Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start

Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need Start

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13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start Journaling

Journaling is a proven practice for self-awareness, gratitude, and even creativity. Here are 13 benefits of journaling.

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More and more people are writing in journals every day. But you may be wondering why you need to write in a journal. If you are looking for a way to manage stress, ease anxiety, sleep better, and simply feel better overall, then you NEED to start journaling.

Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start

I started writing in a journal so long ago that I don’t remember what prompted me to start. I’m not even sure if it was something that many people were doing at the time. What I do know, is that I am glad I started.

Journaling has been a way for me to express my innermost thoughts and feelings without concerning myself with what others would think. It was an opportunity to let out anything that was bothering me and not be worried that I might offend someone, or that they would think I was crazy. Once I had my thoughts and feelings recorded on paper, I felt better.

But journaling is not just a vehicle for expressing negative thoughts and emotions, it is so much more than that. Before I start writing about anything, I make a list of some things in my life that I am grateful for. This serves as a simple reminder to me that, even though bad things can happen, I still have a lot to be thankful for and it helps me to keep a positive attitude.

What is Journaling?

Journaling is a form of self-expression that can help you cope with stress, anxiety, sadness, and anger. It is also a wonderful way to help you understand your values and beliefs. It is a great daily habit that, when done regularly, helps you gain perspective on your feelings, can improve your self-esteem, and give you an overall sense of gratitude.

Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start


What Are the Benefits of Writing in a Journal?

There are numerous benefits to journaling however, I decided to share with you what I believe to be the biggest advantages.

Helps to Manage Stress

We all have stress in our lives and journaling is a great way to cope. When you examine your thoughts and write them down, it helps you shift your perspective. A shift in your perspective is all you really need to alleviate the cause of your stress.

It also gives you the opportunity to take a deep breath as you spend a few minutes putting your thoughts and feelings on paper. When you are writing in your journal, you are focused on your feelings and that may be enough to ease tension from the source of your stress.

Keep your journal handy, so that the next time you are feeling stressed, you can take it out and start writing.

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Can Improve Memory

Processing your thoughts through journaling can improve memory and the ability to focus. The simple act of writing your thoughts down on paper boosts your memory and frees up brainpower so you can focus on other things.

I am constantly writing something down. Whether it is a thought or something I need to remember to do later, I write it down. It really does make it easier for me to focus on other things.

Eases Anxiety

Journaling has a calming effect and can help you clear your mind so you will feel less anxious. It is a great way to escape mentally and can help to put things in perspective.

After a time, your journal becomes a great learning tool when you review your entries about past experiences with anxiety. It can help identify negative self-talk and determine the cause of your anxiety. You will gain a better understanding of your struggles which can help ease your symptoms in the future.

Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start


Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Record your goals and track your progress in a journal, it makes a terrific historical record. Writing it down allows you to see the big picture, review your progress and see how much further you need to go.

It is such a good feeling to look back and read about the obstacles you faced and how you overcame them. This serves as an effective tool when faced with future obstacles. You already learned so much and are much better prepared for any new challenges.

Helps Develop Self-Awareness

Merriam-Webster defines self-awareness as “an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality”.

Journaling allows you to gain a better understanding of the things that motivate you and the things that trigger your feelings and actions. It also helps identify negative responses such as anger or sadness so you can try to improve them which leads to enhanced well-being.

Improves Sleep

It is so important to get an adequate amount of sleep every night. It helps your mind and body recharge itself. When you have trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, it can be beneficial to write down your thoughts. A deeper level of cognitive processing is necessary to write your thoughts down on paper than to simply think about them.

If you are worried about all the things you need to accomplish the next day or are concerned about something that happened recently, take out your journal and spend a few minutes capturing your thoughts. The transferring of thoughts from your head to the paper clears your mind allowing you to relax and fall asleep easier.

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Helps Clear Your Mind

Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, get your journal and start writing. Capturing your thoughts on paper will unclutter your mind making more room for clearer thinking. You will be better equipped to deal with anxiety and stress when you can think more clearly.

