Keeping a journal can be beneficial in so many ways! The best benefit? It can help you be happier, overall. How, you ask? Well, there are quite a few ways that journaling can boost your happiness.
There are a lot of benefits journal writing provides. Need to be more organized? Check. Want to work through your emotions in a healthy manner? Do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results? Journaling will reveal those patterns!
Keeping a journal will help you track so many aspects of your life all in one place. It’s almost like going to therapy, (without the huge bill). If you’re looking for a simple way to better yourself, give journaling a try! Here are just some ways that journal writing can make you happier:
Journaling builds on the most important relationship in your life – the one you have with yourself.
The relationship that most of us neglect the most is the one we have with ourselves. It may sound weird, but it’s true. Think about it. How many times have you put yourself down internally? We tend to be super hard on ourselves, engaging in negative self talk and battling self doubt. If you’re like me – you have periods where you’re your own biggest critic.
Journaling can help you cut back on negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. It also allows you to clearly define your goals, what makes you happy, what stresses you out and how you deal with all of life’s obstacles.
Journal writing can help you work through self doubt, improve your self esteem and highlight the good parts of ourselves that we otherwise may neglect. Self reflection is a pretty powerful thing. It’s even more powerful when we are able to quiet our inner critic and learn how to be our very own cheerleader.
A few Self-Confidence Building Journal Prompts:
- Write about what you consider to be your best quality. How has having this quality improved your life? Where would you be if you didn’t have this quality? How can you build on this special quality you have?
- Write a love letter to yourself. (Yes, this sounds cheesy as hell. However, it’s important to appreciate yourself and focus on your positive qualities.)
- Write about a time when you made a difference in someone else’s life.
- Write about something you’ve overcome.
- How do you think others really see you? Write about yourself from the POV of another person. *This is an excellent confidence building exercise.
Helps you be more “in touch” with your Emotions
Emotions can be confusing sometimes. Why do we react to certain emotions the way we do? If you keep a journal, you will begin to notice certain emotional triggers that elicit a specific response. Through journal writing, you can identify how your emotions impact that way you do things. Also, you can note what emotional responses are negative and how you can make them more positive.
Nerd Tip: A simple way to track your emotional responses to certain “triggers” or situations is to make a cheesy little chart. Use emojis and write down the instances that lead you to feel that emotion.
Allows you to Track Patterns
We all do things differently, but sometimes the way we do things isn’t beneficial. Keeping a journal can help you track patterns that aren’t necessarily working for you. Maybe you use a poor coping mechanism for certain aspects of your life. Perhaps you’re using a system that isn’t working when it comes to work, exercise or your personal life.
Lots of people use their journals to track the progress of specific goals. You can use a journal to track which methods increase your productivity.
Example: I was poorly coping with a loss and I found that instead of mourning that loss, I was using anger to cope. At the time, it didn’t seem so obvious but it became crystal clear when I was tracking my coping process in a journal. After I realized I was screwing myself over behaving that way, I was able to properly mourn.
Improves Problem Solving
This versus that. Which way is best? Journaling can help you improve your problem solving skills immensely.
We tend to encounter similar problems throughout our lives. By using a “this versus that” method, you can easily see which problem solving techniques are best!
A Journal Exercise: Write down problems you’re facing right now on 1 side of the page. On the other side of the page, write down which ways you have tried, or want to try to solve the problem. Track the “this versus that” using that journal page.
We all get stressed out. It’s really how we handle the stress that makes or breaks us. Writing down the causes of your stress, as well as how you are trying to manage it will actually reduce the stress you’re experiencing. The adage is true that sometimes, “we just need to get it off of our chests.” Well, writing it down is a form of release, and one of the easiest means of stress reduction.
Free writing in your journal is a great way to get all of that stress out on a page. Some refer to these as “Rant Pages.” Go wild.
Can Improve your Relationships with others
There are issues in even the strongest relationships. Are you communicating effectively? Do you handle constructive criticism poorly? (I used to).
