Throughout my entire life I have kept journals. Maybe earlier in life I would have called them diaries, but they have transistioned through the years to a more defined style of writing. I can’t begin to tell you how many journals I have laying around our house or stashed in my closet. Countless, truly. Some are completely full, with extra pages taped inside, while others have just a few thoughts scribbled here and there.
“A journal is your completely unaltered voice.” Lucy Dacus
I write about everything in my journals. One may be devoted to my spiritual life while another I track all of Josie’s ‘firsts.’ In another journal I write prayers and another still is filled with day to day life. There are no rules to journaling and it is truly just for yourself. If you’ve never kept a journal I strongly suggest you start! I believe there are so many benefits to writing down your thoughts, or even your life!
- Set Clear and Reachable Goals:
- When you have written your goals down then you are more likely to achieve them. Writing them down makes them real and reachable! Circle them, star them, highlight them! How will you know what you’re working towards if you can’t see it?
- Be Able to Reflect On Past Thoughts/Track Growth
- I love to pull out a journal from years ago and read the things I wrote. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh while other times I am reading my words and taken back to a place I had forgotten. Keeping record of your life through pen and paper lets you see just how far you have come.
- Clear Your Head/ Express Emotions
- There are so many times that my emotions are running high and I have no idea how to express them other than through words. High highs or low lows, writing it down gets it out there. Think of your paper as someone listening, and hold nothing back. Sometimes I am writing about something I am so excited about I can’t get the words written fast enough.
- Create Daily To-Do Lists/ Organization
- I love to make myself a to-do list first thing in the morning. It may be as simple as tasks like laundry and organization but I love being able to check items off once I have completed them. Creating a to-do list will help you stay on track throughout the day and helps you to see what all you have accomplished!
- Practice Self-Love/Improve Mental Health
- Journaling can be so helpful for your mental health. Just like letting a kindergartener color red on a paper when they’re angry, jotting down everything you’re feeling on paper truly lightens your burden. If I feel overwhelmed I do a ‘mental dump’ in my journal. I write down everything that I feel; sometimes just adjectives, sometimes whole phrases. Afterwards I can look at everything I wrote down and try to get to the root of the problem. If anything, I feel as though I’ve ‘let-go’ of some of those feelings.
- Creative Outlet/Spark New Ideas
- Writing is fun! You might not even know how creative you are until you get your thoughts out there. You may not write a book of poems, but you may find that you’re great at hand lettering! I often find that thoughts can snowball and what started as something small can turn into pages worth of ideas.
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank