Powerful Benefits of Journaling: And Why Everyone Should Keep a Diary
Do you remember keeping a diary as a child? The one with the flimsy lock that didn’t need the key to open? The one you hid in your sock drawer so your siblings or parents wouldn’t read? The one you vented about your boy troubles or teenage drama in? I sure do. Who knew that one day, that simple and easy practice of journal writing, would have so many powerful benefits. Benefits that leak into many facets of our lives.
The benefits of journaling are quite impressive, here I have narrowed them down. Summarizing how they can benefit your daily life, mental health, relationships, and more.
Putting pen to paper really is magic. And I hope you get to experience that magic each and every day!
Benefits of Journaling for Self-Care
Somewhere along the line, self-care became taking a shower, grocery shopping alone, getting your nails done, and sitting in the car until your favourite song was over. While I highly recommend all of those, they aren’t self-care. They hardly scratch the surface.
Self-care is an inward movement - it’s self-awareness. It’s uncovering patterns that no longer serve you. It’s celebrating the highs and lows. It’s focusing on what you can control and releasing what you can’t. It’s the remembering of who you really are. It’s trading an external search for an inner knowing.
Journaling can amplify self-awareness substantially.
Adding a journal to your self-care routine has many benefits. Journaling is a practice that guides your attention to your inner thoughts and emotions. Encouraging you to drown out the daily noise and advertisements that tell you, quite literally 24/7, who and what you are.
When you journal for self-care, you remember who you are. You remember your worth and that you aren’t your experiences. You uncover patterns that no longer serve you and can move your focus to who, deep down, you really are. Self-care is the return to self. And when you return to self, you no longer let the world tell you who you are. You become empowered and confident.
If you’re new to journaling, and aren’t sure where to start, I recommend a guided self-care journal, such as The Making of a Strong Woman.
The Making of a Strong Woman journal is a simple, inspiring, mindfully created guide that encourages self-reflection. You can answer one question a day, or ten, it’s your call. It can help you look for the positive and focus on the lessons and experiences that have only made you stronger. But most of all, the journal will remind you that you’ve always been strong.
Benefits of Journaling for Mental & Physical Health:
If used properly, journaling can be one of the greatest tools for mental health. It is cost effective and readily available. You can write in your journal any time of the day, both digitally or by pen and paper (our preferred method). It has been around, I’d like to say, forever. If you want to reap the mental health benefits of journaling, I encourage you to proceed with an intention. You don’t want to sit down with your journal and only vent, only complain, only focus on the pain and suffering. Yes, journal writing is a great tool for releasing. But you also need to shift perspective, be mindful of your thought patterns, and look in the direction you’d like to go. Not just where you currently are, especially if it’s unpleasant.
Our mental health is our responsibility, and journaling has been scientifically proven to have a positive impact.
The benefits of journaling for mental and physical health include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
- Improves immune system
- Improves liver and lung disease
- Helps heal faster
- Emotional stability
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Helps us process pain and grief
- Overall improvement in well-being
- Increased confidence
- Increase self-awareness
- Increased joy and positivity
If you aren’t taking care of your mental health, you are at risk of becoming the 1 in 5 who experiences a mental illness in Canada. That is a staggering statistic and one shared from the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health.
Benefits of Journaling for Relationships:
How do we improve your relationships with others? Typically, we improve our relationships by improving our relationship with ourselves. Think about it, how can we improve our relationships when the relationship with ourselves is rocky or unstable? We can’t. We need a solid foundation. One that doesn’t crumble easily. Yes, there are times when the relationship is unhealthy, and we need to leave or distance ourselves. Today though, we are focusing on healthy relationships that just need a little extra TLC.
Journaling builds self-awareness, which encourages us to better understand what we need (and deserve) from our relationships. And since journaling encourages empowerment, we have the confidence to communicate our needs, and set boundaries, with our loved ones.
Journaling benefits relationships by helping us focus on the positives. It also encourages practicing gratitude for those we love, and improves our mental health so we can fully show up in our relationships.
If you are a mother, you may be interested in our guided journal for moms, The Making of a Mother. A journal created for you to celebrate motherhood while building a family keepsake. There is nothing easy about parenting and being a mother, but there are some pretty special moments that strengthen our relationships.
Benefits of Journaling for Goals:
A psychology professor at Dominican University in California, completed a study using 267 participants. Her study determined that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down. I cannot argue with her as many of my own personal goals have been reached after I’ve written them down.
