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Since middle school, I have kept a written journal of my life, documenting my joys, sorrows, teenage angst, crushes, victories, and everything in between. As I have evolved, so has my journalling, and it now a place for deeper self-reflection. But hey, it also served well to practice writing my name in cursive with the last name of my middle school crush! There’s a season for everything, right?
Journaling has given me a place to process my thoughts on paper when I did not have the opportunity to process them out loud. It has given me a creative outlet to track my dreams and my goals, and the motivation to plan and take action to turn those goals into reality. In fact, it has been so beneficial to me, that I regularly recommend it to my therapy clients. Journaling has many potential psychological and emotional benefits, a few of which I have listed for you below.
If you need a great journal to get started with, I would recommend the Midori Traveler's Notebook . They're beautifully made and have lots of different inserts available so you can really customize your journal to suit your needs.
Seven Reasons to Journal Everyday
A Journal Can Act Like a Personal Therapist
A journal gives you a safe, non-judgmental place to write down your thoughts and feelings. It’s a perfect place to vent your frustrations, air your deepest secrets, and brag about your accomplishments. All without having to worry about what others think about you (although you shouldn’t worry anyway, because you’re wonderful the way you are).
A Journal Provides an Easy Way to Track Moods
Maybe you are chronically cranky on Mondays, or maybe you get weepy around certain times of of the day, week, or month. Journaling can help you track patterns in your moods. Once you identify a pattern it is much easier to find the root cause(s) and address them
A Journal Provides an Easily Accessible Creative Outlet
A journal can provide you with a blank canvas to jot down your wildest ideas, write your own songs or poetry, create little doodles or glorious sketches. It doesn’t have to just be a log of your day! Let those creative juices flow and make it your own.
A Journal Creates an Attitude of Gratitude
It’s easy to get into a funk and forget about all the things that you have to be grateful for. Keeping a record of the good in your life helps you to look back when you’re in a rough patch and appreciate all the good that you have encountered.
A Journal Helps You to Remember Your Victories… and Learn From Your Defeats
In addition to adjusting our attitude, a journal can act as a learning tool. What might you learn from examining your past victories and defeats? Journalling provides the space to reflect on this question.
A Journal Can Bring Clarity to Difficult Situations
A journal can be used for problem-solving. Whether it is the traditional pros and cons list, or writing out your worries and challenging those beliefs, there is something about putting a pen to paper that can bring mental clarity.
A Journal is Inexpensive and Easily Managed
You can get a cheap journal just about anywhere - a notebook from the dollar store will do the trick, or you can pop for a more expensive, designer one. Anything with blank paper where you feel secure jotting down your thoughts. And you’re the boss of your journal. You decide what you write and when you write it. How awesome is that?
Do you journal? If so, what benefits have you gleaned from the practice?