Do you remember the classic diaries of your childhood? Perhaps you had one with a lock and key so that you could keep your siblings and parents away from your innermost thoughts. You might have made a journal out of a notebook of paper and added some fancy stickers and drawings to the front to jazz it up a bit. Your childhood habit of daily journal writing might have been a foreshadowing to an excellent mental health habit.
Just the thought of writing “Dear Diary” might make you feel the angst in the pit of your stomach. Why did writing things down seem like such a chore back then, but now it’s considered one of the best things you can do for your mental health? Journaling has undoubtedly evolved, but many folks don’t honestly know the benefits that come with getting all the stuff from the inside to the out.
You don’t even need paper these days if you want to save a tree, as you can use your computer and digitally store these files. The important thing is that there are vast benefits that come from letting things go.
Even if you don’t have a person in the world to talk to, you can use this outlet to vent. It’s so much better for you to vent to a journal than to blast someone you love because you’re stressed out.
Ten Benefits of Daily Journal Writing
Do you remember the iconic 1980s movie Ferris Buhler’s Day Off? In this film, Ferris fakes a sick day so he can spend time with his friends. When his girlfriend and buddy were more than apprehensive about taking out their father’s car and skipping class, he gave them words of wisdom.
Ferris reminds them that life moves very quickly, and if you don’t take time to stop and look around, you’re going to miss it. So, with that thought in mind, journaling is an excellent time for you to step back and look at your life and the things happening. It can help you to remember the good stuff and purge the bad. Here are some benefits of writing in your journal daily.
Do you struggle to keep your thoughts organized? It’s challenging with all you face each day, as there are 101 things to do. Did you know that keeping a diary can help you organize your thoughts so they can be understood?
Journaling allows you to keep track of your daily events and how you thought and felt at that time. You can even chart specific experiences you had and opinions on things going on in the world. Using a digital version makes it easier to tag and highlight sections that you can quickly return to later.
2. Relieves Stress
When your mind becomes overloaded, it’s time for a brain dump. A journal allows you to keep all your anxiety and frustrations in one place, and you can get them out of your head. Some people feel better when they acknowledge something and stop trying to keep it to themselves.
Psychologists have called morning pages a powerful way to combat stress. When you write in a conscious stream first thing in your day, you can help to relieve pent-up tension. According to Journey, which is a self-care guide, you can use your journal to track your moods and free tension in your body. An overload of stress is what can keep positivity at bay and make you more pessimistic.
3. Daily Journal Writing Allows Time for Self-reflection
Life is crazy busy, and the average person has more responsibility on their shoulders than what they can handle. The expectations placed on you only make your life more hectic. It’s easy to get frazzled when you feel that you must live your life in a rush. It is far too tempting to get so caught up in the day-to-day that you lose the big picture.
It’s imperative that you sit back and think. You can journal at night or before you go to work, but it’s all about finding something that works for you. Reflection is a time to pause and look back over your life. How have you changed in the past day, month, weeks, or years?
Are you heading in the right direction, or do you need to adjust? These are all benefits of self-reflection that you can’t ignore.
4. Boosts Your Memory
Can you easily recall things from your past, or do you struggle to remember what you had for breakfast? Have you ever heard the saying that someone has a memory like an elephant? Elephants have a massive brain, according to Elephant Facts.
Their brains weigh, on average, an astounding 11 pounds. Additionally, they can easily recall things from their childhood with little effort. They have dense temporal lobes that can hold a lot of information. While you’ll never have the brain capacity of this magnificent creature, you can increase what you have by keeping a journal.
When you make a written record, your brain is more apt to recall those things with ease. By making a journal, you increase the connections in the brain that helps with recall and memory.
5. Daily Journal Writing Inspires Your Creativity
Daily journal writing doesn’t have to be boring. Why do you think all the people from decades ago started writing to “Dear Diary?” They wanted to spice up their writing as if they were writing to an actual person. So, you can write a biography of your life or make your journal into anything you want.
Your creativity will skyrocket when you use your life as the backdrop for a story. Who knows, maybe one day your writings will appear on the New York’s Best Seller’s List. Think of all the biographies that have made headlines and even become a movie.
How can daily journal writings improve your immune function? It sounds crazy, but your mental and physical health connect so tightly that many people don’t realize the impact one has on the other. When you get all the toxic negativity out of you and onto paper, you’re clearing the path for positivity to bloom.
According to Cambridge University, a study has been ongoing since 1986 regarding the benefits of writing in a journal. They found that people who dedicated at least 15 minutes a day four four-time a week had a long-term decrease in health problems.
7. Daily Journal Writing Boosts Your Mood
Keeping a journal can boost your spirits and put a spring in your step. According to The Guardian, when you write your feelings, it automatically boosts your mood. The article states that the amygdala section of the brain that controls emotions is stimulated during writing, and it calms the activity.
8. Allows You To Set and Achieve Your Goals
Setting goals is the easy part, but keeping these goals is what’s challenging. However, keeping a diary can help make you more accountable for your actions.
You can save a running tab of your goals, and you should notate where you are with them about once a week. Your journal can be anything you want it to be, and why not incorporate some clever stuff to help you manifest in your life?
9. Improves Your Writing Ability
The more you write, the better of a writer you will become. Do you think the first works of Shakespeare were as good as his last? Practice makes perfect, so the more you do it, the easier and better the product.
10. Improves Mindfulness
Daily journal writing evokes mindfulness, and it can help with things such as panic disorder. It can improve your confidence levels, help you manage your personal growth and changes in your life, as well as unlock your full brainpower. Mindfulness is a practice that forces you to look at the here and now and evaluate things.
It’s easy to ignore the harsh truths in your life, but being mindful can help you deal with the issues at hand and improve your overall wellbeing.
Some people look at daily journal writing as a chore and one more thing on their long list of stuff to do. However, the benefits of writing your thoughts and feelings on paper are vast. Journaling gives you a record of where you’ve been and allows you to set goals of where you’re going.
Getting all the stuff that clutters your brain out of there can help you clear your mind and boost your immunity. Daily journal writing has been proven in studies to improve your physical and mental health, and it’s a fantastic story you can leave behind for the next generation. How thrilled would you be to find a journal today that had the life and writings of your parents or grandparents?
To you, this book of their life would be priceless. Not only can you give yourself the gift of better mental health, but you can show the generations after you what a trailblazer you were and how you survived through some of the most hazardous storms in life.