why you should journal


Did you keep a diary when you were young? I recall having a cute pink book with a mini lock and I would write down my daily happenings at elementary school like drama with friends and crushes on boys. But now as an adult, how to journal?

Journaling as an adult is a therapeutic way to express your innermost thoughts and emotions. For just 10 to 20 minutes a day, writing down your thoughts on paper (or even typed out) can have many benefits. Some people swear by journaling to manage stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and set new goals. So how to journal and why it’s good for you? Let’s get into it.

How to journal and why it’s good for you

If you aren’t convinced that journaling could be a healthy habit for you, consider the not-so-comforting alternatives. You could keep all your thoughts and ideas jumbled up in your mind. That alone seems a bit overwhelming, but the reality is that it can leave you unfocused and distracted for most of the day.

Anxiety and depression may remain a constant in your life and can worsen, if that is something that you are struggling with. With no creative outlet, you may feel stifled or just like you are constantly in a funk. That’s exhausting!

Often, people decide to journal for multiple reasons – and end up finding several benefits once they get started. Here are some common reasons why people like to journal every day and how to journal:

Set (and achieve) goals – 2 in 1!

Write down all the short-term and long-term goals you hope you achieve in your journal. This keeps them in one place to refer back to as needed.

Journal a plan for each goal with specific steps and deadlines to meet. These details can be very enlightening to your mental health and keep you motivated to move forward in life. There’s no better feeling than looking back and seeing the progress physically, but also being able to cross out goals once you’ve achieved them!

Journaling helps you track your progress and growth

No matter what the goals are that you are striving to accomplish, journaling can help you monitor your progress. Did you lose 5 pounds in the last month? Discuss how you did it in your journal. Feel less depressed over a bad situation? Do a brain dump of your feelings on that and why you think you’re growing and healing.

Seeing how far you have come overtime is very uplifting and oftentimes snowballs into more growth. You can go back and read over your progress and reflect on it in future journal entries.

Record your big ideas through journaling

If your mind is full of things you want to do, you need to get them down on paper! Your journal can be a great resource for lists that you can later look back on. Make a list of places you’d like to travel to, create a 30 before 30 bucket list, or just jot down your favorite motivational quotes for future inspiration. Vision boards are all the rage, why not make a mini one you can refer to in your journal?

Evaluate your day-to-day life through your journal

If you feel like you could be more productive with your days, journal your daily routine for an entire week. This allows you to see where your time is being spent. With this information, you can revamp your daily routines for a more productive lifestyle. Maybe you spend time on something that doesn’t have value to you the way it used to. Swap this for something you’re more passionate about. Create a habit and routine and do this regularly to continue working on being the best YOU you can be.

Improve your communication skills by journaling

Sometimes it is difficult for us to verbally say how we are feeling. The words just don’t seem to come when we are talking with a trusted friend or family member, even if we do want to share.

Some people find it easier to communicate their thoughts by writing them out. Journaling regularly can help you improve on your communication with others. The more you find the words to explain how you feel, the easier it gets to share.

Alongside this, it becomes a good and healthy outlet when you feel there is no one to turn to.

Manage your problems and find solutions through your journal

When problems live only in our mind, they can be dangerous. They may feel bigger than they are and take away mental focus we need for other areas of our lives.

By journaling, you can get the issues out of your head and onto paper. Then, you can brainstorm ways to solve the problems. Lightening the burden on your mind allows for clarity to easily find solutions to things that are bothering you.

Journaling reduces anxiety and depression

Journaling has been known to greatly help those that suffer from anxiety and/or depression. When your daily thoughts are out on paper, you can begin to notice triggers that cause you to feel a certain way. This way, you can keep progress in overcoming those anxieties and also avoiding situations that give you unnecessary anxiety.

Maybe you have a fear of public speaking but have to talk in work meetings regularly. Left in your mind, the fear can blossom into anxiety that cripples you anytime you have to talk to someone you don’t know well. Having it constantly on your mind can grow the anxiety, making it worse rather than rationalizing and overcoming it.

On the other hand, identifying what is causing your anxiety and how it makes you feel lets you come up with possible solutions. You can practice speaking in front of your friends or even the bathroom mirror.

Journaling is a creative outlet for your mind

Sometimes journaling can just be a way to express yourself in a creative sense. Not everyone has the knack for drawing or creating visually artistic works. Getting creative through the written word may be more your speed.

Use your journal to share stories or create funny characters. If you’re struggling with what to write, or are experiencing writer’s block, one quick google search can give you hundreds of amazing prompts. Whatever strikes you to pick up your pen and write, use that!

As you can see, there are many great reasons you should start journaling. If nothing else, it gives you a place to put down your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and dreams. The more you do it, the more you still start to reap the benefits of your writing habit.

How to journal and why journaling is good for you