Are you interested in learning more about the many benefits of journaling for self care?
I have never really had a great memory, and I recognized this when I was young because I decided to start journaling at the age of 15.
I wanted to remember even the most intricate details of my life, and I knew if I couldn’t remember everything that I would simply have to write things down.
I also wanted to process what I was going through. I dealt with a lot throughout my teenage years – like so many of us do – and my journal always felt like a safe space.
My journal was a place where I could write down all my thoughts without fear of judgment.
Journaling has been so powerful for me over the years. At this point, I probably have about 10 journals dating from when I was 15 years old to now (almost 15 years later).
I have always had one nearby, and I can’t imagine my life without one.
Journaling has been such a helpful process, and there are so many benefits of journaling for self care.
This post is all about the 11 benefits of journaling for self care.
11 Benefits of Journaling For Self Care
1. Journaling Helps Get Your Thoughts Out Of Your Head
Something about writing down your thoughts and putting them on paper feels like relief.
When you can write a thought down and read it over, oftentimes it feels a little less scary or heavy than it did when it was just this abstract thought in your mind.
You can assign words to the emotions you are feeling, and truly begin to pinpoint what it is that you feel and what it is that you are going through.
When you do this, you can then determine the next steps to take so that you can overcome it or better manage it.
If you are someone that tends to keep things inside, or someone that doesn’t really like to open up to the people in your life about certain things for whatever reason, a journal is like a friend with a listening ear.
Your journal may not be able to give you feedback, but you may be surprised at the conclusions or realizations that you can come to on your own as you write things down on a blank page and read them over.
A journal is a great place to go to practice expressive writing and expel and process all the thoughts jumbled up inside your mind.
2. Journaling Can Help You Document Your Life
It would be amazing if we could remember every single detail of the best times of our lives, but unfortunately our minds tend to forget bits and pieces over time.
With journaling, however, you can document everything that you want to remember right after it happens so that you can be sure to never forget it exactly as you experienced it.
The same goes for experiences that may not have been so great, but you don’t want to forget how they unfolded.
Writing them down takes the pressure off your mind to remember every single thing as time goes on. When you write things down in a journal, they’re naturally forever documented.
Life moves quickly and if we don’t document what we experience, we really only have what’s captured on our social media accounts, the details that are tattooed in our memory, and what’s right before us in the present moment.
If you want to store more of your life’s experiences and details and be able to look back on them later, or even share some of them with a loved one (like a future daughter/son or sister or friend), journaling is a great way to do that.
There is no wrong way to journal – you can document your life however you see fit.
3. Journaling Helps You Realize All That You’ve Overcome
Occasionally I will flip back through the journal I’m writing in (or past ones) to revisit a past version of myself. To read her highs and lows; what she was excited about and what she feared.
It’s interesting to look back on things I was worried about and see how they’ve turned out since.
It’s relieving to see something that brought me so many negative thoughts or experiences at the time and realize that it wasn’t so bad after all, or that it really worked out better than I could’ve possibly imagined.
On the flipside, when you read past journal entries you may also notice patterns.
You may notice that something you wrote about in your journal months or even years ago still bothers you to this day.
This is always eye-opening because you notice the negative things that’ve taken up a lot of space in your life or mind for some time now.
But this is helpful, too, because this will prompt you to start thinking of ways you can change it or make things better for yourself.
Looking back in your journal is a great way to see how you have progressed through life, and also a great way to identify the things that have lingered a little bit too long.
Once you take action on the things you want to improve, your emotional health will improve tremendously.
4. And To Practice Gratitude
Perhaps the most cliché reason you should start journaling is to practice gratitude. Journaling is one of the best ways (and easiest ways!) to practice gratitude.
Writing a gratitude list can bring perspective to your day.
Let’s say you’re not having a great week and in your latest journal entry you wrote about all of the things that went wrong.
By writing down what you are grateful for afterward and gratitude journaling, you can see that even though some things aren’t ideal, there’s still a lot about your life that’s wonderful.
Writing about what you’re grateful for helps shift your focus to the good things in your life, and can help put your mind in a place of contentment, even if just for a couple seconds.
Another reason it’s great to practice gratitude is to be truly appreciative of the things you have now.
If you aren’t grateful for what you have now, you won’t be grateful if or when things improve for you.
Make practicing gratitude a habit and watch the positive effect that it has on your life.
5. Journaling Allows You To Get To Know Yourself Better
There’s a quote by the American writer Joan Didion that goes, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down”.
