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.