Sometimes, there are certain things only we understand. There are experiences, feelings, ideas, and emotions that we want to only keep to ourselves. At times like these, comes to our rescue, a journal. Most of us maintain a diary or journal of sorts, which no one but we are allowed to access. These journals are a safe haven for many of us, where we come running to after a long day. And for most of us, these journals are the only things that truly know us.
Journals can be about anything- our daily life, our dreams, our bucket list, or our travel experiences. The only thing common here is that all these journals enclose in their pages our innermost thoughts, feelings, and emotions. And trust me, there are many benefits of maintaining a daily journal. It is not just therapeutic, but also an outlet for our innermost feelings. Almost 90% of the most successful people in this world make it a point to maintain a daily journal. And here is why you should too-
It relieves stress
Many a time, we find ourselves unable to vent our feelings to someone after a long hectic day. When we are suffocating in our own anxiety and helplessness, this journal comes to our rescue. You can write down all your frustrations without feeling self-conscious in a journal. And once you have done that, you feel lighter and better. Writing in a journal is similar to confiding in a very close friend. Just how you feel better after talking to a friend about your feelings and your anxieties, you feel better after writing in a journal too.
Helps you introspect yourself
When your feelings are in black and white on a paper, you are forced to see yourself objectively. You see yourself like how an outsider does, and your perspectives change. When you pen down your innermost thoughts and read them again, you pass judgments on yourself as someone else would. This way, you introspect yourself better and identify yourstrengths and weaknesses more easily. When you analyze yourself with the help of a journal, you aren’t biased or indecisive. Introspection and self-reflection become a lot easier with the help of a journal.
You become more optimistic
Yes, you actually do. The more you pen your negative thoughts, the freer your mindbecomes. This way you make space for positive thoughts to enter your mind and occupy it. Not just this, it is just human nature to want to always be around positivity. No one wants to be unhappy or depressed.
Everyone, by default, seeks happiness. When you read your own negative thoughts, you subconsciously start thinking optimistically, just so that what you write on paper is positive. You will think positively just because you don’t want to read sad words in your journal. This is a sort of psychological manipulation of your brain– writing a negative thought down makes you think more positively.
Improves your writing skills
Practice makes a man perfect. The more consistent you are with your journal, the more you hone your writing skills. Good writing skills are a prime requirement in almost all professional fields. Maintaining a daily journal is like giving yourself a lesson in creative writing. Journal writing allows a free flow of thought, and this flow shows when you pen down exactly what you think.
Once you start writing and are consistent, you will see your writing becoming more organized and efficient. To describe your own feelings, you will start using words you didn’t even know existed in your personal vocabulary. With all these things, your writing skills will improve tremendously. And who knows, one day you will be writing novels and blogs in place of journals!
You get better acquainted with yourself
The human brain thinks in bits and pieces. Our minds are like restless monkeys, jumping from one thought to the next in a nanosecond. Sometimes, we are unable to decide who we are, and what we want. The disorganization of your thoughts plays a big role in this. So when you write a journal, you are just organizing your thoughts on paper. This way, you can better understand your feelings and emotions, and get better acquainted with yourself.
Reading your own journal makes you realize things about yourself that you never knew. You recognize patterns in your behavior, and you get to know what makes you happy or sad. It becomes easier to pinpoint the reasons for your thoughts and behaviors because your innermost feelings are on display for you to introspect, evaluate, and learn about.
Acts as motivation
When you maintain a daily journal, you are leaving an account of your daily life. You write about your achievements and your weaknesses. When you are feeling demotivated, just flip through the pages of your journal. You will come across many instances where you achieved something, got a flattering compliment, or did something admirably nice.
You will also come across instances where you managed to do something you didn’t believe you could. And these instances will motivate you, give you the boost of confidence you need. Even the weaknesses you have written about will motivate you to work to overcome them. All you have to do is be consistent with your journal and read backward when you are low or demotivated.
Like I said above, journal writing allows a free flow of thoughts. When your thoughts are flowing freely, your brain is working faster and with more clarity. It’s like allowing your brain to think and come up with new ideas. Journal writing gives you the freedom to let your imagination run wild.
You can write about your craziest ideas, your innermost feelings, your opinions about anything under the sun. By doing this, you are unlocking the door leading to your super amazing creative self. You can access new ideas and theories hidden somewhere in your brain by writing your thoughts down. Then you can analyze these ideas, refine them, and surprise yourself with how brilliant you actually are.
You make better decisions
Writing in journals is proven to have amazing therapeutic benefits for you. It also calms you down, channels and organizes your thoughts, and helps you put things into perspective. When you have written your jumbled thoughts down and look through them as a third person, you make better decisions. By reading your thoughts instead of thinking about them, you see things more objectively. Thus, you are less likely to let your internal biases hinder your decision-making.
Writing things down helps you analyze the pros and cons better, and helps you think clearly. When you start thinking more clearly and objectively, you gain perspective. And by gaining perspective and proper analysis, you are more likely to reach a better decision. So when in doubt about which road to take, write your thoughts down and then evaluate what you truly desire.
I am not saying that maintaining a daily journal is the solution to all your problems. It is just an outlet for your thoughts, and a way to give them some direction. Journals channel and organize your higgedly-piggedly thoughts, and save you from crumbling under the burden of your own thoughts. We are normal humans and don’t have magical tools like Dumbledore’s Pensieve to put our thoughts in. But a daily journal is definitely the closest thing to this magical tool. So do go ahead and give it a try, and trust me you will not regret it.