So why does writing our goal down help us achieve it? Because writing helps us focus on what we want. It helps us get clear about our intentions, goals, and desires. Next time you have a goal, use your journal. Write down your goal in your journal.
Benefits of writing your goal in your journal are:
- Helps you stay focused
- Helps you stay motivated
- Encourages you to take action
- Encourages you to celebrate milestones and progress
- Tells your higher self and the universe you are ready
- Increases your chance at achieving the goal
If you are an entrepreneur and would like to celebrate your business, and create or track your goals, you may be interested in our guided journals, The Making of an Entrepreneur, and The Making of an Entrepreneur Boss Babe Edition.
Benefits of Journaling for Stress:
Many of us put ourselves in auto-pilot all day, doing, doing, doing, so that by the time the day ends, we crash - quite literally - on the couch for hours. We are stressed to the max. Then, we feed our minds with shows and entertainment that, when we break down what we’re watching, aren’t actually adding anything positive to our lives. So why do we do this? Are we just tired? Are we overly stimulated throughout the day? Are we so stressed we’d rather continue to numb or worry ourselves rather than get to the root cause?
Stress is… stressful! There’s no doubt about it. So how can journaling help relieve stress?
Journaling can help relieve stress because it helps us pinpoint what the stressor is. It helps us identify the trigger and root cause. And once we know the root cause, we can weed it out and find a path that will work better and more efficiently for us.
Where we need to say no.
Where we can communicate and ask for help.
Where we need to replace negative thoughts with positive self-talk.
And, where we need to free up space and energy so we can avoid burnout.
Life doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. It’s too short for that.
Allow life to be light and fun and exciting.
Allow yourself to slow down.
Benefits of Journaling for Gratitude:
Jane Fuller said, “A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles,” and she’s right!
When we incorporate gratitude in to our daily lives, and allow it to become a way of life, we can significantly transform our lives. And not just our lives, but anyone we come in contact with. Gratitude truly is contagious and deserves a place in our lives! It’s so much more than the random thank you to the lady who held the door for you two weeks ago. Gratitude is about waking up, saying thank you for even opening your eyes, and acknowledging all the blessings life offers us.
To add gratitude into your day, we suggest keeping a gratitude journal. It can improve your sleep, encourage optimism, lower stress, and improve your mental health. Each morning or evening, write out 5-10 things, people, or experiences, you’re grateful for and why.
I am so grateful for the sun shining brightly today because my garden needed it!
We can just write what we are grateful for, but The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, emphasizes the importance of adding the why element. From firsthand experience, it amplifies the gratitude and makes it much easier to feel grateful.
If you would like your child to learn about gratitude, we recommend our children’s gratitude journal The Making of a Grateful Heart. It helps children look for the positives in their day and instills the early practice of gratitude.
Benefits of Journaling for Memory:
Have you heard the phrase, “use it or lose it” before? That’s how we feel about our memories. We need to use our memory! And what better way to put our memories to use than with a journal.
Let’s remember the laughs with our friends over dinner.
Let’s remember our first date.
Let’s remember the funny (and sassy) thing our child said.
Let’s remember how loved we felt on our birthday.
Let’s remember our family stories so we can pass them down.
There are so many great experiences and feelings to remember, and journaling helps us do that. Keeping a journal doesn’t only help us relive adventures, it increases our memory. And not only that, it can also increase our memory capacity. Who knows, maybe it will even help us remember where we put our cellphone or keys! You never know.
We love memory books, and recommend The Making of a Grandparent to preserve your grandparents memories.
Benefits of Journaling with Guided Prompts:
There is nothing fun about staring at a blank page, knowing you should journal because of the benefits, but not knowing what the heck to write. So don’t! Staring at the page will only frustrate and deter you further. Instead, find some journal prompts that relate to your stage of life and have fun with them.
There are many benefits of journaling with guided prompts:
They are easy to use
They help you focus and build the habit of journaling
They take the guesswork out of what to write about, and
They encourage you to reflect on topics you may not have otherwise.
There is no need to ever stare at a blank page again.
If you’re looking for some journal prompts, feel free to check out our guided journals or free journal prompts, such as:
Free journal prompts for self-love
Free journal prompts for insecurity
Free journal prompts for beginners
Free journal prompts for gratitude
Thank you, happy journaling!