For the average person journaling can seem like an unnecessary task to add to the already hefty list of items to complete in your to-do-list. I too have to admit that the first time I learned about journaling it seemed like a colossal waste of time. Why on earth would I want to spend 5 minutes of my day journaling? Moreover what would I be writing about? What would happen if someone accidentally accessed these files? If you are thinking all these thoughts, they are valid questions. It can be hard to journal when you are not clear on the reason why you are doing it. As in life, attaching a purpose to an activity gives it a sense of meaning and acts as its own motivation for you to complete the task. With that said here are some reasons why you should journal.
Journalling is the ultimate way to clear your mind. During the average day there are millions of thoughts racing through your head; writing your thoughts on paper makes them seem manageable and less burdensome. The moment you finish journaling you will notice a sense of relief, almost like a load is being lifted. The effects of journaling are particularly noticeable when you are going through a difficult period in your life. It could be that you are experiencing a tough breakup or loss of loved one. You often get so caught up reliving the bad moment in your head that you find yourself drained and tired each day. You lack the energy and motivation to really enjoy life because you get caught up in a cycle of negative thoughts. If you find yourself in a similar situation I recommend journaling for 5 minutes every day. There is a cathartic feeling of expressing your true and honest emotions on paper, once the thoughts escapes your head its truly freeing and powerful.
Another reason I encourage readers to journal is that it can be a powerful way to take a snapshot of where you are in life. Having consistently journaled for over a year I was amazed at how powerful it was to review some of my past posts to see how I have grown. In small doses it can be hard to truly see the effect of journaling, however looking through pages of notes that you wrote at 25 really serves as a testament to your ability to grow and evolve as a human. It can also be refreshing to know that while you are not perfect you have overcome certain issues in your past and are not in the same place you used to be. For those of you who want to have tangible memories of how you evolved over time I think journaling is the way to go. There is nothing as powerful as reliving past memories by rereading your own thoughts and beliefs at a specific point in time.
One of the most immediate benefits you will notice after journaling is that you become much better at communicating and expressing yourself. A lot of times people are not able to effectively communicate what they truly need to say which can hinder their ability to relate to others. Persons may think twice about what they truly want to say out of nervousness or fear of what people will think. However by journaling you lose your filter, there is no one judging your thoughts or beliefs. It gives you a space to truly be honest and open with yourself free of restriction. Once you get into the habit of doing that it transcends to your relationships. You become more conscious of how you express yourself to others and also how others express themselves to you. While it may not seem like a significant benefit, for persons who have struggled with insecurities and self-doubt being able to communicate freely can be a huge milestone in life. The ability to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings is what makes you unique and truly authentic. The next time you find yourself afraid to express how you truly feel for fear of judgment, consider journaling your thoughts for 5 minutes each day and you may be surprised how rewarding an impactful such a simple task can be.