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With a simple Google search, we get a glimpse of the benefits of journaling: it can improve mental health, boost creativity, help achieve goals, etc… There seem to be countless reasons why people journal and why it is so popular. However, in this article, I wish to give a more personalized reason on why I recommend journaling for everyone by sharing my five strongest motives for journaling.

  1. It helps you objectify your fears and concerns

Sometimes fears and problems in life can feel overwhelming and deteriorating when in reality, they are not as dramatic as it feels. A simple act of writing down our current fears and worries can help us feel better. It allows us to identify the source of our problems and recognize that things may not be as bad as how it feels at the moment. Evaluating the situation objectively through writing helps reduce anxiety and allows us to focus on what we can do at the moment.

  1. It helps you rid negative feelings through executing them

I have noticed that I ironically tend to journal more on a bad day. The reason is simple. Letting go of negative feelings by writing them down in a place I know no one will read, feels good. Journaling provides a personal space where we can relieve stress and negativity by executing them through words.

  1. It helps you learn more about yourself

The part I love most about journaling is the process of learning about myself by writing my ideas and feelings onto paper. Through self-reflection, we can better understand why we feel and act in a certain way. This self-discovery helps us embrace ourselves as is and become more conscious of our passions and motives.

  1. It helps you remember better.

Nowadays, people use photos and videos to record moments and look back to the past. However, when we journal, we are not only recording what we ate, where we went, and who we met. We are also recording our thoughts and feelings, things that often get overlooked and forgotten over time. The process of writing itself helps us remember the day and our feelings better. Journaling is a vivid way to remind us that we have lived through those moments in the past.

  1. It helps you live in the present moment.  

When we are too busy chasing after our future, deadlines, dreams, or whatever it is, countless days pass by unrecorded and unappreciated. It is easy for us to forget that life is about living rather than simply existing. It becomes harder for us to recognize the present moment as we are too focused on worrying about the future, thinking about what is next. This is why I believe taking time (even if it is only 5 minutes) out of our 24 hour day to simply stop and reflect is important. It can truly make a difference in our lives. Overall, journaling can help us live in the present moment where we can recognize and reflect on our current state of being.

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Iris Choi

UCSD '23

Hello! I'm Iris. At school, I am a cognitive science student who studies interaction design with the aspiration to become a UX/product designer. Aside from school and work, I like talking with friends, reading good novels, going to new cafes, watching classic movies, admiring bts, painting without thinking, randomly going to the beach, and so much more…
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