If you want to understand yourself better, the best way to do that is to write down your thoughts. Write them down, read them back, and examine them.
By doing this, you may question why you think the way that you do, which will propel you into deeper introspection. Why do you believe certain things or feel less strongly about others?
You may surprise yourself, laugh at yourself or even be ashamed of yourself, but throughout your journaling journey you will better understand why your thoughts are what they are.
Similarly, writing your thoughts down on paper helps you to better articulate them.
This is helpful if you want to share your thoughts or feelings with others at some point. Being able to accurately articulate your thoughts will help you understand your mind better.
Ultimately, journaling will help you get to know yourself much better. After all, shouldn’t you know yourself best?
6. Journaling Can Help You Generate New Ideas
The more you write, the more you’ll think deeply. The more you think deeply and have new thoughts, the more ideas that will come naturally to you.
Are you in need of new ideas for your business? Maybe new ideas on how to get out of your comfort zone and live your life to the fullest?
New ideas on how to handle a sensitive situation with someone in your life? Or are you looking for different ways to process your negative emotions?
I don’t want to say implementing a consistent journaling practice is a cure-all, but it is a powerful tool that can help you think in new ways and therefore come up with different solutions to any situations in your life that you need help with.
7. Journaling Helps You Create A Calming Morning Routine
How are you starting your days? Are you running around in a hectic, scattered manner, or are you taking your time and easing on in to your day with a calm mind?
If you relate more to the hectic morning, journal writing can be a great thing to implement into your morning routine.
When you carve out time to journal first thing in the morning, you make time for yourself to calm down and get clear on what matters most to you in that present moment.
If you’d rather journal before you go to bed, you can do that, too! Journaling before bed is a great idea, and can help calm you and get you ready for a restful sleep.
No matter when you choose to journal, having a journaling process just for yourself at some point in the day is a great form of self-care and a great way to calm your thoughts on a daily basis.
8. And Create Time For Yourself
This kind of relates to the last point, but if you are someone who is always running around taking care of other people without much time for yourself, journaling is a quick and simple way to have some time to yourself.
If you don’t have much time to journal and you’re not sure what you want to write about, you can use writing prompts.
This way, you don’t have to think about what specifically you want to write about. You can read the prompts and answer them or respond to them.
This makes journaling even more simple and effortless for someone who is already so busy.
9. Journaling Can Help You Remember Your To-Do List
Journaling is also an effective way to remind yourself of what everyone in your life has going on or what you have going on.
You can really use your journal for anything you want, so if you want to write things down that you have to do for the day, you can do that! You can also go through updates on your family.
I often do this and just take some time to give an update on the most important people in my life based on the last time that I spoke to them and what they were up to and how they are feeling.
When we lead busy lives, it can be really hard to keep track of what everyone has going on, let alone ourselves!
So journaling is a healthy way to make additional mental notes about the things that are most important to you.
10. Journaling Can Help You Build Confidence
The thing about a journaling exercise is it really forces you to articulate your thoughts and get clear on what you think and believe.
Journaling doesn’t always have to be so deep, but when you’re writing about how you feel about things or what you think, you inevitably become better at articulating your emotions, feelings, and thoughts.
For people (like me!) who have a hard time doing that, journaling can really help.
This helps you build confidence in yourself because now you are better able to clearly explain to others whatever your thoughts are.
You’ve thought things through, written them down, and now when people ask you what you mean or to elaborate, you have practiced this self expression in your journal, so you know how you feel and what you want to say.
In my opinion, this is one of the great benefits of journaling, especially for those people who have so many thoughts swirling around in their mind at all times.
11. Journaling Can Be A Creative Outlet
Let’s say one day you want to practice creative writing in your journal.
Or you just want to make a list of thoughts you’ve been having. Or you want to draw! The beauty of journaling is that it can be anything that you want it to be!
It doesn’t have to go a certain way all the time.
When you pick up your journal, take inventory of how you are feeling.
If you don’t feel like writing out your deepest, darkest thoughts, then don’t!
And if you want to dive in deep with yourself, you can! But you should always feel that your journal is your safe space to express yourself however you’d like.
There are no rules or constraints. If you have a different journaling style than someone else, don’t be surprised! Embrace it.
There are so many benefits of journaling for self care. Your journal is there as a pillar of support in your life and it is a practice that should be enjoyed.
It shouldn’t feel like a chore, but rather something you look forward to picking up for a little feeling of comfort in your life.
This post is all about the 11 benefits of journaling for self care.
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