I found the benefits of keeping a journal at a very young age, when I was 10 to be exact.
Now, I’m not going to tell you exactly what to write in a journal. Just grab a notebook, or simply a sheet of paper and a pen, and start writing.
You’ll figure it out for yourself. It works differently for everybody.
But I am going to tell you
why I started journaling daily,
it helped me in many positive ways,
ideas how you can do it too,
and my top reasons why you should start keeping a journal today so you can reap the benefits as soon as possible!
What Are The Benefits Of Keeping A Journal?
When I started my daily journal as a kid it was something new and exciting for me, but I didn’t know how much it was going to impact my life in a really positive way.
I started as a joke, as if it was just another game.
25 years later I can’t imagine one day to go by without writing even one sentence.
So how did journaling helped me?
Daily journaling makes you a better storyteller
Keeping a diary actually laid the foundation of what I became later in life – a copywriter/content writer.
But in the beginning, it was a complete disaster. My “written thoughts” didn’t exactly run smoothly. Let me give you an example:
Today I wore my new shoes at school. Alex made fun of me. I HATE HIM! My aunt and my cousins are coming tonight. YAY! My shoes are really fluffy. Today till noon was really boring.
Don’t get me wrong, anyone can write whatever they want to. But for me with time passing by it became easier and natural to turn these snippets of the day into one big story that includes feelings, emotions, thoughts, solutions, ideas and so on in kind of a logical way.
Turn Your Journal Into Your Best Friend
Well, this is truly inevitable! It will become your best friend, I promise you that! It is so because of an obvious reason – it is YOU!
Although, in the very beginning I didn’t have the feeling that I was talking to myself, so I referred to the journal as a different person. I even named it. Her name was Shelly. 🙂
Now I write as if I am talking to myself. But it’s another ME, another person – my best friend.
You don’t know what I am talking about!?
Try these journaling exercises:
Journaling turns your diary not only into your best friend but also into your free psychologist.
But for that in a minute.
A Journal Is A Place For Secrets
Another great benefit of keeping a journal is the fact that you can share all your secrets, I mean everything, even your darkest secrets or things you cannot tell your friends or family.
I had a dedicated section for secrets -the last pages of my diary. It went something like this:
I really, really, really like Peter
One month later:
I hate Peter, but I really, really, really like George
Of course, my secrets now are waaay different… and rare, but I still have things like fears or things I am ashamed of that I cannot share with anyone else but my journal.
There will always be thoughts and secrets that you want to get off your chest. In that case, you can always rely on your journal.
The Benefits Of Keeping A Diary For Depression, Anxiety And Stress Management
Journaling has proven beneficial effects on people who suffer from depression, anxiety or those who are dealing with a great amount of stress.
I would like to tell you about my experience with dealing with depression via journaling, but if you need scientific facts you can find them here.
Back in the days, not so long ago, I found myself in a very dark place and it took me a very long time to get out of there. That was the time that I wrote the most because I needed to understand what was going on with myself on a much deeper level. At first, I wasn’t realizing the state I was in until one day when I sat down and re-read what I had written for the previous few months. It was as if the words were coming out of a schizophrenic person. The negative voice of my “inner critic” was so strong that it was scary. I got sick of writing how bad I feel day after day.
So that was the moment when I decided to calm down those destructive thoughts and to figure out how could help myself. Instead of feeling sorry and pity for myself I started a motivational process through journaling.
Here are a few examples you can use in your journaling for depression:
- ALWAYS BEGIN YOUR JOURNAL WRITINGS WITH GRATITUDE
- WRITE DOWN SEVERAL REASONS WHY YOU LOVE YOURSELF
- CALM YOURSELF DOWN – EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT IN THE END
- WRITE DOWN YOUR DAYDREAMS
Keeping A Journal Turns Decision Making Into A Game
Making a decision when you keep a journal is way easier than when you don’t have one. That may sound a bit unrealistic but hear me out.
We are all aware of the classic PROs/CONs list and in most of the cases it works perfectly.
Let’s take this list for example:
What would you choose?
I guess that almost everyone will immediately answer “Job B”.
Ok, but take your time, sit down and write down why you want Job A and why you want Job B. It may turn out that you better prefer having more time over more money. Or that you might have a really bad feeling about both of them and you might think of a third option. Just take it from me:
Ignore your gut feelings as little as possible
When journaling about different options and making decisions you will notice how what you think is right is not always what you feel is right for you.
