Why seriously keep a journal?
How important is it to have one?
What satisfaction is there?
What good does it do you?
What happens when you engage in the journal writing?
How does it work?
These are relevant questions you need to ask yourself most especially now when journaling has become a really big thing.
Before being drawn into this craze, it’s best to have a look at nine benefits you may possibly get from journaling:
- Solitude and freedom
- Relief from stress
- Creative spark
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Positive mindset and energy
- Data, insights and applied learning
Feel free to identify your own as journal writing is really a personal thing and one is good to one may not be to you
Benefit #1: Solitude and Freedom
When you sit down to journal, the first thing you reap is solitude.
A desire for solitude may be misconstrued as loneliness, emptiness, isolation, seclusion, privacy, detachment, separation and solitariness.
Indeed, you may engage in journaling when feeling lonely or empty.
However, it could be more than that.
Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. Solitude is desirable, a state of being alone where you provide yourself wonderful and sufficient company. ~ Hara Estrof Marano, Psychology Today
More often than not, journaling is where you find:
- Peace of mind
- Sense of security
- Peace of mind
It is in solitude where you let down your hair and become the person you truly are.
It’s enjoying the freedom to be oneself.
You lose yourself and claim it back, way better when you let it go.
The magic takes place in solitude
Benefit #2: Relief from Stress and Anxiety
To many, there is no place better than being alone journaling.
Journaling relieves stress and anxiety.
It’s calming, soothing and relaxing.
It is a powerful tool for self-expression.
When you write in your journal, you let go of thoughts and emotions that frustrating, troubling, stimulating, and even uplifting but stressful.
As a result, you gain clarity, self-understanding, focus, confidence, and strength.
Now you are able to face and solve problems with calm, grace and confidence.
You notice that your health condition improves. Ailments such as migraine, depression, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, and other forms of illness diminish or disappear.
Benefit #3: Creative Spark
Journaling sparks creativity.
It is a tool for creative expression.
It challenges you to think, feel and respond in familiar, strange, novel or untested ways.
What you can do is limitless.
Draw. Doodle. Paint. Pastel. Ink.
Swear. Pray. Romanticize.
Tear. Cut out. Crumple. Fold. Paste. Mask.
Exclaim. Explain. Solve. Resolve. Answer. Clarify.
Up to you.
No right or wrong.
No black or white.
Only creative expression.
Benefit #4: Clarity
Journaling is excellent to clarify your thoughts, emotions, responses, and behaviors.
As you journal, you gain valuable insights that lead to clarity:
- Clarity about yourself
- Clarity about your situation
- Clarity about future actions and directions.
Clarity about yourself
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my mission in life?
What do I live for?
What am I willing to die for?
What do I love the most?
What pains me?
How do I feel today?
Why do I feel this way?
What am I scared of?
Who are the most significant people in my life?
What do I want to be 5, 10 or 20 years from now?
What have I achieved?
What have I become?
These are some popular journaling prompts that would help you understand yourself at a much deeper level.
To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. ~Jo Coudert, Advice From A Failure
Clarity about your situation
Journaling is a wonderful way to understand the world that surrounds you.
It can help clarify events, problems, circumstance, and options as well as people influencing your life.
When you’re beset with a mind full of fuzzy, disconnected thoughts flitting here and there, journaling would:
- reveal helpful and self-defeating patterns
- keep you focused on what’s relevant and important
- give you a broader view and understanding of the situation
- clarify your goals and objectives
- provide you answers to recurring questions
- offer you options and alternatives.
Clarity about your actions and directions
As you understand things better, you also gain a clearer view of actions, solutions and directions to take to deal with whatever confronts you.
You’re able to carve out a more defined and definitive roadmap for your future.
Benefit #5: Self-esteem and Confidence
Self-esteem is feeling proud, satisfied, confident, accepting and respectful of your abilities and worth.
Keeping a journal boosts your self-esteem.
When you regularly write in your journal, you keep tab of your progress:
- how much effort you invest to achieve your goals
- how you fire back when you experience setbacks
- how you emerge victorious despite challenges.
You track how close you are to achieving your dreams.
You reaffirm the benefits you are achieving as you get closer to your goals.
You see yourself in a new light as you see how much you have transformed.
Even when you don’t always succeed, you realize that you are worth more than gold.
It doesn’t matter what others say.
You accept yourself warts and all, believe in yourself and take pride in who you are.
Benefit #6: Positive Mindset and Energy
When you write your journal, you release negative thoughts and emotions that block your view of things and approach in life.
Without these impairing blocks, you gain a new pair of eyes.
You see things in a positive light.
You open up yourself to new possibilities.
You respond differently.
Life has more meaning and you approach it with more life.
Benefit #7: Memory Recall
You’ll be amazed at how much you forget.
When your memory fails you, your journal is there.
Among other things, it would remind you of:
- contact information
- program of exercise
- debt to settle
- income to collect.
Over time, your journal becomes a valuable catalog of memories that you can look at for years to come.
Benefit #8: Healing
Journaling is an excellent tool to clear the mind of clutter and manage thought patterns that adversely affect your well-being.
A significant number of people overlook an important health discovery that even seemingly random thoughts hold powerful energy. This energy seeks and finds an outlet to express itself.
What you think, believe and feel eventually manifests itself in many different ways; mostly, negatively, by way of lethargy, boredom, depression, sickness and, worst, death.
Journaling is a positive first step to deal with negativity. By writing on your journal especially on a regular basis, you:
- understand yourself beyond the superficial level;
- find out what wears you down
- are able to redirect sneaky self-sabotagers
- improve your general well-being.
These process helps stimulate and boost hormones (also called happy hormones) that make you live life in a different light.
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. ~Hippocrates
Benefit #9: Data, Insights and Applied Learning
When you journal, you record information in real time:
When you journal, you record information in real time:
- blood pressure
- type and amount of food taken
- time and duration of sleep
- activities done
- projects accomplished
- income and expenses
- and more.
Over time, you accumulate a significant amount of data for multiple uses.
One day to collect the scattered fragments of myself, and give them symmetry, wholeness and use. ~Muriel Strode (1875-1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
How important is your baseline data?
What good does it do for you?
What do you make of it?
There are a number of things you can do with it, such as:
- get insights on thought, emotional and behavioral patterns, shifts and trends
- see changes, progressions, and transformations taking place over time
- get answers to questions
- track and verify progress against set goals, plans or programs
- derive observations, findings, conclusions, plans, and actions
- define measures or adjustments to take
- respond to changing situations on a timely basis.
Data for improved decision-making
Once you realize the value of your insights, things begin to shift in the way you think, feel and behave.
Journaling offers this opportunity for personal growth and development.
Data for product creation
Browse your journals and see endless possibilities of products to create and sell:
- book of poems, prayers, and affirmations
- children’s storybooks
- typography of memorable quotes
- blog posts
- floral designs for fabric
You name what else.
The list is endless.
Data for planning
When you have solid data to work with, you may define what you want and come up with a plan for it.
Your plan would include:
- expected outputs
- people or expertise involved
- resources needed
- among others.
I’ve been keeping a journal for decades and have experienced first-hand what it can do to me; so, if you ask me why I should keep a journal, I have all these 9 reasons to tell.
How about you?
What benefits have you gotten from journaling?
I would love to learn how journaling has changed or enriched you. Go ahead, share with us below.