Maybe you’re neglecting a relationship with someone who is important to you. Feeding our connections with other people is super important. You can use the journal as a reminder to reach out to old friends, have a good talk with a family member or plan ahead outings with people who are important to you.
You can even write about circumstances where an issue occurred in one of your relationships and find the best way to resolve it.
It’s a “Safe” Writing Place, for your eyes only
If you’re a writer who displays your writing publicly, having a journal can be a very freeing experience. The grammar Nazis can’t attack what they can’t see. Plus, it’s a place where you can be as brutally honest as you want to without the risk of hurt feelings.
Journaling can Enhance your Creativity
A journal is an awesome place to keep track of your ideas, especially if you’re a creative. Have a good idea? Write it down.
Use journal prompts that help spark your creativity. Write down those random thoughts that could benefit you or someone else. Let the creativity flow freely, again without the risk of others seeing it if you don’t want them to.
*And remember, doodling and drawing aren’t off limits. Use color. Go nuts. Flex those creative muscles on the page.
I used to have a phrase that I pulled out anytime someone commented on how disorganized I was. The horrid phrase: I strive in chaos. (Man, I was an asshole).
Truth is, I read a study in college stating that disorganized people are more intelligent & creative and I bought what they were selling – hard. I mean, I’m certainly not Littlefinger from GOT and chaos doesn’t really work for anyone. It’s a stressor!
When I dove head first into organization, everything seemed to just flow better throughout the day. A file cabinet was one of the best investments I’ve made.
Journal writing can help you be more organized because your thoughts will be more organized.
Speeds up Emotional Healing
Journaling is an excellent way to cope with difficult times. Writing out our true feelings will help you delve through those emotions.
Like having a therapy session, you can let loose of all those tangled emotions. This will help you heal emotionally much faster than just “dealing with it”, as people love to say.
Journaling is a Big Deal when it comes to Personal Growth
Through a journal you can track the progress of your goals, celebrate personal victories and acknowledge when you’re doing something wrong. As individuals, we never stop learning or growing. A journal can be an outlet to expand on that growth and learning.
Some Topics to Journal about that will aid in personal growth:
- Life Experiences
- New Things Learned
- Empowering Moments (Prompts: Write about your most empowering moment.)
- Personal Values (These can change over time. Write about it).
- Dream Journaling (Creativity exercise).
- Significant Memories
- Failures & Victories
Journal Writing is immensely beneficial.
There are tons of ways to use journal writing to make you happier overall. It’s a healthy practice. Get creative with the ways you use your journal! I’ll be adding a post on all the exercises you can do in your journal to improve various aspects of your life 🙂
Until then, here are some journal prompts to get you started:
Knowing your Authentic Self Journal Prompts
50 Therapeutic Journal Prompts for Mental Health
Over 100 Journal Prompts to truly know yourself.
In what ways do you use your journal? What do you think is the most beneficial way you use a journal? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Love this! Completely agree with all of these benefits of journaling! I need to get back to it!
This is so great! Journalling is so, SO important to helping with emotional trauma and self healing. I wish you included an example of what you’ve used for emotion charts. I’ve spent the last few years understanding my PTSD diagnosis and an emotion chart was one of the most helpful things in helping me understand my own triggers. It’s helpful seeing how others do the same!
I love this post. I keep a journal too and agree with all the benefits you’ve mentioned. Yet, the only thing I can say is it helps with emotional healing and venting your anger and stress. I also love doodling on any empty rough page. 😛
This is such great info, I used to journal years ago and stopped when my kids were born but really need to start again. This is a great idea for kids too! Thanks for sharing!
Reading this easy to understand post of the importance of journaling has piqued my curiosity and I think I might start to give it a go as I tend to only use planners.
I used to hate journaling, actually. I would read articles like this, and go, “Yeah, okay, I’ll do it….” and I’d start writing down all the things that happened to me. And two days later I’d get annoyed with it and stop. But I have always kept a notebook, where I would make lists and keep track of things ideas, etc. And then one day I realized that was actually a journal, and it doesn’t have to be a record of your daily doings. So now I have embraced it!
