Last year I decided to experiment with journaling. I am not exactly sure what triggered it but I think it was some history thing on TV. I remember people reading old journals for clues. I want to say it was on the show Expedition Unknown but I am not sure at this point.
Anyway, I remember something like that planting the thought in my head. I also thought that it would help me improve my writing. But my handwriting is bad and I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to some things. So I didn’t start keeping a journal at that time.
Later on, I ran across a post online talking about a program called Lifeograph. I looked into it and it piqued my interest so I started using it. Now I could type out my journal and I figured if I didn’t like journaling I could always stop. So there was no harm in experimenting with it.
The Benefits of Journaling
It turns out I liked journaling. But I was not sure why I liked it. Logically speaking I am just talking to myself in written form or sketching ideas? But something about it was kind of fun. So I thought about it a lot and I think I have some ideas as to why I enjoy it.
Journaling Helps Me Remember
One thing I noticed is I’ll replay the events of the day in my head. Or days if I skipped a few days writing. As I replay what happened I stumble onto memories. The thing I otherwise would have forgotten forever.
It’s kind of fun to remember something nice that happened to you. Even more so when you know that most likely you would have forgotten and never thought about it again.
There’s also research that suggests that the act of writing stuff down helps you remember it better. A very cool fact.
Journaling Helps Me Organize My Thoughts
Another thing I’ve noticed is I feel a lot more clear-headed about my ideas, thoughts, and goals after I’ve written about them. I did a search on this to see if anyone agreed with me and found that there’s some neuroscience to back this up.
It also feels good when you are clear-headed instead of being unsure about what you are thinking.
Getting your thoughts organized and dealing with them helps me with stress. The best way I can describe it is like having a nagging problem you can’t get out of your mind. But after taking the time to deal with it or acknowledging it the nagging feeling disappears.
You Might Learn Something About Yourself
Journaling forces you to look in on yourself. Something that I think a lot of people do not do. And when you start looking at yourself you start to realize things about yourself you did not know. Like for example, I noticed I had some mental behavior patterns with negativity. So using that new insight I’ve taken steps to fix that.
Journaling Has Been Fun
When I started this experiment I was not sure if I’d like it or how long it would last. But I’ve grown to enjoy it. And while I still do not journal every day I’ll probably keep some form of a journal for the rest of my life. I’ve even started moving over to paper on occasion with this Daler-Rowney Pocket Sketchbook my wife got me.
Do you Journal?
I do not have anyone in my circle that journals. At least none that I know of. So I’d be interested in knowing what you think about it in the comments below! Did you try it and do you still do it? Do you find journaling beneficial?