Ask anyone who uses their journal every day and they will tell you about the numerous benefits they’ve noticed.
Even for those who don’t get the opportunity to journal every day will tell you that when they do, they always feel so much better for it.
So what’s the secret?
Can writing out your thoughts and journaling every day really make that much of a difference?
The reasons people choose to start journaling vary greatly from just needing to get their thoughts out, or trying to process their emotions, through to using it to help them achieve their goals, or create a new habit.
Your reasons for wanting to start journaling every day are less important than the habit you create and practice you have of journaling regularly.
Why Should You Journal?
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, then the idea of journaling has at the very least crossed your mind.
If you aren’t convinced that journaling could be a healthy habit for you, consider what you want to change in your life, and ask if you believe journaling could help.
If you’re struggling to process your thoughts, 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.
Journaling can help you organise your thoughts in a more logical way. Sometimes even just getting your thoughts down on paper can help.
Journaling can also be a great creative outlet, even if you don’t believe you’re a great writer.
So many people have been told at some point in their life that they’re not good at writing (2nd grade teacher anyone??) so they avoid things like journaling for fear of not being ‘good’ enough.
But here’s the thing – journaling is for you.
No one else has to read it, it doesn’t even need to make sense. The power is in the process more than in the actual words you write.
Below are some common reasons why people like to journal every day.
Often, people decide to journal for multiple reasons – and end up finding several benefits once they get started.
1 – Journaling Help You To Set And Achieve Your Goals
We all have goals in life, but sometimes these goals can be difficult for us to articulate.
We may have a general idea of what we want, but without getting specific, it’s hard to actually take steps to achieving these goals.
You could simply 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.
You might even want to take things up a step and journal a plan for each goal with specific steps and deadlines to meet.
You could literally use your journal as an action plan for achieving your goals.
Alternatively, you could use a series of journaling prompts designed specifically for goal setting to help you understand your goals, what you want to achieve (and why, because that is important too), and give you insight into how you can actually turn these goals into a reality in your life.
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!
2 – Journaling Can Help You Track Your Progress And Growth
Regardless of the goals you are striving to accomplish, journaling can help you monitor your progress and keep you motivated to keep going.
Did you hit your savings goal?
Discuss how you did it in your journal and what that has meant for you, do you feel less stress, or more secure because of it?
Are you feeling more clarity over a situation you have recently navigated? Do a brain dump of your feelings on that and why you think you’re growing and healing.
Seeing how far you have come over time is very uplifting and oftentimes snowballs into more growth.
One of the aspects that helps with continuation of growth is being able to reflect on where you were, where you are now, and what steps you took to get there.
You can also go back and read over your progress later and reflect on it in future journal entries. It’s really excited to have an account of how far you’ve come.
3 – Journaling Can Help You Keep Track Of Your Ideas
If your mind is anything like mine, it’s like there’s a million tabs open at any time and half of them are ideas of things you want to do, places you want to go, businesses you want to start, books you want to write, projects you want to complete… there’s so much.
If your mind is full of things you want to do, you need to get them down on paper! Keeping all of those ‘tabs’ open in your mind is exhausting.
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 favourite motivational quotes for future inspiration.
You could even make it more of a visual style journal with artwork or create a vision board you can refer to in your journal.
4 – Journaling Can Help You Evaluate Your Life
Journaling can be a great way to evaluate what you’re already doing in your life, and find ways you could do things more effectively
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, and what ‘leaks’ of time in your day could be fixed.
With this information, you may even be able to revamp your daily routines for a more productive lifestyle, and make your days work for you.
Maybe you spend time on something that doesn’t have value to you the way it used to. Perhaps your feelings towards your job have changed.
Or maybe you’re spending time doing things that just don’t bring you joy. Journaling can help you figure this out.
You can use this process for almost any area in your life, and journaling every day can help you to evaluate all aspects, helping you to really reap the benefits that come with personal development and taking control of your life.
5 – Journaling Can Help You Improve Your Communication Skills
For some people, verbalising how we feel, or our thoughts, is just not as simple as being able to write them down (and for some it’s the opposite – but you can do voice recordings of journals too!).
Journalling allows you to communicate your thoughts without having to actually share them with anyone else.
With practice, like you would get from journaling every day, you’ll become more proficient with your ability to communicate, you’ll be able to arrange your thoughts easier, drill down on things that are important to you faster, and generally improve your communication skills.
Even if the person you’re communicating with is yourself.
The big benefit here though is that this improvement in communication can translate to your daily life too – allowing you to be better at communicating with others.
All from journaling for yourself.
6 – Journaling Can Help You Manage Problems And Find Solutions
When problems live only in our mind, they can be all consuming and they may feel bigger than they actually are.
These problems can take away our mental focus and can increase anxiety and stress in our lives.
This is one the of the reasons why journaling every day is often recommended for people who experience anxiety or stress.
Because the benefits of journaling can be so simple that they literally just allow your mind to realise the thoughts aren’t quite so overwhelming when writing down.
By journaling, you can get the issues you’re processing out of your head and onto paper. This often alone can be enough.
But you can then take it another step and can brainstorm ways to solve the problems.
Lightening the burden on your mind allows for clarity which means you can more easily find solutions to things that are bothering you, and free up space in your mind for more enjoyable things.
7 – Journaling Can Reduce Anxiety And Depression
Journaling has been widely used as a tool to greatly help those that suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
It is often suggested as a part of a treatment plan for those who are processing their anxiety, and can be used as a stress-management tool.
When you journal every day and you put your daily thoughts onto paper (or a computer screen – it still works), you can begin to notice patterns and 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.
Perhaps you’re feeling anxiety build up about parenting, or about your role at work.
You may not even realise what it is that is triggering your anxiety, but you’re noticing you’re more stressed, more snappy, and your mind is often cluttered with overthought.
By journaling every day, even if you’re simply recounting what has happened that day, and how you felt about it, you’ll be able to notice trends and triggers, or you may even find your anxiety creeping up as you write about a specific event.
This simple practice can give you so much insight and lead to so many mental health benefits.
8 – Journaling Can Be Your Creative Outlet
Sometimes journaling can just be a way to express yourself in a creative sense.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write, but weren’t sure what to write about, journalling can help you develop a writing habit.
Or maybe writing isn’t your jam, but you still want to journal.
You can journal with pictures, you can draw, you can find images from Pinterest that tell your story, you can be artistic.
You can even journal by recording yourself speaking, or on video.
Tell stories, tell your story, speak about what’s happening, what you’re grateful for.
You don’t have to share these with anyone if you don’t want to – you can simply use this journaling space as your own creative outlet.
9 – Journaling Can Just Be Fun
So many of us just don’t have enough fun in our lives.
Journaling can be fun – it doesn’t have to be insightful, you don’t have to write all deep and meaningful emotions. You can simply have fun with it.
Write jokes, write out the funniest things you can remember, write stories, make it all up – have fun with it!
There are no rules for journaling, but if you’ve committed to journal every day, then I challenge you to stick with it.
Even if it’s just for a month, and then look back and evaluate the benefits you feel have applied to you.
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.