Journaling is not just for writers. No matter what you’re studying or the kind of job you have, the practice of journaling every day can make you a happier person and even more productive. There are ample benefits of journal writing, and hopefully by the end of this post you’ll be convinced to start writing for yourself!
A mindful way to start your day.
Before rushing into the craziness of another workday, take a few minutes to journal in the morning. I like to write out three things I’m grateful for every morning, and why I’m grateful for them. It starts my day off on the right foot, and puts me in a positive mindset for the rest of the day. By appreciating what I already have, I focus less on what I don’t have. Gratitude is the best attitude, isn’t that how the saying goes?
In addition to three things I’m grateful for, I also like to write down a few things I want to accomplish that day. They can be anything from going to a doctor’s appointment, to completing a task for work. The point is to make a small to-do list for my day so that I feel accomplished when the day is over. I like to lay this out in the morning so that I know what my top priorities are for the day.
Get things off your mind, whenever you need to.
Journaling is also really great for thinking out loud, or rather on the page. By just free writing whatever you need to get off your chest, or venting about whatever is bothering you, it will lower your stress about whatever is on your mind. In addition to my morning gratitude journaling, I like to write three full pages of just whatever comes to mind. Sometimes these pages are super boring, and other times they are my lifesaver. By getting everything out of my mind and on to the page, I’m able to see what’s really bothering me or what’s really going on in a certain situation that’s been hard for me.
Another great time to journal is at the end of the day. You can start by free writing what you did that day, which will most likely lead into writing about anything that’s bothering you. Often times when I journal before I go to bed, I’m able to workout my own problems just by writing through them. It’s a lot like talking things out with your friends, if you’re someone who likes to do that, but in a more private manner because it’s just on the page and no one else will read it.
Lower your anxiety.
Like I said, it’s a great stress reliever to just lay everything out on the page. Sometimes I don’t even realize that something is off in my life until I journal. Then it all comes to light and I’m able to see a situation more clearly than before. By being honest with yourself in your journal, you will have less anxiety because you’ll be able to interpret better what’s going on in your life, and how you can react to it. If you see a therapist, then journaling is a great way to record what’s going on in your life that you may have questions about, or how you’re feeling on a day to day basis. Then once you meet with your therapist, you can refer to your journal in your session for an accurate depiction of what life has been like for you.
Allow you mental clarity.
In much of the same way, journaling every day will give you a lot of mental clarity that you might be lacking in your life. The practice of journaling is very mindful, because you are in the moment with just yourself and your thoughts, hopefully with no interruptions. If you have a busy day ahead, journaling beforehand will make everything seem a little less chaotic. Or, if you’ve had a busy day and the thoughts are circling in your head endlessly, then getting them out onto the page will definitely help to quiet your mind and let you fall asleep easier.
Boost creativity and ideas.
Journaling is not just reserved for people in creative fields, however I know from personal experience that it can greatly help any creatives to get the juices flowing. When you find yourself in a rut, journaling can be really helpful for getting out of that mental block because it is an easy action. Even if what you’re writing doesn’t make sense, that stream of consciousness will help you get back to the good ideas that are hanging out in your head, just waiting to be freed.
Even if you’re not a creative, the practice of daily journaling will allow you to be more productive in your job or with other projects you have going on. Think about all of the senseless chatter that goes on in your mind each day, especially when you’re trying to meet a deadline or have a big assignment for work. With the addition of journaling to your daily schedule, some or all of that chatter will be silenced once it’s put onto the page. It may even help you work through any sort of blocks you have in your job, or things that might by stumping you in your personal life or relationships.
Keeps a great timeline or personal history for yourself.
Honestly, nothing is more interesting to me than reading through my previous journals! Especially when I have been meticulous about describing how I spent each day, like while on a vacation or abroad. It is very inspiring and helpful to look back on what I used to think, how I lived, and the things that were troubling me in relation to the current life I’m living. A lot can be learned from reading back through it, and it makes for an interesting sort of personal time capsule. One that can be looked back on with fresh eyes and perspective later in life.
Do you journal every day? Share this article with friends so they can learn about the benefits, too!
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Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.