You have been my most reliable friend all this time. You have listened to my most vulnerable confessions, my darkest words, and my dearest dreams. I am grateful to have you with me through all days of my life.
Journaling - we’ve all been advised to do it at some point or another. There are many scientific benefits of journaling. It has been found to:
- Boost your mood
- Enhance your sense of well-being
- Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam)
- Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma
- Improve your working memory (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005) (source)
This is great, right? Such a simple exercise can benefit our lives significantly. And, here I am, sharing my story of how journaling made life easier.
I’m sure that it will help you similarly in one way or another. So, here are the 3 benefits of journaling that I have experienced:
- Journaling gave me a space to be myself fully
- Journaling helped me understand myself
- Journaling lets me appreciate how far I've come
3 Benefits of Journaling That Made My Life Easier
1. Journaling gave me a space to be myself fully
Being yourself truly is not an easy thing to do, and certainly not in front of other people. When we’re alone, there aren’t any expectations to meet, anyone’s approval to worry about.
When I journal, I have full space to say what I want to, to express myself, what comes to my mind. In a sense, journaling gave me freedom.
There are some words I might never be brave enough to say, some feeling too raw to share with another soul. But, with my journal, there’s nothing to worry about.
There are moments when I feel scared to even admit my thoughts to myself, but I push myself then. It is the perfect place for me to be brutally honest with who I am. And, it makes me feel proud of myself.
Journaling has helped me with so many stressful moments simply by being a safe place for me to vent and also encourage myself.
I would start from a place of anxious heaviness and pouring all those feeling through words helped my heart feel lighter.
🌈 Tip: This amount of trust in your journal can only come when we know it is for our eyes only. Our mobile journal ensures that your personal information is fully private, and for extra security, you can keep a passcode lock.
2. Journaling helped me understand myself
I remember one moment of life as clear as if it were now. I was 19, and I had started to write every day. And, as I wrote, my woes spread through the pages. I used to put my heart out.
What I also did was read what I had written a week or two ago. At that moment, I was worried about something. But, when I read my words from a week ago, I saw that I had totally forgotten what my problem was then.
I was as worried a week ago about something I didn’t remember as I was a week later, only for something else. It made me realize how quickly situations shift sometimes, and problems do pass.
Another thing that happened as I read my past entries was I started to notice my behavior patterns, how I tend to think, and what matters to me.
🌈 Tip: For a deep introspection exercise, take the help of self-reflection journal prompts. These prompts guide us to find answers within ourselves. As we write, we tend to find clarity in our values, and this helps in making decisions suited to our needs.
3. Journaling lets me appreciate how far I've come
I keep both physical and digital journals. What you see below is one of my first journals. It is surreal to read how I was only a few years ago. Life was completely different, there were so many things I didn’t know.
It makes me appreciate my journey. All the hard work, smart moves, friendships, brave steps, and makes me miss how simpler life seemingly was before, how my innocence led to simpler problems. Reading my journals is one of the most heart-warming activities I do.
As I also have a gratitude journal on my phone, it’s so easy for me to look back on all the grateful moments in my life. Here’s one from May 13, 2021. Look closely, you might miss the furry black creature that is Alex, my dog brother.
🌈 Tip: One important reminder is to not aim for perfection at all or even high-quality writing. When I encourage my friends to journal, they often say that they don’t write well. But, this is not professional work.
These are our thoughts in their raw, human nature. So, I’ll say the same thing to you, just write. Let your journal be a space of no judgment.
And, that’s it! These are the 3 benefits of journaling that have made my life easier. I credit a lot of good personality traits to my habit of journaling. I am forever grateful to have the ability to do such a simple yet life-enhancing activity.
Special mention to gratitude journaling as it is something that has so positively shaped my perspective and made the experience of life so much more cherishable.
🌈 Want to get started too? Here’s how you can start gratitude journaling.