Do you keep a diary? The last time you’ve had one could have been when you were a little girl. But that doesn’t mean diaries are childish. In fact, journaling has many benefits, especially when ‘adulting’ becomes difficult. So go grab that pretty notepad you bought but didn’t want to ruin by using it! Now you have the perfect reason to start writing in it.
Benefits of keeping a journal
Process past events
Are you like me? Do you sometimes lay in bed at night going over incidents and events that took place hours, days, months or even years ago? Tossing and turning while you overthink every little detail, is not good for your mental health. By keeping a journal, it allows you to work through your feelings on past events and lets you reread previous entries and see how you are dealing with the memories of those events.
Highlight your feelings
If you are struggling with negative emotions, the self-awareness that journaling gives you can help you highlight these negative thought patterns. By recognizing these patterns, you can slowly work on ways to change to a more positive mindset. It can be so difficult to see certain thought patterns when we are in the middle of them, but by delving deep into our journal, we can identify the triggers and habits that are holding us back.
Helps you with commitment
For some people, they use their diary as a place to commit to their goals. Writing down your goals helps you visualize exactly where you want your life to go. By making a commitment and writing down the goals you have, you are making a declaration to yourself that you can revisit anytime you need to.
Understand other people’s motives
When you are journaling, it gives you the chance to understand the wider context of what you are experiencing. Part of this is letting you see how other people are interacting with you and what possible motives they have. If you are having issues with a toxic person in your life, journaling your interactions with them may help you shine some light on why that person is acting like they are.
Recognize things to be grateful for
By keeping a diary and writing in every day something that you are grateful for, this can help you generate a gratitude mindset. There will be some days that you might struggle to think of a single good thing to be thankful for, but forcing yourself to really look at your life and see the good is what this exercise is all about!
Record significant moments
It’s amazing how quickly you forget things. We think with social media that all those photos we put up online will be our memories. However, do those photos tell the whole story? Photos of your graduation will never articulate the sense of accomplishment you felt as you put on your robes. By journaling the various significant and insignificant moments in your life, you are creating a memory bank that social media can never rival.
Improve your communication skills
It’s probably been a while since you last did a writing exercise (and no, a rant on Instagram doesn’t count!) By journaling regularly you will find it easier to articulate your thoughts as you become familiar with the way your thought process works. This will help you when you want your voice to be heard at the next work meeting. Also regularly journaling will improve your ‘writing muscle’, something that may have been underutilised since you left school/college.
Do you keep a diary? What benefits have you found from journaling? We’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.