The Importance of Journaling

Sometimes when we think of keeping a journal, the “Dear Diary” entries we made in middle school might come to mind. Remember those days when we would admit our school crush or most embarrassing moments? I definitely do! Although I have kept up with a daily planner, I myself had been skeptical on a daily journal. Did I really have the time to reiterate the same thoughts and feeling I had shared throughout the day with friends and family?

But then I started to think, what was the purpose of writing in my diaries growing up? I still shared with friends back then but there was an added bonus in making entries that only my eyes would see. When journaling, the hustle and bustle of our everyday life remains still, if even for those moments, calling a wandering mind to attention – from chaos to actively working through our thoughts.

Sharing our thoughts aloud to our loved ones isn’t merely enough. Journaling brings you into this state of mindfulness, allowing you to be still. Designed for self-reflection, habit tracking, goal-setting, daily reminders, and inspiration. It is essentially a catalog into your personal achievements, both big and small, in which you have to refer back to.

Journaling gives you the ability to share your current frustrations and future anxieties, ambitions and goals, ones that may  even be too scary to share aloud; they essentially lose their edge in the present moment.

Here are the five benefits I’ve received through journaling.

  1. Accountability
    • Whether the subject be: diet, exercise, waking up earlier, limiting our alcohol intake per week, budgeting, etc. it is hard to keep track of our progress from atom. I am the type of person who will not take accountability or even notice for certain habits, unless they are recorded. Why is this? Because I have the worst memory ever!
      • As an example, this past year, I gave myself 2 allowances to eat out per week. Although few, there were times where I maxed my weekly allowance in one day. I noticed that the weeks when I slipped up, also happened to be the times when I failed to journal. On those days when I decide to grab food, (in my mind), I hadn’t ate out for a while, but in all actuality, when I referred back to my journal, I picked up a bagel (lets say for breakfast) just the day before.
  2. Manifesting
    • As you write and rewrite your goals daily, they allow you to review and hone in on what is important to you. The repetition of your aspirations, will eventually become ingrained into your subconscious mind. It will hopefully consume you and motivate you to act to make them your reality.
      • My 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to become more active. In the prior year, I failed to take the necessary steps in order to do so. Come Jan 2017, not only did I write down my weekly goal of working out 5x a week, but I also jotted down my workout routine for each day, along with a line for  a check mark (which indicated completed). The satisfaction of checking it off my list, motivated me to get up and go! Only I had that power to complete this goal of mine, and with this constant visual reminder, I was more likely to get up and do so!
  3. Navigating through emotions
    • How many of us could say we’ve been scatterbrained at times? More often than not we are pulled in multiple directions. At least for me, my mind is usually in a thousands places all at once! I’ve realized that difficult times, don’t always come in the most convenient of times.
      • In the midst of my break up (a little over a year ago), I was in between apartments and job hunting. Whenever a friend asked me how I was doing, I would say to myself, “I’m okay, I really don’t have the time to be sad.” Which in my mind, I didn’t… I was busy. But it’s in times like these where journaling is vital. Journaling even 5 minutes a day, allows for us to share our feelings privately and then heal the thoughts that make us retreat and suppress. Actively engaging with your feelings will reduce the emotional scatter in your life…freeing you from the mental entanglement we tend to get caught up in.
  4. Creativity
    • There are so many days where I find myself starring at a blank computer screen, while the cursor flashes, reminding me that I haven’t typed a word yet. Even if I have so many ideas in my head, there are times when nothing can be articulated. This in when I’ve found journaling exceptionally useful. With journaling, you can literally start off with a doodle, a word, or a phrase.  We can write freely, without thinking, really. This is just a way of unlocking our creative juices. I’d go so far as saying that journaling is a flashlight for my ideas. Within minutes, I usually am able to quickly grab my computer and write out a paragraph or two.
  5. Learning gratitude
    • It’s easy for us to come home exhausted after a full day. Especially when we have even more work to do around the house.
      • I’ve found that just spending a few minutes to jot down what you are grateful for within that day, truly helps shift your perspective. You may see that your not-so good day was pretty good after all.

 *“You don’t need to buy a fancy personal journal to record your entries in, worry about spelling or grammar, or even make fully thought out sentences. If you have not discovered these benefits for yourself, I challenge you to start tonight!

 

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A lifestyle blog for the everyday Millennial.

6 thoughts on “The Importance of Journaling

  1. Aw, I’m happy you enjoyed the read 🙂

    I think journaling is more personal and non-committal. You can write freely without the worry of being judged or understood. Where as with blogging, I try my best to make fully thought out statements…keeping in mind, that my posts will be read by people who may not relate (:

    Like

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