I started keeping a journal my freshman year of college but was never consistent. About six months ago though I decided that needed to change, and I began to attempt daily journaling. Now I still miss days but I am fairly consistent with it now and I have seen such a difference in my mental and emotional health.

There are numerous proven benefits of journaling, and while I do think there are some personalities who thrive with journaling and some who may be less encouraged by a journaling practice, I think it is worth trying by everyone. For me, journaling has helped me see progress, believe truth, and process feelings which have drastically improved my mental and emotional health.

Seeing progress is so important to me. There have been times that I have not had any way to track progress and so if I would have a bad day I would catastrophize and tell myself that I was not getting better and I never would. Journaling has given me an easy way to see progress. I don't even realize I am tracking progress but when one day I write how bad my day is and the next I write why my day was great I can tangibly see how a bad day does not derail everything and absolutely does not mean a bad life.

Journaling also helps me believe the truth. Along the lines of seeing a bad day compared to a good day, when I write my feelings down I can see how they line up (or don't) with the truth. If they don't align with the truth I can remind myself. The feelings don't just go away but I know that they are temporary and seeing them on paper makes it much easier to discern and separate my identity from my feelings.

It is also therapeutic to journal. When I write my feelings down I can process them in a way that I just cannot if I keep them bottled inside my mind. And while I love one on one conversations and processing my feelings with trusted people that is simply not always an option. I love not having to worry about bothering someone every time something needs to be processed (which is all the time for me) and how freeing it is to just write down how I feel.

I have experienced such growth through the simple practice of keeping a journal and I think it is worth trying if you never have!