Why Journaling?

With all the information available on the benefits of journaling, it’s not like this page is really necessary.

However, because I have found several new reasons to upkeep my diary lately, I figured I’d share a list of the ultimate incentives to write!

a table of journals  window facing lake as it rains

First, I’ll start with what I feel to be the most important benefits you can find in putting words to the page, those reasons to pursue the art that give one raw rewards and deep satisfaction!

  • Improved Relationship with Yourself. ~ Its like talking to yourself, only not out loud. This kind of contemplation and personal admission of feelings and interests, confusions and strengths gives you a much more colorful picture of the person standing in the mirror, waving back at your newly aware face. How much better can it get, than to speak freely to the only person alive with the capability to know you so well? And to find out how much about that person you love and hate and what to do about it! Talk about true understanding, and through that empathy and realism you have more control, and so are capable of so much more than you were before! For those of us who love self-improvement, writing is a real boon.
  • Increased Emotional Intelligence. ~ Emotional Intelligence is a hard thing to come by in our present society, what with so much instant gratification at our very fingertips from a pretty impressionable age… So what I think is beautiful is when we sit in our own space and think within our own minds. Unplug from the constant stream of opinion-based reporting and money-focused marketing to hear only what naturally occurs within the confines of one’s own head. If we listen long enough, the inauthentic voices strip away to leave only what is truly ours. Then we can begin to really know our emotions and feelings, and become more aware of them as we go about our regular routines, as well. When you understand fully how your feel about things, you can really get a handle on when to react, and how.
  • Diversify Your Communication Skills. ~ Public speaking is a way of communicating with many at one time. Even talking to a group of half a dozen people requires a kind of approach to get the job done. Both of those situations vary from a one-on-one conversation and, so too is writing to one’s self (or to no one in particular) also different. And the more levels of communication me work at, the better equipped we will be at adapting n order to reach others in our lives, work and society in general.
  • Building Mindfulness. ~ When you step into your thoughts and search for what to journal, you are asking the past to stand down and the future to step aside for only what comes to you in this moment. Being able to stay in this present moment and pull out the words which go with right now will build your ability to be calm in many different situations. It’s the foundation for keeping things in perspective: being aware of yesterday and tomorrow, but focusing on today.
  • Discipline. ~ Call me an old windbag, but in my day, we not only practiced patience every day, but we learned discipline. Like doing our chores Every day. Not just when our parents noticed they weren’t done. Brushing our teeth. Washing the dishes. Doing the laundry. Finishing our homework. Trying again when we failed. Working to learn something we didn’t want to learn, and then practicing it constantly until we did it without conscious thought. Discipline is refusing to quit when we don’t want to do something. Not giving up. Not faltering in the face of struggle. And it is something you may discover you believe in, through journaling; never underestimate a habit which challenges you to change, or to remain steadfast.

I’d now like to draw attention to the benefits of Journaling which are personal favorites of mine and which I use on a near daily basis to continue to manage my own mental health issues, i.e. insanity.

  • Relax. ~ Enough said? I mean… I write to breathe. If I can’t get a breath in my life I #stopandwrite. I go to my place of peaceful calm. Crack open that binding and click that pen. Take a few moments, even if it’s just a couple seconds to express myself without restraint, I need it. And so do many others. So, go do it, make time for it. Let it recharge you, or put you to restful sleep at night. Whatever the reason, do it to slow the world down and get off.
  • Achieve Your Goals. ~ Everybody knows this one, but let’s take it a step beyond dream boards and money manifestation and look deeper. How do you pick your goals? Do you look at the things you want in life? A car. A house. A baby. A watch. A table at that fancy restaurant every Thursday night… Or. Do you think about stuff like retirement? Investments. Career. The kid’s college fund. (Hahahahahahahahaha!) Maybe you work towards the bigger house. The nicer car. The second baby. The Golf Club Membership. Making Partner. Traveling. What about how you want to feel? Happy? Secure? Stable? Strong? Hopeful? Prepared? Restored? Whole? Normal? Really dig deep here, friends… if you make a goal, make it something you don’t drag yourself to accomplish. Make it the darkest passion of your heart, revealed. Make it the strongest conviction of your life, achieved. Make it real. Make it bold and blinding. Something you can’t wait to sweat and bleed for, and to create such a statement as to change your life, forever.
  • Resolve disagreements. ~ Sometimes a disagreement happens and I’m not even clear on why I got mad, or why we made such a big thing out of it. If I have trouble seeing his side, or if I want to make sure I’m in the right… I write it all down. From start to finish, like I’m explaining to someone who wasn’t there. This is what happened, he did this, I said this, and then it all just went downhill from there. In this way, I’m able to see both his side and my side as equal and they make more sense. Then I can decide how I want to resolve things or continue pressing my point in a calm manner.
  • Personal Growth. ~ Whenever you need to get through something, learn from your past, embrace your future… improve in some way or other… you can always find it through writing. Be your own teacher, knowing your weaknesses and strengths so you can move forward in any challenge.
  • Accountability. ~ I’m not a fan of letting everybody and their brother read your diary so as to hold you to it, but I do believe that writing creates an accountability with yourself. You know what you’ve written and where you’re trying to go. If there’s a record of it, you have a way to self-track. There’s nothing more important than being able to be honest with oneself, and when you really can be, you can move forward!

Plus, there’s also several other good benefits to journaling, including:

  • Increased IQ.
  • Control Stress & Anxiety.
  • Boost Memory Capability.
  • And tons more!

After all, when people ask me how to keep a diary, I always steer them towards the ‘Substance over Style’ approach. Because you never know what positives may come out of your writing until you do it, and it’s for you, not somebody else. 

There’s also a lot of professionals who believe that keeping a Work Diary is a good tool for advancement and improvement!

If you wish you remembered moments of your life better, start a Memory Journal, where you can put down all the events, places and people you hope never to forget!

If you are the kind who loves to dream and create Vision Boards, then there’s plenty of value in a journal for you as well, and also if you have a ton of Goal Setting you want to do, a long Commute every day, Family struggles, need more Mental Clarity, Gratitude, Friendships or Inspiration

And even though it may not be a time when you feel like writing, the loss of a loved one is helped by words. Grief can flow out of your body and leave you at peace sooner if you can express the pain somehow and move through it.