I've been journaling for about three years now and I must say, I wish I had started doing it earlier. Not only has it helped me in becoming an all around better writer but it has also been a valuable tool in helping me navigate how I react to the circumstances that go on around me.
If you have never journaled before, I suggest you give it a try and here's why.
1. It's a Great Way to Organize Thoughts and Feelings
If you're anything like me then you probably have a lot thoughts and feelings constantly swirling around inside of you. Keeping all of these things straight is a tough thing to mentally do but taking a few minutes and jotting them down on paper can ease the "mental storm" that may be going on inside of you. Once the thoughts and feelings exist in a visual and somewhat tangible form it can make them become clearer, easier to process, and even free up some space in your brain and your heart.
2. Setting and Completing Goals Becomes Easier
A few months ago as I was journaling, I put together a list of 23 goals that I wanted to accomplish at some point. I didn't give myself a deadline for any of them. It was refreshing to have a concrete idea of what I eventually wanted to accomplish. Getting organized with goals is something I rarely do. I recently reread the list and discovered that nine of those goals had been completed. There are still plenty left to do and I don't know if all of them will ever be completed. However, I can always go back and refer to my list if there is ever a time I need to find something to work towards.
3. It Acts as a Mental Time Machine
One of my favorite things to do is go back and read my previous journal entries. It's the closest I can get to having a conversation with my past self. I tend to write a lot about my current situations whether they be positive or negative. Reading about my past positives can be a lot of fun. It's the closest I can get to reliving wonderful experiences. Being able to examine how joyful something made me feel is an excellent reminder of the positivity that exists within my life. As for reading about the negative, it serves as a significant reminder. Everything negative I have ever written about is something that has come and gone. Miserable experiences, disagreements with others, and just plain bad days have all been recorded. The best part about reading these entries is the realization of how little they matter now. We are all bound to go through poor experiences but they always pass.
4. It Can Spark Ideas of Creativity
I can't begin to tell you how many of my creative ideas have come about during times of journaling. Song titles, short film ideas, topics for blogposts, heck, even the idea for this website first popped into my head when I was journaling back in January of this year. When one is reflecting on the internal - the things that are going on inside of them - and in a creative state of mind, significant ideas can seem to come out of nowhere.