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Self-expression through a private journal isn't just about venting. When we journal about what we're grateful for, we are reminded of how wonderful our lives really are and how blessed we feel. It makes us smile. it lifts our spirits.
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