Whenever somebody mentions the word ‘journal’ or ‘diary’, we tend to become curious about the tales, secrets, lies and the mysteries that may be hidden in them. Between those pages lies a great wealth of information, no matter how squiggly some handwriting appears.
Many people get along just fine without them, but there are others who need to jot something every day, regardless of where they are. Those who keep them can tell you for a fact, that their lives are easier, happier and more fulfilled. For those who have never considered daily journaling, here are six reasons why you should start;
- For Accountability and Control
Writing in journals will help you become accountable to yourself. You will be able to develop self-discipline, which will have a ripple effect on other areas of your life. Since discipline begets discipline, this can help you break bad habits and develop good habits.
You gain control of your life through deep reflection, which entails paying ‘intuitive’ attention. Leighton Ford in The Attentive Life describes this as monitoring the “unseen” patterns and possibilities in your life. We all need to see beyond the obvious.
Journaling also helps you to notice the recurring patterns in your life (such as unhealthy relationships, poor self-image, lack of determination and inconsistency), and to make practical reforms.
- For keepsakes and posterity
Your diary could inspire someone in the future. There are documentaries that are developed from diary entries. For example, Anne Frank’s diary has been adapted 22 times in films. Missing periods in history that might not be captured by the media could be captured in personal diaries.
You might want your most treasured memories to be remembered. People use journals to save their memories for their grandchildren so that they will know how family traditions began and tales of the family.
The entries on heartbreaks, disappointments, embarrassing moments and the crush on your high school teacher could all become good entertainment on a dull day.
- For achievement in goals
It is a common habit for people to forget their goals until the next New Year or their Birthday Month. We lose ourselves in relationships, family responsibilities, issues and pressure at work.
Journaling will help you to record your progress (how far?), evaluate failures (why?), celebrate victories (I did it!) and dream bigger (what next?).
- For the bad days
When you have had a bad day, journals will remind you of worse days or the happier days- whatever will cheer you up. Seeing progress (no matter how small) in your journey could be just the motivation you need to get up tomorrow.
Writing down the thoughts on a bad day is what will help you distinguish the forests from the trees. Sometimes, we tend to exaggerate issues.
- For exploration and creativity
A journal is a safe space that will allow you to be yourself or better yet, creates a better version. This is because there’s no need for editing, no judgement on typos and for those who need to dump nasty thoughts, there is no censorship.
In the American Education system, teachers have integrated journaling in teaching different subjects as it sparks ideas and allows children to think without pressure. They use journaling as a tool to develop personal relationships with children and at the same time hone their language and creative thinking.
- For healing
Talking to people who don’t understand you or don’t ‘get the fuss’, could amplify your emotional pain.
People who have gone through traumatizing experiences or suffer from depression need a cathartic release. Journaling could help you release all the negative emotions onto paper and help you to find creative solutions that’ll help you heal.