10 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

It's good to sit down and take a minute to reflect on how things are going.

Upon graduating from high school and receiving journals as graduation gifts, I wondered, "Geez, what the heck am I going to do with all of these journals? I don't even write or keep a diary or anything." I felt like every other year I was getting journals as birthday gifts and I never really did anything with them and now I just received five more journals that are just going to take up space and collect dust.

About a month later, I decided that I would give journaling a shot. I journaled throughout my whole summer. I became very fond of it and I found it very soothing. I journaled about all my trips, all my ups and downs, and different events I attended throughout the summer. When I went to Grove City College to staff at a leadership camp, I found out that a large majority of the staff also loved to journal. We all agreed that journaling is beneficial and if you disagree or hate to write, here are 10 reasons why you should start journaling:

1. It Relieves Stress

Whether you believe it or not, journaling and writing is so beneficial to relieving the stress in your life. Writing about your day and how you're feeling is a good way to take your mind away from things that are going on in your life. It allows you to free your mind of everything that is stressing you out by getting your thoughts down on paper.

2. You Learn More About Yourself

When you start to journal more and more, you begin to learn more about yourself. With each day you write, you're growing and learning as a person. Eventually you begin to see the changes in yourself and you're able look back and see how you overcame different situations and see how far you have come.

3. It Captures Memories

Each time you journal about your day, you're capturing the moments of that day and turning them into memories. Memories that you are able to go back to and read and reminisce upon. You may not want to go back and read them after a week or even a month because of how recent the entries were, but to go back after a year and to see what you were doing on a specific day is pretty cool.

4. You Become A Better Writer

In case you feel like you could never journal because you're a bad writer, then you are wrong! I was awful at writing all throughout high school and I struggled to put my thoughts down on paper. After journaling and writing almost everyday the past few months, I have become a much better writer. Becoming a better writer requires a lot of practice and why not start by writing about something easy and something you enjoy writing about. Whether it's about how your day went, something funny that happened or even about that cute boy or girl in your history class, you have to start somewhere.

5. Helps To Achieve Goals

While you're journaling, you don't have to write word for word what your goals are, but talk about them and things you plan to achieve. Scientists have proven that those who write out their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who do not write them down. Once you have an idea and see your goals on paper, it allows you to establish a game plan and a way to attack your goals, and ultimately accomplish them.

6. Eases Your Anxiety

We all feel overwhelmed and anxious at times from everything like the future and what lies ahead to what we're going to eat for breakfast tomorrow. Journaling allows you to write out these worries and fears and put them to ease. It becomes a way to get rid of these thoughts and put them straight on paper instead of allowing them to fester in your mind and cause you to have anxiety.

7. It's A Private Place For All Of Your Thoughts

When you journal, it's for your eyes only. It's a safe haven for you, your mind, and your deepest, most personal thoughts. You can write things in your journal and never have to worry about judgement or how others will look at you. No one else will ever have to read your journal unless you allow them to. So feel free to write whatever is on your heart, good or bad, happy or sad.

8. Problem Solving Becomes Easier

Imagine one day you're in a predicament and you can't figure out what you should do. So you start to write in your journal and as you write, your mind starts working. The gears start to turn. Writing out problems allows you to work through them as you see the words form sentences on the paper. As you write and your mind starts working, you begin to think through the problem and figure out solutions much easier.

9. A Place Where You Can Release Your Emotions

Whether you're happy, angry, sad, excited or apathetic, a journal is a place where you can release these emotions. Journaling how you feel is a healthy and safe way to release your emotions. It prevents you from hurting (physically or verbally) another person. You can yell in your journal and no one but you would know that you were yelling. It can ease your frustrations and calm your nerves.

10. You Can Keep A Record Of All Of Your Ideas

Within a journal, you can keep a record of every idea you have. Whether it be an idea for a poem, song lyrics or a future business proposal, you can jot them down in your journal. You'll never have to worry about forgetting them or having someone steal your idea to use some day.

