“You should start journaling!”
We’ve all heard this advice before. When the going gets tough, family members, friends, and therapists alike suggest maintaining a journal. Journaling is all the rage online, too, especially with the rise of BUJO influencers who are so insanely creative in how they express their thoughts and ideas.
It might make us roll our eyes, but the people in our lives are right when they suggest we start journaling. However, it is rare that people ever take the time to unpack exactly why journaling is so beneficial. If you’re skeptical about the powers of journaling, this article is for you.
1. Journaling gives you the space and time to reflect.
This is the most obvious power of the journal. Whenever I sit down to journal, I start by simply documenting what I did that day. As I go through the day’s events, I tend to reflect on moments that were really good and others that frustrated me. Journaling really does provide a safe space for you to process complex emotions through writing, almost as if you were having a conversation with yourself.
2. Your journal is yours and yours alone.
No one will ever read what you write, so there’s no need to worry about writing your experiences in a way that makes sense to someone else. You also don’t have to censor yourself or a situation to appease others. If you need to get mad, get mad! If you want to gush about a new crush, go for it! No one can judge you.
Likewise, you can also choose how you journal. Some people enjoy keeping a physical notebook for journaling purposes, while others (like me) would rather type out journal entries on a safe website/app like Morning Pages.
3. You can write about whatever you want.
This is similar to the points above, but your journal doesn’t always have to be dedicated to daily reflections. You may be more interested in keeping a fitness journal or a journal dedicated to daily intentions or goals. Journals are a beautiful thing because they’re flexible and easily cater to your needs, whatever those may be.
4. It’s eye-opening to look back at past entries.
Over the summer, I went through a really difficult time which is ultimately what prompted me to begin journaling. A lot of my initial entries were really negative and reflected the bad headspace I was in, but over time, I’ve watched my journal entries take on a more positive light. Although it can be difficult to see our inner growth, journals provide the opportunity to recognize how far we’ve come on a cognitive and emotional level.
I know maintaining a journal can be difficult, but I highly recommend that everyone take up this practice. It is the first step in deepening the connection you have with yourself and the world around you.
(Photos courtesy of Unsplash.com)