Why I journal and why you should, too

I’ve kept a journal since I began learning how to write. When I was little, my mom gave me a sparkly pink journal and told me I could write whatever I wanted on its pages. I took this seriously and most of my content at that time went along the lines of “My brother makes me mad!” or “School was fun! I had snacks!” Even at that age, I had grasped the concept of writing how I feel.

Over time, journaling has become very important to my personal growth and has also been a wonderful hobby that I enjoy almost daily. If you are thinking of journaling or unsure of whether or not it’s for you, here are some of my specific reasons for keeping a journal.

A safe space to vent

Have you ever felt the weight of your stress building up so much that you think you’ll explode? You know, the whole straw that broke the camel’s back scenario? I have been there. To keep the tension down, I would vent in my journal about whatever was bothering me. A journal is a great place to let out some steam and get that extra weight off your shoulders if you don’t have someone to talk to or just want to deal with it on your own.

Understanding YOU

I don’t know if you are like me, but I don’t always know why I feel a certain way. I may be annoyed, but in the moment, I don’t really understand what is annoying me so much. Reflecting and writing it out allows me to see how I react to situations in my life and gives me a starting point for improvement where it’s needed. Journaling can provide a necessary dose of mental and emotional clarity.

A happy place

Life can be a lot to deal with and it’s natural for us to look for an escape from our everyday problems. While journaling about your problems can be a big stress reliever, focusing too much on the negative could keep you stuck in the negative. If you find yourself feeling stuck on unhappy thoughts, it might be a good idea to keep a gratitude journal of the things you appreciate in life. You can dedicate time each day to focusing on what makes you happy and all of the things you have to be grateful for.

Motivation

It’s natural for our energy to go up and down over time. I can’t tell you how many times I began a project with my energy through the roof, only for it to take a nosedive when things got hard. Instead of giving up, I like to give myself pep talks in my journal or write quotes that help me feel inspired. Your journal can be a source of motivation and a place to celebrate your achievements whether they are great strides or baby steps.

Exploring your passions

Writing in my journal regularly reminded me that I just really love writing. It’s led me to starting this blog and even becoming a freelance writer. The beautiful thing about journals is that there is no hard set of rules. A journal is an amazing place to explore and express your interests in any way you like. People keep art journals of their paintings or drawings, book journals, and even plant journals. There are unlimited possibilities! This is your space to be entirely yourself.

If any of these reasons stuck out to you, it might be time to grab a journal. Try out different styles and themes and see what works for you!