Journaling and writing have been proven to be extremely beneficial to your health, especially your mental health. Journaling is relaxing and therapeutic. It is a way to reflect on how your day is going and after a while, it becomes a reflection of your life. There are so many different ways to journal. If you don't really like to write using pen and paper, there are plenty of apps that you can download. If you're not very tech savvy with your phone or don't have a smart phone, there are plenty of websites where you can type out your journal entries on the computer. You don't have to journal every day, it's easy to forget. But after a while, it will become a habit and you'll want to write almost everyday. Some days aren't as eventful as others and that's okay too. Although journaling isn't for everyone, I would recommend giving it a shot. It has really made a difference in my life. So sit down, grab some paper and a pen and start writing. Reflect on your day. You never know how beneficial journaling may become for you.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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Professional Athletes Are People, Too

How two NBA players are working to fight the stigma around mental health.

On February 17, 2018, DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors star basketball player, tweeted this out:

DeRozan was in California, preparing to play in the NBA All-Star game, with no obvious struggle to explain this tweet. He was having a career year and leading his team to their best season in franchise history. One of the best players in the league, he had plenty of money, fame, and success. And yet, DeRozan openly admitted that, despite his seemingly perfect life, he still struggles with depression. Two weeks later, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love published an article on The Players Tribune website entitled “Everyone Is Going Through Something.” In it, he detailed his own experiences with panic attacks that led him to stop neglecting his mental health and talk to a therapist.

In his piece, Love revealed that DeRozan’s tweet helped him open up and share his story. After all, athletes aren’t used to talking about their mental health struggles; Love writes in his article that “I’d never heard of any pro athlete talking about mental health, and I didn’t want to be the only one.”

Having DeRozan be honest about his depression must have been a huge relief to Love, as it showed that he wasn’t alone in dealing with his mental health among his peers. This is why it’s especially important that two athletes revealed that they regularly struggle with their mental health. In sports, depression is seen as a lack of toughness, a crutch that can be taken advantage of.

Love writes that “I didn’t want to look weak. Honestly, I just didn’t think I needed [to see a therapist]. It’s like the playbook said — figure it out on your own, like everyone else around me always had.”

Just as athletes want to play through injuries no matter what, they have also grown up believing that sharing their inner problems will counteract their macho, tough image and make them look weak and vulnerable instead.

This stigma around mental health trickles down to outside viewers: little kids who see their favorite NBA players as superheroes and regular people who may deal with depression but feel isolated because no one talks about it openly. This is why having two athletes go against the mold, fight against the “figure it out on your own” culture in sports, and share their struggles, is so important.

Not only is it difficult for them to be vulnerable enough to share their struggles, but it also shows millions of fans who also struggle with their mental health that they aren’t alone and that their circumstances are very normal: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental health problems each year. Love and DeRozan sharing their own struggles will help lessen the stigma around dealing with mental health problems.

I applaud DeRozan and Love for being open and vulnerable enough to express their mental health stories. Knowing that millions of people would know something so sensitive and personal about them must have been very difficult. Their platform as professional athletes will hopefully improve how mental health is discussed, both in traditionally macho athletic settings as well as among the general public. Perhaps most importantly, kids who look up to these sports stars as heroes and role models will hopefully learn that mental health struggles are normal, that talking about mental health is extremely helpful, and that anyone and everyone can have down moments in which they need outside help.

DeRozan would later follow up his tweet and say that “no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day.” Hopefully, with his and Love’s experiences, more people can treat others with respect and kindness, knowing that everyone, even superheroic sports stars, is going through something.

Cover Image Credit: @kevinlove / Instagram

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10 Thoughts You Have When You Get A Waist Trainer

No pain no gain.

I bought a waist trainer recently after hearing how you could easily shave inches off your waist with it. Here are some thoughts you have when you get a waist trainer.

1. I could definitely look like Kim Kardashian.

2. It’s not going on.

3. I feel my ribs being crushed in.

4. This is definitely helping me poo.

5. Why do there need to be so many hooks??

6. *after two hours* Wow I see results!

7. False alarm.

8. I could totally wear this outside my clothes.

9. How did the oppressed women of the 18th century wear boned corsets??

10. I hate how I love the way I look in this.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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