Did you know that keeping a journal can help you improve your mental health and enhance your personal development?
What if I told you that the most important book you will read in your life isn’t written yet? Well, at least it is not finished yet. This book is your personal journal and its writer is your inner soul that is craving to come out and show itself through the letters on the paper.
Keeping a journal is one of the simplest ways of self-reflection that can also be of great help to increase personal appreciation and awareness. Some of you were keeping a journal in early childhood. Others always wanted to have one but didn’t find the time.
Here are some benefits of keeping a journal and writing down everything that happened to you during each day together with the feeling that those events evoked.
1. It can provide free psychological guidance
One of the main reasons people pay thousands of dollars for psychological help in the UK and the USA is to have the opportunity to talk about their problems and have somebody who would listen. Maintaining a habit of writing a page about your day regularly, be it in the notebook or on the personal website, will give you this opportunity.
Apart from that, soon you will realize that you aren’t just simply stating the actions you’ve lived through, your mind is looking for their reasons and generating lessons for the future. Our body is quite a self-sufficient system. Just give it time plus opportunity and your mind will do most of the work on self-development and personal growth for you.
2. Gives a reason to be grateful and appreciative
How often do you have time to spare for yourself, sit, relax and appreciate what life has given you? There is so much research into the gratitude practices and how being nice is beneficial for our mindset and mood. It’s the little things that make us happy.
So keeping a journal will help you learn the art to notice them. When writing in the journal make a point of pointing out ten (you can begin with three) things that you were thankful for during the day. Then one day you might even want to write a separate letter thanking some of the people in your life. It’s up to you whether to send it or not.
3. Journal writing makes you consistent and responsible
The secret to a good journal is not research or writing skills, but consistency. I found it the hardest to keep up this habit during my student years when there were so many things to do at the same time. But I knew how much it helped me to organize myself.
So treating this as an assignment that is very beneficial for my routine taught me to be responsible both in a professional and personal world.
4. Review your achievements and set new ambitious goals
Κeeping a journal is like you have a great time machine. As every other chapter of your life lies in front of you on the paper, you will be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
A good quality journal often reminds a business proposal. You take what you already have in life, share what you want to do with it and work your way until it is achieved. Sharing your goals with a third-party provider that signed a 100% bulletproof non-disclosure agreement (because paper can’t talk, right?) will make you feel accountable for the execution of your dream.
5. Preserve your ideas
Do you remember your dreams from when you were 12? What if you’ve forgotten about something that once mattered to you? If you are like me, it often happens to me when I’m simply lying in the bed: a brilliant idea runs through my mind and gets me so excited.
If I don’t write it down right away, chances are I will forget about this moment of inspiration and lose one of a kind opportunity to become a world’s leading scientist (or designer, or musician or whatever it is you do in life).
6. It will love you no matter what
Opening up to other people can be hard for various reasons: we are afraid to be judged, we know that many won’t understand us, we don’t want to burden our loved ones with unnecessary trouble or simply are ashamed of what we want to say.
Your journal is a completely different story. No one will judge or even know about it and you can write freely there whatever it is you need to get out of you. You can burn the pages as soon as they are full or keep them in a secure place. This is a place to share your fears, secrets or moments of joy. You won’t believe what kind of clarity and understanding of your own inner processes this will bring.
The benefits of keeping a journal and writing the story of your own life are endless. The only problem you will have with it is keeping to the daily schedule (like in good old student times!) and developing a routine.
Sometimes it might seem like another thing on the long to-do list. But once you get this into your blood system, the understanding and support your diary provides will work as a stress-relief in every situation.
Your journal doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s ok to settle for a draft as long as you are sincere in the feelings you are writing about and the quality of time you are investing in it. Your journal is your second life and it is just as amazing and imperfect as your real one.
And what are your ways of trying to keep track of the life turmoil?