1. It keeps you writing.
If you’re a writer who isn’t in the mood to write an actual piece, just jot your thoughts down in a journal. Even though it might be a sloppy rambling about your ex-boyfriend or venting about your parents, you’re still putting pen to paper and creating a flow of sentences. Writing about the fact that you have writer’s block is better than staring at a blank page.
2. It helps you resolve things on your own.
Something I’ve realized a lot while writing in my journal is that it helps me come to my own conclusions. In a way, you’re simply talking out loud. If you do that long enough, you’ll get somewhere. Even though you don’t have other opinions being added to the mix, if you ramble about a problem long enough, you’ll most likely have that “Ah-Ha!” moment. If not, you’ll at least feel better for getting it out.
3. It’s cathartic.
Like crying, writing is a form of expression. It’s a vehicle for your thoughts and feelings. It’s a way to release what is within you so it doesn’t end up harming you. If there are things that you are too uncomfortable talking about with your friends or family, simply writing them all out and expressing how you feel will give you a psychological awakening.
4. You discover things about yourself you would have never fully realized otherwise.
By documenting moments in your life, big and small, you learn who you really are. You become extremely self-aware. Just like in therapy, you can use a journal for reflection. After rambling about something, you can pause and ask yourself, “Why did I react that way? Is there a deeper meaning as to why that pissed me off so much?” By pausing and reading what you wrote, you can ask yourself those questions, and understand something deeper about who you are.
5. It’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come.
It’s great being able to look back at an old journal and see how much I’ve grown and matured. I can see firsthand that I’m becoming a better, more stable person over time. You’ll laugh at how serious you were about things that seem so trivial now. You’ll wonder how you managed to be so bent out of shape over something that means nothing to you in the present moment. And looking back is always a learning experience. You’ll see how you could’ve handled things differently, how you overreacted, how you should manage a similar situation now that you saw what the effect was then. It’s nice to see a development in your life, and a journal helps you track that.
6. It lets you get your emotions out in a healthy way.
If you’re feeling especially pissed off or sad about something, this allows you to let your feelings out in the most healthy way possible. If you hold them in, it’ll affect you and the people around you negatively. You’ll lash out, you’ll get sick, you’ll become overly emotional about things just because you’re not addressing the real problem. You inevitably become your own therapist. After venting to a journal, you always feel better afterwards. You can put all of your negative feelings onto a page, shut the cover, and move on.
7. It helps you remember things.
I personally like to use journals to hold on to memories. The beginning of a new relationship, the death of a loved one, the collapse of a friendship – you can record all of those occurrences and the emotions you felt to look back on one day. Our memory is unreliable, but you can always trust an official written record.
8. It’s good for your health.
I read an article that said writing in a journal regularly can help improve your mood, stress levels, and depression symptoms. If someone experiences a traumatic event, the person who writes about it will have an easier time coping than the one who doesn’t. When you write, you are taking a step back and reflecting on your life and its events. You can express how you feel about people or occasions in a healthy way and move on completely, rather than dwell and obsess over it. Just like after walking out of a therapy session, after writing for at least ten minutes about stresses or problems I’ve been having will make me feel lighter and happier when I’m done.