I used to journal as if it were religion. Keeping a journal got me through high school and college. I have notebooks from an amazing semester abroad in Scotland. Many of the notebooks line a shelf in my office. And the shelf is full, but at some point in the row, the books shift from full pages to blank. The blank pages that were once the perfect space for me to express my frustrations, happiness, fear, dreams, or anything else, was forgotten. Pages were left empty, or worse, torn out.
But so much inspiration came from my journals. And I can still open those pages and pages filled with my sloppy handwriting in mostly black ink and feel the energy, the excitement. The sheer emotion that comes with confessing. But journaling is more a private and personal method of expression, it’s journaling is good for your health, body and mind.
Here are 7 reasons why you should be keeping a journal:
1. Journals help you get to know yourself. Your ideals, values, beliefs are cemented when you write them down. You lean more about who you are because journaling makes you think it all through in a solid, tangible, and real way. You are able to be honest with yourself and how you really feel. And when you know how you really feel, then you’ll be able to act on those trusted feelings.
2. A journal is a great problem solver. Something on your mind? Write it out in great detail. Write out the possibilities. Write about how the choices make you feel. Do this first. And when you make your decision, you can make it with confidence knowing that you’ve decided following your conscience and value system.
3. Journaling can help you reach your goals. You can define your goals on the pages of your journal. And even if you think what you write is only for you, making your dreams something tangible in the form of handwriting and paper has this impact on your life. It starts to transform your actions, you thoughts. This simple activity helps you start moving in the direction of your dreams with confidence and strength. That is so powerful.
4. You can see how far you’ve come with a journal. I am sure if I opened up one of my journals from high school, I would cringe. I would hate what I read, and be embarrassed by what worried me. But here’s what I can take away from those journals: I have come so so far. And I have grown so so much since then. When I’m aware of how much I’ve grown and changed, then I am encouraged, inspired even, to keep doing it.
5. Accountability. Accountability. Accountability. Remember back when I told you that you have to tell someone about your goals, that you have to share your plans. Well a journal is a someone too. And writing things down makes them concrete and set in stone. It’s a method to get things done that keeps secrets. But it is a form of accountability, and I love that.
6. Journaling is the perfect stress buster. This is my favorite stress releases, and I don’t know why I’m so slow to pick up a pen these days. Rant. Rave. Say anything you want. Be rude. Be crude. Be angry. A journal is a safe place, and that’s the perfect reason to use it as a stress reducing method. Say what needs to be said in a safe place.
7. Keep a journal and boost your creativity. It doesn’t matter what your writing about, only that you’re writing. There’s power in habit, and if you start keeping your ideas written down and in the same place will mean that your ideas will start to come more easily. Your creativity will flow easier. That is an amazing thing. And inside the pages of your journal will be the most amazing treasure trove of concepts and thoughts for your to go to when you need them.
So are you convinced yet? I am. And for these 30 Days of inspiration (and kind of hopefully forever) I’m turning back to journaling. I’ll be writing a little each day with the hopes of receiving all of these benefits and more. I’ll keep you updated.