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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The Worst Part of the Past Year

I’m stronger because I had to be. I’m smarter because of my mistakes. I’m happier because I’ve overcome the sadness I have known

  

I am going to start out and be very open and honest with you. My past may come as a shock to some people because of how open I'm willing to be about it. I have no regrets of the roads I stumbled down because they were all lessons learned in the end. We all have times in our lives that we wish never happened, we want to bury it deep, deep down so that maybe we wont remember anymore. That's not how we are wired though, we are meant to open up about our wrongdoings and we are meant to learn from them, not pretend as if they didn't happen. That's why I'm sharing what I'm sharing with you today. The worst part of the past year was deciding to move to Canada and to finish my bachelors degree at Redeemer University College. 

I get asked by every single person "Why did you choose Redeemer University when your not even Canadian?". Well, simple; "there was a boy..."is all I ever say. Immediately they fill in the rest (but that's a whole different story for another time). In a nut shell we split and I stayed back in Florida and wasted my time with useless people that were filling me up with childish distraction. During that time I had completely lost sight of who I was. To me, I was literally going insane mentally and emotionally. I wasn't stable in the least and I could hardly hold a conversation with another person. I attached myself to someone I shouldn't have the last month before I left. The things this man introduced me to made it harder for me to let go. 

I did my first line of cocaine with a hundred dollar bill. I was terrified to even do this drug so before I even snorted it I was already shaking like a leaf. I wasn't comfortable and I thought that "this Sadie" was over with years ago. J (that's what we will call him) gave me another bump about every 15 minutes or so just to keep chasing the high. I HATED IT! I could feel my brain chemistry altering with every bump I would take. I had all this energy and no where to put it so my body would just tremble. J ended up giving me a Xanax to calm down. All I remember was the faint smell of gasoline and the soundtrack to 'Suicide Squad'. I woke up in J's bed and didn't remember any of the night. That was only the beginning, from there on out things got progressively worst. 



 

I knew this wasn't me and I knew I needed to get out of this place before things went any further. I headed to the airport and tried to get on the plane. Somehow the flight got messed up and I ended having to stay an extra day in Florida. I.FLIPPED. I made a huge scene at Tampa International Airport and yelled at a few of the ticket workers. I will remind you I was not myself at all at this point in time. 

My mom and dad had to carry me to the car and drove me home to fix my car (I got a flat the day prior). I was hysterically crying on the floor in the backseat on my mom's jeep. I was ripping out my hair and grabbing at my skin to try to break myself out of this meltdown, but I just couldn't. I couldn't calm down, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't stop screaming. It was as if I suppressed all the bad down and it all came spewing out like throw up. Eventually my parents finally sent me out and I headed to Canada to rewire my mind, heart and spirit. 

The first week was BRUTAL! I got to stay with one of my dearest friends (which was great) but during the time I was coming off of a binge. I hadn't had a natural sleep in about a month and I didn't have much of an appetite either. I felt so hypersensitive to everything. When I would try to sleep I could hear a constant buzzing for hours on end that drove me insane. I opened up to friends to seek help and I even went to go see a few counselors and they even referred me. Nothing was helping with my pain though. Not until I turned my life over to God. 

I think sometimes God doesn’t just take our pain away when we ask Him. I think we have to push through the pain, walk through the pain, heal through the pain and pray through the pain. instead of praying it away, maybe sometimes He just wants us to pray through it. healing doesn’t come easy and rebuilding doesn’t happen overnight. It took months to recover and become who I was again and I was only able to do it through Lord, our savior. I’ve had my heart broken, my hope destroyed, my mind distorted, my worth questioned, and my soul stained. In all of these, Jesus was able to restore. He was able to redeem. He was able to bring to life what was once dead. He was able to make all things new. He is still able. He never changes. If He has done it once, He will continue to do so. The only thing we must do is to allow Him to take control. Jesus reigns in us, He is now in charge, not us. He makes His kingdom alive in us no matter what we have been through, all things are made new when He comes to dwell in us. Allow Him to live in you and you will witness a beautiful come alive.

I’m stronger because I had to be. I’m smarter because of my mistakes. I’m happier because I’ve overcome the sadness I have known and I’m wiser because I’ve learned from my life.

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Pessimists Aren't Negative, They're Realistic

Pessimism amounts to accepting the inexplicable contingencies of life.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

I’m sure most of us have heard this question and know what each answer implies: half empty means your pessimistic; half full means your optimistic.

Okay, sure, let’s roll with this analogy. Let’s also assume it’s a glass of water, which will serve as metaphor for growth, life, or any other trite symbol associated with water. Now, half-full implies it could be fuller, but more importantly ignores the inevitable emptiness of the glass.

On the other hand, replying half-empty acknowledges that the glass isn’t getting any fuller but is in fact propelling towards that undesirable state of emptiness, or keeping align with our metaphor, the glass will have no water, symbolizing the end of life i.e. death (sorry for the half-ass figurative language, but you get the idea).

This may sound depressing to some, but it really doesn’t have to be; death is ineluctable and is a truth of life and is something we all have to accept. In a sense, acknowledging life ends in death is the most realistic way to view life. And this, to me, is a defining characteristic of pessimists: being realistic.

This doesn’t mean optimists can’t be realistic, but being optimistic about the future isn’t exactly being realistic, because, like I said, the only future guarantee is death.

For example, when optimistic people tell someone in distress things will get better is pure bullshit because they can’t possibly know that things will get better. It’s possible things will get better, and this is why pessimists in this situation would say something like “Things could get better, or they could get worse.”

Once again, this may sound depressing, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that no one can predict the future. I understand that the traditional idea of pessimism is having a negative view of the future, but I don’t think this applies to modern day pessimists. Rather, a pessimistic outlook on the future implies that anything could happen, even the worst.

Therefore, admitting your lack of knowledge of the future is a big part of being a pessimist, but I also think pessimism implies admitting a lack of knowledge of anything, or a better way of putting it, you don’t understand anything.

I know this sounds stupid, but let me try to explain. By not understanding, I mean not understanding how things came to be. For example, some religions (I think) believe that everything happens for a reason; by doing so, these people are attempting to explain or justify certain events, and usually, these events are harmful and can’t be expressed as positive unless there is some “greater good” involved.

Now, a pessimist is the exact opposite, for they believe everything happens for no reason at all; they don’t try to justify horrible events because they understand that’s part of life. And while they understand that’s part of life, they know it’s impossible to understand why bad things are part of life.

Therefore, if it’s impossible to understand why things happen, then it’s impossible to understand, well, anything. In a sense, pessimists adhere to the idea that the only thing you know is that you know nothing. However, if this is the case, how can one know they know nothing?

Well, you can’t, but this is something we must accept. People find comfort in understanding how the world works, it gives them a sense of purpose and control. But once you accept the idea that nothing makes sense and everything is pointless, life becomes one giant joke.

And this is why pessimists have a terribly dark sense of humor, because in an absurd world where the only guarantee in life is the end of life, where irrationality trumps reason, and where all action amounts to nothing, the only appropriate response is to laugh.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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