Today is a special day. I have a treat for you! This weeks post will be by my first ever guest blogger Skye!
Making the decision to start keeping a journal is probably the smartest decision I’ve ever made. (Which doesn’t mean I make terrible decisions, I promise!) Journaling has SO many benefits, and there are so many good reasons to do it that a part of me doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it! Journaling is this wonderful tool that has so many amazing purposes, and it truly fills your heart and soul. Today I want to share with you a few of the many benefits journaling has.
Journaling helps you clear your mind
Your journal is yours, and yours only. You can write anything you want in it, without ever having to worry about someone judging your thoughts. When you take every thought in your brain and dump it out in a way that you can come back to later without forgetting, analyze, problem solve, think etc. I can’t tell you how much clearer your mind feels! Your brain no longer has to keep everything inside of it. Everything is written down and you can come back to it anytime you want.
Journaling helps you see the big picture
Sometimes, we tend to focus on the little things. The day-to-day type things. When you journal consistently over a long period of time, it helps you get a much clearer picture of yourself, your life, your problems, and the people in your life. You can see how everything is changing (or remaining the same) page by page, week by week, month by month.
Journaling lets you see and document change and growth
Journaling over a period of time also helps you see the changes in your life, and in other people. I look back on old journal entries all the time. I’m taken back to that time. I can see how things used to be. I can see how they were a little while ago. And I can see where I’m at now. School is a great thing to journal about. Another great thing to journal about are friendships. Especially new, and broken ones. It can be really insightful to jot down your feelings and your interactions every day and notice how they change over the months.
One thing I’ve also done is documented my experience learning how to drive. Right now, I am gaining confidence and getting really good at it. But when I first started, I was terrified at thought of going more than 10mph. Now, it’s easy to go 35-45mph! And I almost forgot about it, and all my initial struggles, until I reread old journal entries!
Journaling gives you a glimpse into the past
Journaling is also something I really like to do right after a really important/serious/deep conversation I have with someone. I write down EVERY word they said (that I can remember.) And then I go back to it later. There are so many important things that people say, and we forget a lot of them. When you have a written record, it’s a lot harder to forget. In the heat of the moment, we often say things we don’t mean, and then regret later. And sometimes the people we love the most, are the people we end up hurting the most, even if we never meant to.
Journaling can help you figure out how you really feel about someone or something, because it lets you reread your thought process from that moment, and lets you think about where you are now and compare the two. Some of my best memories are written down, and when I reread them, I close my eyes, use my journal to remember every little detail, and it almost feels like I’m being taken back to that moment. I love going down memory lane. I cry rereading the fights, laugh rereading the jokes, and smile rereading the happy memories. Because I would NEVER be able to remember every little detail if I hadn’t written them all down.
Journaling has proven health benefits
Did you know that journaling also has many proven healthy benefits? Studies have shown that journaling reduces stress, sparks your creativity, improves your self-confidence & communication skills, evokes mindfulness and even can stretch your IQ! So not only is it free therapy and great for your mental health, it also helps with your physical health!
Journaling is often used in medical settings as well! Patients with depression are often asked to journal to help them learn to see their negative vs. positive thoughts and see progress they’ve made with treatment. Patients with anxiety are often asked to journal about what they think might trigger their anxiety attacks. And patients with eating disorders are often asked to journal to help them identify and challenge unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs regarding food and weight, work on finding and practicing healthier coping mechanisms, and improving their self-esteem.
It’s great to have to go back and reread years later
If you were to ask me what I could do for hours and hours and never get bored, I would without a doubt say rereading my old journal entries! There is nothing more time-consuming or thought-provoking than going back and rereading you journals. It gives you a chance to relive your past, laugh at your younger self, and all the crazy stuff you and your friends did! (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this!) To enjoy the parts that were good, and to learn from the parts that were hard.
It helps you remember every little detail, and helps you see what worked and what didn’t. Who was really there for your and who wasn’t. All these amazing little things from your life that I’m sure you would have forgotten about, are all written down in this safe place you can keep forever, and read weeks, months or even years later!
It teaches you self-discipline
Journaling consistently has taught me self-discipline that I don’t know I would have learned any other way. When you make a promise to yourself that you are going to journal every single day, you become self disciplined. You never skip a day. No matter how sick, tired, or how much your hand hurts. I’ve journaled from 12am-5:30am in the morning, and wouldn’t stop because I knew I wanted to write down everything that had happened down, and that by morning, I would forget some of the little details. I even journaled with headaches when all I wanted to do was sleep. I’ve journaled when I was sick. And I’ve journaled on the tile of a tiny hotel bathroom, because I refused to miss a single day. I’ve journaled through finals. And because journaling has taught me self-discipline, and how to consistently do something, even when I don’t always want to.
Okay, have I convinced you that you need to start keeping a journal? Great! I would recommend going to Target, or Walmart, picking out the most beautiful journal that catches your eye (don’t be afraid to spend a little more money for something nice, it will make you way more likely to use it if you love it!) and a package of pens (I always recommend journaling in ink, so that you can never erase anything. If you make a spelling mistake or something, just cross it out.)
Pick pens that A) You truly love the color(s) of, and B) Are comfortable to write with. Again, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra, this is an investment in your future happier self, and I promise its worth every penny! Start writing every day(I typically journal at night.) I’d recommend a page a day in the beginning and you can go from there! Make sure you journal every day if possible!
Do you keep a journal or have any questions or comments? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi there! My name is Skye, I’m a student at MU High, and I’m a lifestyle blogger over at Everything Beyond My Skye! I live in the midwest with my family. I love cats, quotes, pop music, Starbucks, card making, glitter, photography, craft projects, Harry Potter, knitting/crocheting, running my own Etsy business, and being a blogger! My favorite quote is “People will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That, or the one about how you should judge a person’s character not by how they treat their loved ones, but by how they treat their enemies. I think those are great words, and I strive to live by them. If you liked this post and want and you want to check out my blog, you can do so at Everything Beyond My Skye
Read last weeks post right here!
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