In that case, write a little more and try to figure out what you really want and how big of compromises you are ready to make.
Keep A Journal To Track Your Life Changes
I know that one is the obvious one, but, honestly, you will be amazed at how you change as a person throughout the years.
Through keeping a journal I was able to track my personal growth. There were moments when I was vulnerable and without any self-esteem. Then, after overcoming those moments, I became stronger. Of course, some rough times came along again and I was back to ground zero. After that I stood strong again. This cycle continued on and on till the moment I am the person I’m right now.
My point is that keeping a diary is a great way to see how you are becoming stronger in life.
Keeping A Journal To Record Memories
Among my friends I am notorious for not being good at remembering almost anything, even from the recent past, let’s say last week 🙂 .
And no, I don’t need ginkgo biloba, because I have my journal hahaha 🙂 .
Journaling is like taking a picture, only better!
With time passing by our memories tend to fade away. Trust me, keeping a journal is one of the most effective ways to keep your memories alive and vivid. That’s because you are not just snapping a shot, you are describing a situations, feelings and emotions. Of course, there will be things that you want to recall, which you have forgotten and things, which you wish to forget but are still there on the paper.
Journals Are Great Source Of New Ideas
Honestly, that’s my favorite part of keeping a journal. You cannot imagine how many hidden treasures you will find if you go back through the pages. I simply cannot stress enough how surprised you will be.
Ok, so here is how it works for me and I’m sure it’s the same for everybody else.
Sometimes it’s as easy as a well-forgotten idea from the past just pops up from the pages in front of your eyes. It could be a travel plan, something related to start -up business, healthy lifestyle, a goal that wasn’t possible at the time you name it.
But sometimes you just need to connect the dots. For example:
past experience + new skill = idea for business
goal + decision for unrelated problem = idea for solutions overall
dream destinations + well paid job/new friends/new mentality = ideas for new ways to travel
and so on, you get the picture.
Starting A Journaling Habit
Keeping a journal is easy. All you need to know is how to write. Journaling has so many benefits and it easily becomes a habit. Not only that, but it somehow becomes an addiction – with time, you just need to write in order to feel content. And the best part is that you can do it anywhere – it’s not illegal hahaha 🙂 .
Another great benefit of journaling is that you can turn other activities into habits by tracking them. Of course, this can easily become a disappointment, but hey, look from the positive side – it can be a great pop-up idea for the future when you are ready to start again with that activity.
Keeping A Journal Makes You Happier
There is plenty of scientific evidence that journaling does improve one’s mental health. But people who keep a journal don’t need proof – they know it for a fact.
But why is that?
The truth is that
no matter how perfect your life is you need to unload your thoughts in order to declutter the mind!!!
And let’s face it, why should our family, friends or partners always listen to us when they have their own things on their minds.
Here are 3 easy steps to do it:
- Find Motivational Booster
- track activities’ progress
- share feelings and emotions
- put thoughts in order
- lay out plans, goals and dreams
2. Find A Beautiful Journal
This may sound stupid to you but the little things makes it all worthy. That’s how this notebook will be special and you will want to write in it. If possible, take it with you wherever you are.
3. Find 10 Minutes A Day
That’s how long it takes! You don’t need to write a novel, you just need to write whatever you feel like. Sometimes it’s just “Today is going to be a great day!”
Bullet Journal Ideas
When we talked earlier about tracking results the bullet journals come in handy. Although I don’t count on them for great self improvement rather for a disappointment. But that’s just me. What these journals in simple words are To Do Lists for the day, for the week, for the month etc.
The sole purpose of keeping a journal is to make you feel better, not the opposite.
So don’t overdo it with your To Do Lists.
Your bullet points should be achievable goals that can be reached throughout the day.
Again, don’t make it hard on yourself or by the end of the day you will be in a very, very bad mood. Think realistically!
If you have never jogged before do not set yourself a task to run 6 miles for one hour just because others are doing it!
Here are some tips how to integrate bullet journaling in your every day diary:
- Eat at least one fruit
- Eat at least one vegetable
- Move your body for at least 10 minutes – yoga, gym, exercise at home, dance
- Laugh at least for three minutes – in front of the mirror, YouTube video of funny cats and dogs etc.
- Work on a project at least for 30 minutes
- Spend at least 30 minutes to learn something new – language, music instrument, editing program
- Read for 30 minutes
- Spend some quality time with important for you people
- Find time for DAYDREAMING – the best time is in the morning