YESSSS Writing in general has always helped me feel better and feel like I was able to express myself when I didn’t think I could!!
I love this!! I never thought about journaling having such an impact on everyday life! Thank you for the article!
This is really great and I totally agree. It really can help to get your thoughts on paper. I love that you give ideas of what to journal about because sometimes it actually is not easy to think of things especially if you are new to journaling. Great post!
This was so so good! I love this post. I so agree- I need to get back into journaling!
Sounds like a need to journal more often.
Yes!! And journals today are so beautiful on the outside they just make me want to use them every day! Such good ideas!
This is great! I really saw how impactful journaling can be when I recommended it for my young daughter. It helped her learn how to express her emotions. Great tips!
Thanks Christi 🙂
I have a few friends that absolutely love journaling!
I journal everyday to process what happened, what I accomplished, what I still need to work on, and to bitch a little bit so my complaints don’t bleed into other facets of my work. 😉
Thanks, Brooke! It’s so healthy to have a “Vent” page in a journal!
Funny, I just dug out my journal and was starting to use it again this week!
I don’t regularly journal, but I do when I’m really stressed. I love these tips! I’m thinking about picking it up regularly now!
I love this post! I’ve been journaling for almost one year and I can agree with everything you say. I love journaling!
Awesome subject!! You are so right in what your saying about the benefits of journaling. I have an app call the GRATITUDE JOURNAL in Google play store.
I free write a lot and I also find blog ideas through whatever I happen to be going through personally. It helps me IN A MAJOR WAY. it’s a free app and it’s awesome.Gratitude is a Simple, Personal and Private Journal. I use it and simply love writing my grateful thoughts. Check it out.
I’m new at blogging but I’ve been writing for many years. In the past, i worked for an SEO company, doing creative blog and article writing. Writing freelance blogs are different, however, my deep passion for writing seems to be taking over!
I was hoping that we could follow each other’s blogs and share them if the need is the. Tweaking advice is welcomed and please comment on how you like the design of the site itself and how is my writing technique?
It helps to have one another’s support and I really appreciate it!
Here is my blog site! (If you are on mobile phone it works best (has best overall view) if you go to the top right hand corner of the blog page and click on the the three vertical dots, scroll down and check the box across from (DESKTOP SITE) refresh and your all set!
Like my fb page for my blog promotion:
RAW thoughts from Chelle
Thank you so much and good luck with your blog 😍
I saw you on a fb group for bloggers.
Journaling is indeed a very transformative thing.
It can certainly help us understand what is really going on inside us and I can honestly say I´m addicted to it!
It changed my relationships in such a magical way that my last post was precisely about that!
Wow, this is so detailed and helpful! I haven’t started journaling myself, but we encourage our clients to do so, and I really feel like it can help relieve some stress and anxiety in my life, if I start as well! I love how you listed so many benefits and gave ideas of what to write about!
I love journaling… and for many, many of the reasons you listed! I love being able to track so many things through journaling, especially in my spiritual walk. Thanks for sharing!
I have a garden journal, spiritual journal, personal journal and a planner that kinds incorporates all of them.
Hi Candy! I LOVE the idea of a gardening journal!
Journaling can definitely help you get your innermost feelings out and help you deal with them. I love coupling journal with my prayer time.
My mom couples her journal time with prayer and she loves it!
You are right! There are so many reasons journalling is good. I’m the type of person that has been on and off with journals over the years. Lately, I’m a big fan of gratitude journals. I love that you mentioned how journalling can bring out creativity as well. You’ve inspired me to start a new journal just for this purpose. Thanks for the idea!
I’m so glad, Yolanda 🙂 Journaling has so many benefits! I also love gratitude journaling, too. So often, we overlook things in our lives that we should be thankful for. It’s an excellent way to reflect and realize all those little things in our lives that are amazing.
Such a great post! I remember the times in my life when I was actively keeping up on my journal. I was a much calmer, more reflective person. Plus my memory is HORRIBLE so it’s great to go back and remember things I’ve learned. 🙂 I hope I can pass on the importance of journal writing to my children. Thank you!