Whether you choose to write in your journal first thing in the morning or before you turn in for the evening, it can help you plan your day or think about how you will prepare for anticipated demands. In this way, journaling clears your mind so you can focus on other things.

Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need to Start

Helps You Manage Your Emotions

Your emotions are not always obvious. You subconsciously ignore them. Journaling prompts you to give deep thought to your feelings which can be very cathartic. Capturing your emotions on paper helps to release tension and reduce stress.

After some time, when reading back through your entries, you will gain new perspectives. Once you identify thought patterns, you will better understand the factors that influence your feelings and behaviors and are better equipped to process your emotions during difficult times.

Promotes Happiness

Writing a simple list of everything you are grateful for is an easy way to lift your spirits. Making a gratitude list reminds us that there are many positive things in our lives even when we are faced with tough times.

Here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • List two or three good things that happened today
  • Name one or two things that make your life easier
  • Write about a person in your life you are grateful for

Positive Physical Effects

Journaling regularly also has physical benefits. According to a publication in the Cambridge University Press, expressive writing can have positive physical effects such as “illness-related visits to the doctor”.

The publication also reported other benefits such as improvements in blood pressure, liver function, and reduced hospital stays

Improves Communication Skills

If you typically struggle with expressing yourself, journaling can help because it nudges you to put your feelings into words on a page. It is much easier to express yourself in writing than it is verbally.

Over time, taking a few minutes to think about what you want to say and exactly how to say it helps strengthen your communication skills. As you develop your writing skills, your communication skills will also improve.

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Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

Many people subconsciously repeat their toxic behaviors. Your journal can help you shed some light on these behaviors.

When you write in a journal, you start to notice patterns. You can then use these patterns to make changes that can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. However, you must be willing to put forth the effort. You will only get out of it what you put into it.

Promotes Creativity

If there is a problem you need to solve, journaling can help. Getting your thoughts down on paper helps remove barriers that prevent you from thinking clearly to find creative solutions.

There is no need to worry about what others may think of your ideas because you are the only person who will know. You can explore anything that comes to mind no matter how wild or crazy it may seem.Solid Advice for A Successful Career-15 Traits You NeedSolid Advice for A Successful Career-15 Traits You Need

How to Get Started

Maybe you have never written in a journal and are wondering how to get started. Follow a few simple guidelines and before you know it, you will be journaling like you’ve been doing it your entire life.

  • Schedule a time (this can be first thing in the morning or before going to bed-whatever works best for you)
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place free of distractions
  • Grab a pen and notebook or your laptop (manual or electronic journaling is simply a personal preference)
  • Start small by writing for just a few minutes each day
  • Always keep your journal handy so you are ready if you feel like writing
  • Your journal is for your eyes only, so don’t be concerned about what you write
  • Make it a habit
  • Don’t overthink about what to write, just write
  • Use journal prompts if you experience writer’s block (see 21 helpful prompts listed below).

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Journal Prompts

I like to write in my journal first thing in the morning while it is still quiet, and I know won’t be interrupted. I typically start by writing down some of the things I am grateful for. Then I write about anything that happened the previous day and how it made me feel.

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I love going back through my journal months or even years later and rereading some of my entries. Sometimes I wonder why I was so upset and other times the entries give me a reason to smile.

But if you are uncertain what you should write or just have trouble getting started, I’ve put together a list of 21 prompts that will help.

  1. What is your favorite memory from your childhood?
  2. What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
  3. Make a list of things you are grateful for. Nothing is too small. Write down as many as you can think of.
  4. What is your favorite book or movie? Why?
  5. Think of a song that makes you feel good. What is it about this song that lifts your spirits? The beat? The message?
  6. Identify your greatest fear. Then write a letter to it and tell it to take a hike.
  7. List some positive traits about yourself.
  8. What was the best place you ever visited? How does it make you feel when you think about it today?
  9. Write down 3 things that are the most important to you and why.
  10. Identify the person that was a good role model growing up. How has this person impacted your life today?
  11. Write down a few inspirational quotes that are meaningful to you.
  12. Write an apology letter to yourself and then forgive yourself.
  13. If you could visit any place in the entire world, where would it be and why?
  14. List one or two of your biggest accomplishments and write down how it makes you feel.
  15. What would the perfect day be for you?
  16. Name one positive thing that happened to you today/yesterday.
  17. List at least 5 things that make you smile. Be specific.
  18. What is your favorite season? What makes it special?
  19. Write down everything that you are thinking about right now whether it is things you want to remember or something that may be bothering you.
  20. When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Why?
  21. What is your favorite hobby? Why? Is there a new hobby you want to try?

Digital Fall Journal With PromptsDownload Your Copy Here

Wrapping It Up

Life is full of ups and downs and writing in a journal has helped me get through the tough times. It has always been a way for me to express my innermost thoughts and feelings without worrying about what others might think. I always feel better after putting my thoughts down on paper.

There are so many benefits to writing in a journal. If you are not journaling currently, you should really give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Be sure to listen to my interview with Brandi Kepley of Unfinished Grace as we talk about how journaling is a fantastic tool to strengthen your faith.

Check it out here:

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Have you ever tried journaling? If so, are you still writing in a journal?

How has journaling made a positive impact on your life?

I invite you to share any thoughts in the comments below.

And, be sure to share this on social media.

Before you go, grab your Free copy of “31 Journal Prompts that Promote Happiness & Self-Confidence” when you sign-up for my newsletter.

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60 thoughts on “Journaling-13 Huge Reasons You Need Start”

  1. I love to Journal! I find that at the end of the night it really helps me to empty my mind and prepare for sleep. I also love to go back, like really far back, and read where I was months or even years ago!

    1. Yes, journaling is definitely a great tool for helping you sleep. I also love to return to my old entries. It is so interesting to see how far I’ve come and how my life has changed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  2. This is so so good! Writing is such an outlet and release. There are so many benefits and it can work for a variety of situations. I love this post and always get so much out of your work.

  3. I love journaling! It really does take all my stress, disappointment and sadness into paper. Not gonna lie I only journal when I’m sad but I’m trying to be better at it

  4. Journaling is not something I have ever done. You give so many good reasons for starting. I think even if to help with anxiety of how much there is to do would be a great!

  5. The clarity that journaling brings is so valuable! 🙂 You hit the nail on the head! I have a gratitude journal and I write at least one thing I’m grateful for from that day, and it’s a great practice in shifting your mindset! Journaling is also so great for personal development! 🙂

  6. I love each of these reasons you’ve outlined as to why journaling is so beneficial for our health! I find it really helps me ease anxiety, relax, and just take control of my emotions. I love how it gets me into a complete state of self-awareness. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post!

  7. What a great and thorough post on the subject of journaling. I enjoy writing, but somehow journaling hasn’t appealed to me much. I’ve been working on it, though, and finding it beneficial despite my doubts!

  8. Writing down our thoughts on paper is an amazing way to relieve mentally, it is therapeutic in itself. Set goals they maybe yourself or work related than record everyday progress it helps you monitor your own progress.

  9. Amazing post! Super valuable. Journaling is so key and so useful, people sometimes underestimate it but it can be so powerful. It has helped me a lot in many phases of my life and I also encourage it a lot to my coaching clients, especially it helps develop their self-awareness and process their emotions among tons of other benefits that you mention.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. I love the mindfulness that comes with journaling. Even as a busy mom, I find time to write 1 sentence each night. It’s interesting to reread these a few months later and reminds me of exactly what was happening in our lives.

  11. I’d never pieced it together till now, but one of the reasons my verbal communication and expression improved has been through years of journalling. I spent a lot of time thinking through things than speaking as a preteen and teenager and no one understood me. I only got better in university after I started journalling. This just made me realise something powerful about journalling! 🙂

  12. I love to journal, I started at a young age and until I enjoy it, its true that it helps release stress and it allows you to be creative as well.

  13. I’ve been putting off journaling for quite some time now and this blog is really a great reminder to start it again! Thank you so much x I can’t wait to get back on track

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