Journaling consists of keeping a written record of your
- and anything else that may be floating in your brain.
If you’ve ever found yourself immersed in your own deep ocean of chaotic thoughts, then a journal might be the lifesaver you need.
Here’s a little back story of how I became obsessed with journaling and how I got past my initial fear of trying it out.
How I Discovered Journaling
Journaling is a pretty well-known technique that many successful people swear by.
However, I must admit I always found journaling to be ridiculously stupid.
I used to think I was too badass to try it.
“I don’t need to write on a journal like a 14-year-old, for God’s sake.”
Deep down, I was embarrassed to even think about putting in writing what I was thinking.
I was afraid someone would find out and make fun of me or, even worse, institutionalize me.
I was also terrified of reading my own flow of thoughts days after I thought the thought.
Journaling felt like the perfect tool to look me in the eye and finally confirm what I’ve feared for a long time: I’m insane.
Sometimes I think about so many things that don’t make sense.
And sometimes I talk to myself like I’m my worst enemy, and I’m certainly not proud of that.
So better keep my thoughts where nobody could see them, not even me.
Why It Took Me So Long to Start Journaling
But after waking up that day, my mind was like a thought tornado.
Millions of thoughts, one right after the other trying to figure everything out. It was insane.
I knew I needed to start doing things differently this time if I wanted to improve my life.
I was certain it was necessary to try something I hadn’t tried before.
They say stupidity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results, right?
So I thought about it for a couple of days and finally decided to start.
I grabbed a new journal I had lying around and set a date and time: tomorrow, 4 p.m., journaling session.
I was a little nervous, but new notebooks always excite me, so I started writing the first thing that popped into my head.
At first, I felt like I was writing a book and presenting my thoughts for the whole world to see.
I felt tense.
But then I told myself nobody had to know this journal existed, so I started to care less.
I wrote non-stop for around 15 minutes and filled 5 pages. I described how lost and unsatisfied I felt:
- how much I missed being challenged in college,
- how bad I wanted more money,
- and how ready I was to do everything I had to do to feel better.
I remember feeling so satisfied after that. I realized journaling had to be a part of my day.
And, since habits are like my whole deal, I turned journaling into a habit that has transformed my life completely.
Today I want to share with you all the benefits I’ve been getting from this simple practice and tell you:
you need to grab pen and paper and start journaling right now.
13 Reasons Why You Must Start Journaling Right Now
1. Journaling gives you mental clarity
After journaling for just a few days, 10-15 minutes a day, I felt I was thinking way more clearly.
It was something very similar to that coziness you feel after you’ve decluttered your desk.
Whenever I feel my mind’s a total mess that goes from thinking about things that piss me off to how much I need to have my eyebrows done (and everything in between), I put it down in writing.
2. Journaling helps you learn better
Because journaling can help improve your memory, it’s an excellent tool to help you learn more efficiently and faster.
Right after a lecture or after you learn something you want to remember, write about it for 30 seconds straight, in your own words.
3. Journaling helps you recognize patterns and recurring thoughts
After 10 days of journaling, I read everything I’d written so far.
First of all, it wasn’t as shockingly horrifying as I thought it was going to be.
And I was surprised to find out I wrote the same idea several times without even realizing it.
One of those recurring thoughts was the idea of teaching others something and writing.
And of starting something new and exciting.
It was also clear I wanted to start a blog, so here we are.
4. Journaling helps you fight negative self-talk
It’s amazing how much we ignore the way we talk to ourselves.
But when you practice journaling regularly, you become more aware of it.
And when you become aware of how much you put yourself down and how much it affects you, you start shifting the way you talk to yourself.
5. Journaling is an affordable, easy-access anger management tool
If you find yourself thinking aggressive things to say to people when you’re mad, then journaling is for you.
It’s the perfect way to vent without the huge inconvenience of hurting someone else’s feelings and damaging relationships.
6. Journaling helps you visualize the life you desire
One of the things I love to do when journaling is to imagine myself living the life I want.
I also like to picture myself one, three, five, ten years from now and write down everything I see myself doing and feeling.
This visualization exercise will help you feel motivated and inspired to go after what you want.
7. Journaling makes you feel inspired
Every time you see, hear or learn something that inspires you, write about it in your journal.
Doing so will help fixate the idea in your mind.
8. Journaling helps you keep count of your small wins
If I do something right, I take notes about it.
No matter how big or small, if it makes me feel great about myself, then it’s a victory. And I’m a fan of that.
This has helped me boost my self-confidence and serves as a source of inspiration, too.
9. Journaling is a great self-reflection exercise
Sometimes when I’m overthinking, I ask myself so many questions.
Overthinking seems to be an endless Q&A session with myself.
And I’m quite sure I’m not the only person in the world who feels like that.
Whenever a deep question pops into my head, I write it down.
This helps me let the question go and think about it during my journaling session, which is perfect.
10. Journaling is the perfect tool to practice gratitude daily
Years ago, when I was struggling with depression, I read somewhere that it was a good idea to list 3 things you liked every day by the end of the day.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, profound, too important.
Just 3 things you really like, that’s it.
This practice was like a breath of fresh air back then.
And I keep using it to cultivate gratitude and get into an abundance mindset.
11. Journaling helps you keep track of your new, shiny ideas
Whenever I have an idea, I write it down.
It can be a million-dollar business idea or just a simple realization.
But I like to keep track of them on a page of Notion.
12. Journaling helps you see how much you’ve grown
When I started journaling, I was drifting through life, but I was also determined to do whatever it took to find my way.
A few weeks after starting, I could already see how far I’d come.
By keeping a journal and reading it after some time, you’ll realize how much you’ve grown!
13. Journaling fosters creativity
Journaling helps you unlock thoughts and ideas.
It helps you connect the dots and see things you couldn’t see before.
On top of that, it can help you see things from different perspectives.
All of these perks translate into more creativity and a different way of thinking.
It wasn’t easy for me to start. I was too afraid.
But today, I can confidently say journaling is a life-changer, so hear me out… you have to try it now.
The benefits of journaling are real and long-lasting.
I highly recommend journaling daily for at least 10 minutes.
And, in my opinion, it’s best to use a good old pen and paper.
However, if you feel more comfortable writing on a Word document, Evernote, or even Notion.
If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
In case you feel writing for 10 minutes straight is too much for you, you can try writing only one sentence a day.
However, if you’re more experienced or want to dig deeper, then reading about Da Vinci’s journaling method may be for you.