Why Journaling Is Important: Why You Need a Daily Journal?
A lot of us may have been exposed to journaling at an early age as a learning tool to improve our learning and writing skills. It was also a way for our teachers to be made aware of our thoughts on lessons and subject topics. You may not have liked the prompts, the fact that your teacher was going to read your entries to the whole class, or the pressure of it being a graded exercise.
Perhaps, it was our inability to adequately express ourselves at that time, which has pushed us away from actively considering it for our own personal lives. Still, despite the research-supported money-back guarantee of self-awareness and improvement, you find yourself shying away from journaling. Do any of the below reasons describe you?
7 Reasons Why You Aren’t Journaling
- You don’t know how to.
You have so many questions. Darn it! I too have so many questions. “Dear Diary”? Do I have to do it every day? Is there an outline I can follow? So, do I just write how I feel? Does it have to be an epistle or can I use bullet points? All the looming questions may just have you running for the nearest exit, instead of being willing to start sharing all your desires, thoughts, and intentions through journaling.
- You don’t think you’re a good writer.
You probably never considered yourself a good writer throughout your academic career. So, the thought of having to use writing as a medium of self-expression may understandably have you running for the hills. You worry that your entries will be too short, incoherent, or outright foolish.
- You’re afraid that others may see your journal.
Privacy is sacred, but it can be violated. Especially if it has happened to you in the past, you are hesitant to document your life. You’re terrified that your thoughts will be known and judged by others. You are also scared that your handwriting and/or writing style will be judged.
- You’re afraid to open up.
You’re not just afraid that others may have access to your thoughts, but the idea of self-reflection leaves you shaking in your boots. A major part of what makes journaling worthwhile is the reflection aspect. It allows you the opportunity to delve deeper into your mind and perhaps begin finding the sources of the issues you may not have known existed. You don’t like talking about your feelings, and you may be denying your problems and worried that documenting them would actually make them ‘real’.
- You’re too busy.
You might have work, school, children, side hustles or you may be in seek of hustles, caught up in the moment or psychologically preoccupied. Maybe you have a lot to deal with and do, whether physically, mentally or emotionally, on a daily basis.
- You want everything to be perfect.
This is especially true if you’re a journaling enthusiast. If so, you probably create Pinterest boards or watch YouTube videos all the time! You’re always looking for inspiration. You tell yourself every day that you’re going to start journaling. Just as soon as you find a cute journal or cute pens or the day is worthy enough to make note of. You aim for aesthetics. However, this causes you to never start journaling or might deter you once you try to, as it may not look as pleasing as your vision. On the other hand, you might just be anxious and have created a checklist of things that you hope will make the experience less intimidating.
- You don’t think it’s for you.
You believe that journaling is better suited for the classroom. Possibly, you think it’s for those in dire need of a recline in a therapist’s office. However, this is not the case. Perhaps, you’ve tried it and couldn’t find the motivation to continue.
Why You Should Start Dialy Journaling Now
- It’s therapeutic.
I’ve heard that keeping a journal like being your own therapist or your own best friend. It’s an inexpensive way to track your behaviors, as well as your emotional and psychological wellness. It can help you get through grief and over lost relationships. Although not a replacement for an actual therapist or best friend, journaling allows you to open up in ways that you may find extremely difficult to express to another person. Journaling can also be coupled with therapy for increased self-awareness.
- It aids in self-discovery and improvement.
Journaling helps its keeper to make connections between events and behaviors to emotions and feelings. Journaling can point out toxic relationships, as well as issues you never knew you had. It can improve multiple forms of intelligence, increase the likelihood of goal achievement as well as boost creativity and self-confidence. Undoubtedly, it will cause you to learn more about yourself and provide you with key insights that you can manipulate to improve yourself.
- It can improve your health.
Supported by research, journaling has been proven to improve both your psychological health and your physical health. Baikie and Wilhelm (2005) reported that, in the long run, expressive writing, such as journaling, reduces blood pressure, depressive symptoms, and stress. Additionally, it improves immune health, organ functioning (liver and lung), working memory and mood. Furthermore, journaling proved to be beneficial for medical conditions such as asthma, poor sleep patterns, cancer (pain and physical health), HIV (immune response) and rheumatoid arthritis.
SOOTHING YOUR WORRIES
Not convinced about journaling? Still hesitant? Here are a few simple tips I have for you:
- If you don’t know how to journal, you can do internet searches or even watch YouTube videos on the topic. You can try a method I found online called the W.R.I.T.E. method.
- You don’t have to worry about your entry sounding perfect. Try not to script your entries and write freely.
- Your e-journal can also be a simple MS document you encrypt for increased privacy.
- More traditional methods, to reduce your anxiety for the wandering eye, include keeping your journal at home and in a safe or safe place.
- Don’t worry about having the perfect stationery. Chances are you’ll buy the perfect notebook and be mortified to write in it and ruin a masterpiece. Of course, as long as it doesn’t cause you to stop journaling while you wait.
- You actually don’t have to be the best writer to start journaling. All that matters, initially, is that you are getting your thoughts out and reflecting on them. Over time, if you consistently work at it, you will get better at expressing yourself.
- If you find yourself too busy, you can start out by simply giving a few mins out of your day to journal. Perhaps, you will find that you don’t need more than 30 minutes a day to write.
- Journaling is for everyone! You just have to be able to record and reflect upon your behaviors and emotions.
Do you think you’re ready to start journaling? I know I am! Journaling is not a rigid process. So, don’t forget to let go of your apprehensions, try your best and reap the rewards ☺.
All the best!
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