Why I've come to love journaling and why you should start

Journaling Photo by My Life Journal from Unsplash

I was never much of a creative writer, but in high school I decided to take a creative writing course. Each day, we would journal for 10 minutes straight. The goal of the free-write was to never let your pen stop moving, so you wrote continuous thoughts. 

Not allowing yourself to overanalyze what you are thinking creates a wonderful freedom while you are writing. After completing this exercise, I realized that I should try implementing a space of freedom of expression like this in my daily life. This is how I began journaling on a weekly basis. 

There are a lot of perks to journaling but one of my favorites has been that it gives me a space where I am free from judgement. I can say whatever I please or express my frustrations without fear that what I say might come back to haunt me. The people pleasing, something natural to a lot of people like myself, goes out the door and you are left with a page full of your honest thoughts. 

I love getting to look back on all of my unedited thoughts and emotions and remind myself of how far I have come. Looking back at how I was feeling in a situation, how frustrated or overwhelmed I was, but knowing that I made it through is extremely encouraging and almost satisfying. 

Some of my favorite parts of journaling are not the only positives of writing without boundaries. Here are a bunch of other opportunities that journaling creates and reasons why you should try journaling yourself. 

Journaling is a great space to help set goals and foster reflection. 

At the beginning of each of my journals, I start off with a page of goals or thoughts I want to reflect on once I have finished the book. The goals can be as broad or as specific as I want, but I find that they are great to look back on. 

The reflection pieces give me a chance to appreciate how much I have learned in the years that I have journalled. Because my journals usually last me about three years, the growth is quite significant. One of my journals spanned from mid-sophomore year of high school and ended partially into my freshman year of college. Journaling during such pivotal moments in your life creates some of the greatest entries to look back on. 

Journaling creates a peaceful place to organize your thoughts.

We all know that the daily pace of life is fast and your thoughts can get jumbled quickly. Journaling at the end of a long or emotional day can help put your thoughts down on paper and give your mind some peace. 

I have also found that journaling at the end of the day can help me think through a situation I am addressing or a problem that I had with another person. Laying out my thoughts can help me resolve a problem or even think about how I want to talk to a person about something. 

Overall, peace comes back into play. Your thoughts are often floating around in your head all day and you can lose track. Journaling puts them all in one place and gives you peace of mind and time to think through everything. 

Unsplash/ Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media

Journaling keeps track of good ideas.

Because I’m a journalism major, new ideas can come at the most random moments. I have found that assuming I will remember my ideas when I sit down to write a paper is a poor assumption. Using a journal as a place to write down notes, inspiration or a source I could use in an article is a way that journals again help organize my life. 

bullet journal with two gold pillar candles Photo by Estée Janssens from Unsplash

Journaling allows you to reflect on hardships, create closure, and move forward. 

Like I said previously, I have journaled throughout some interesting transitions in my life and through some tough hardships. It’s easy to become consumed with problems when you are right in the middle of them. Journaling about frustration can help create closure for that day. 

Then, when you have closed that chapter or found a resolution, you can look back on that struggle and know how capable you are. You can know that you made it through that tough situation, but that it was okay in the end. 

Journaling is the best kind of memory keeper. 

The camera roll on your phone or your Snapchat memories will remind you of memories from a while ago, but they don’t show you necessarily how you were feeling. A journal allows you to remember how you were really feeling, what your thoughts were or what someone said specifically. I will often even add photos to my journal and write a little caption about what was happening. Journaling is a photo album of your thoughts.

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