Top 3 Reasons Why I Started Journaling, and Why You Should Too
February 11, 2021
Journaling consistently has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but I could never hold myself to it. All the different types of journaling — bullet, gratitude, daily affirmations, habit trackers — overwhelmed me and stressed me out. I was so focused on journaling “correctly” that I psyched myself out of doing it completely. However, as part of my 2021 resolutions, I decided to commit to journaling consistently, but in a way where it didn’t feel like an obligation or a chore, and so far, I have been pretty successful.
If you are in the same position that I once was, or if you’re still on the fence about starting to journal, here are the main benefits that I believe come with journaling, and how they have personally affected my life and my mindset.
1. You remember more.
It’s crazy how little I remember about what I did last week, or even yesterday. Sometimes, when I look back, the days simply all blend together in a sort of monotonous haze. Doing daily recap entries in my journal helps me remember the events, emotions, and moments that happened within a particular day, and when I go back and read about them, it’s almost like I can relive them. As one of my favorite YouTubers once said, in a way, it gives you the ability to time travel.
I don’t pressure myself to recap every single day, because some are going to be less eventful than others. However, I try to do a recap at least once a week, just to document anything special I did and any particular emotions I was feeling that week. Since you can remember and look back on what you wrote…
2. You can track your growth.
How are you supposed to notice how much you’ve grown if you can’t even remember what you were like before? Sometimes, when I look back on old entries, it’s like I’m reading thoughts from a completely different person. In this way, I can clearly see the ways in which I’ve changed, usually for the better, but sometimes for worse. There were some really rough patches that I thought I would never get through, but I did. There were some things that happened that I thought I would never get over and forget about, but I did.
It’s like taking progress pictures when you workout. You probably won’t notice the change from day to day, but when you look back on pictures from a few months ago, you realize just how much you have changed.
3. You can make it your own.
There are soOOoooOo many different ways you can journal. This was something that stressed me out before because I thought I had to do every method every single day to get the full benefits. Truth is, you don’t have to do anything any way. You can just do what you feel like doing on any particular day.
Journaling is meant to be relaxing, not stressful.
Some days I feel like venting, so I’ll vent. Some days I have nothing much to write about, so I’ll pick out a prompt that speaks to me and journal about that. Some days I don’t feel like journaling, so I won’t force myself to do it just for the sake of doing it. I know someone who loves taking personality tests, so they would record down their test results in their journal. Once when they were feeling down, they recorded down a text message conversation with themselves, pretending as if they were consulting a friend.
It is completely customizable to your wants and needs, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to follow anyone else’s model.
If you’re still unsure about journaling, or want some inspiration to get you started, I will be writing a post about different journaling methods, as well as a list of prompts you can try writing about!