Keeping a journal is one of the most rewarding habits you can develop. In fact, even key players in history valued it for its benefits.
Despite the benefits of journaling, it still has not maintained its popularity over the years. One reason is that a lot of people associate it with uncommunicativeness or aloofness.
Mari L. McCarthy, an International Bestselling Author, believes that “the benefits of a journaling practice extend to almost every conceivable human endeavor.” With this in mind, let’s look at how starting a journal can make a difference.
1Journal writing is your personal therapy
All human beings need somebody to hear and understand them. At their treatment sessions, patients tell therapists about their latest updates, feelings, and emotions. That brings relief.
Journaling is an excellent (and free) therapeutic activity. Writing about stressful and emotional events can improve your psychological health. It reduces stress and anger.
Since there is no wrong way to keep a journal, you can make it suit your personality and situation. Create a daily record of events that fill your life. Give your deepest thoughts, feelings, and worries an outlet.
Allow yourself to be who you are when writing. Be frank. Journaling means no fear of judgment or blame or even the need for justification.
2Journaling makes you sincere and open-minded
Journaling can help you enhance your personal development. Since it’s your private place, you can write whatever is on your mind!
You can develop ideas, challenge assumptions and spend time reflecting. Ask yourself thought-provoking questions. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself, other people and your relationships. It will make your interaction with the world more meaningful.
Write down the bits and pieces you never bothered to put into words. Journaling brings clarity that will amaze you.
3You take pleasure from writing and develop more vivid language
What is the best way to hone your skills in any craft? That’s right. You should practice!
This is also true for writing. Even the most gifted authors work long hours to get mastery. Ernest Hemingway put it this way: “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
Exercise your writing on a regular basis to enrich your vocabulary. Seek out new words and incorporate them into your own essay or story. With time, you will have enough word-stock to express ideas with.
To work on expanding your vocabulary, you can rewrite scenes from your favorite literary works or capture scraps of conversations you hear by chance. These exercises can stimulate creativity and polish writing skills.
Journaling is one of the most helpful ways to sharpen your skills in storytelling. It might open up your potential and help make your writing skills better., too.
4Keeping a diary sharpens your senses and develops imagination
Journaling gives an opportunity for you to capture all your ideas without any pressure to work on it. It will help you keep a record of your thoughts, desires, and experiences. Keeping a journal helps you expand your ideas, too.
When you develop a habit of describing your daily life, it will heighten your senses and you will learn to notice the details nobody else ever sees.
Journal is a great place to brainstorm ideas or free-write for future use. Virginia Woolf found writing for no audience a great practice because “It loosens the ligaments”.
And you can also use a journal to overcome a writer’s block. It can be a source of seeds for essay topics, so go back to it when you need it and get your creative juices flowing again.
5Journaling makes you more self-satisfied
Journaling is one of the best ways to know your inner self. It requires a high level of introspection and self-awareness. It can help you develop a greater self-understanding, discover how your actions affect other people and clarify your emotions and thoughts.
Regular journaling provides one more benefit. It’s keeping a permanent record of your life which will give you more opportunities to reflect and learn from yourself. Keeping a journal can help you know what makes you happy and find any patterns in your behavior.
Anaïs Nin was a passionate diarist who began writing at the age of 11 and continued to write until her death at the age 74. Her diaries exposed the vibrant and uncensored richness of her life. Keeping a diary was more than an instrument for mastering the craft of writing. It was her means of understanding herself.
“In the diary, I only wrote of what interested me genuinely, what I felt most strongly at the moment”, – she confessed. It helped her feel “a love of the living moment” and “moments of wholeness and totality of the personality”.
Ernest Hemingway was sure that solitude is indispensable for creative work. “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life”, he said. Try to stay alone with your thoughts for some time. It can give you more chances to come up with something novel.
You’ll never know how journaling might work out until you try. To start with, it can be difficult to choose the right form as journaling isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Look up different kinds of journals on Instagram and Tumblr and choose one from the loads of inspiring examples there. This way, you’ll get to make journaling work for you!