Some people already keep a journal or diary. Some have kept them all their lives. Others think they’re only for little children – “Dear Diary, I think Tanner likes me!” – is not what we’re talking about it. An adult journal can be anything you want it to be. It can be about your day, in specifics. It can be thoughts you had throughout the day or reflective thoughts. It can be poetry or free prose.
It can be grocery lists and meal planning. Or it can be a combination of all of these things. Journaling can be a way to let stuff go, to remember things, to try to make sense of things, or a number of other descriptions. It’s up to you, but here are five reasons why you should do whatever your version of keeping a journal is.
#1- Strengthen Your Self-Discipline
Whatever you decide to use your journal for, you can use it to strengthen your self-discipline by setting aside a specific time every day to write in your journal and then following through with it. How does this help you? Habits formed in one area of your life tend to bleed over into other areas, meaning, you will become better at maintaining self-discipline in other areas, such as keeping up with Yoga or completing work assignments in a more timely manner. You’ll be surprised at the healthy habits of discipline that will follow.
#2- Achieve More Goals
Journaling often involves writing about hopes and dreams. It isn’t that far of a stretch to include goals as well. Writing down goals signals to your brain that this is important. In addition, seeing your goals written down and having to report on your progress daily can really do all in the way of motivation. Some people keep a journal when trying to lose weight, keeping track of what they eat, the amount, which exercises they did, how long, amount of weight loss (or gained) and it really helps those who are honest about their reporting. It also helps pinpoint trouble areas as well.
#3- Help You to Let Go
Writing in your journal is also a good way to let go of things. When things hurt your feelings or make you mad, write about it. Even if you write about several days (or weeks) in a row, you will feel relief each time you let it out. In addition, you can also use your journal as a learning experience of how you react to certain stimuli. By keeping track of dramatic events, or just things that make you feel some type of way, you can also keep track of how you react and if needed, make changes. You’ll be surprised at how much more you notice when it’s written down.
#4- Improve Your Communication Skills
One way to kick this up a notch is if you’re trying to learn a new language to write it in the new language. The more you learn, the better your journal entries will become. This also works in your native language as well. As you continue to write, albeit to yourself, you will learn how to tidy up your writing, making it sound and flow better. In turn, this will also aid your verbal skills as well. It’s kind of like practicing putting your words together.
#5- It Will Help You Heal
No matter what it is that you’ve gone through, psychologically, physically, or emotionally, writing will help you heal. Stress and anxiety often are the result of holding things in, over-thinking situations, or just going through them, to begin with. Not only does writing help to sort out how you feel about it, but it also helps you to learn to let it go as well. Journal’s don’t discriminate; they can help everyone.