The benefits of keeping a journal include a better frame of mind and potent stress-relief. Who knew a little writing me-time could do so damn much?
Journaling isn’t difficult. You sit down with your laptop — or a pen and paper if you’re feeling ol’ timey or hipster — and let your thoughts and emotions run free. It’s a place for you to be you, where no one will judge you, because nobody should see what you’re writing. But what are the practical benefits of keeping a journal, and why should you start?
As it turns out, there are a lot of pluses to writing stuff down. And the side effects help folks deal with stress and anxiety in a really creative, fun way!
Let’s get down to some journaling brass tacks:
1. Journaling helps achieve goals
First, you have to put your goals in the journal regularly—ideally, daily. And once you start tracking these objectives, a record helps keep you accountable. Once something is written down, you think about it more. You’ll find monitoring these objectives comes naturally, and many people swear by the positive vibes caused by making progress.
Of course, the Scaries can get in the way of forward momentum and be caused by not making any headway. So, be gentle with yourself and be sure to journal why you’re feeling that way. What made you not work toward goals that day? There’s likely a reason. And writing it down (and being patient with any missteps) can clarify a solution.
2. Focusing on successes is one of the big benefits of keeping a journal
Something that’s super important when you start journaling is to analyze feelings — but not beat yourself up about any of ‘em. Many of us go through the day with more negative self-talk than anyone deserves. It’s vital to keep the outlook pretty positive in a journal.
Be sure to focus on the wins of the day, especially the small victories. Filling in your journal with astonishing successes is awesome, but writing about the small victories helps us find the routine stuff that keeps us motivated. These lovely little things also help balance out the day’s heaping helping of WTF moments.
3. Journaling helps kill stress
You may not have considered whipping your diary out when you get stressed, and certainly not if you’re reading up on the benefits of keeping a journal. But that’s the perfect time to do it.
Writing about stress and why we’re freaking out helps release the negativity associated with the moment. You’re venting your frustrations instead of holding things in and becoming a ticking timebomb.
Another plus: once those emotions are let go, you can often find a solution to why you’re stressed in the first place.
4. It helps you recognize triggers that bring on anxiety
The more you journal, the more you can pinpoint what brings on anxiety. It’s funny what keeping a written record can do.
Everyday worries could stem from your outlook, or legit triggers in your environment might cause them. Discovering these causes over time is powerful—now you know what to avoid to make those days quite a bit easier.
5. The benefits of keeping a journal extend to extending memory
Stress is one of those things that kills memory. And journaling improves recall while also alleviating stress. There’s a reason we took notes in school, and that’s because the act of writing something down cements it in our brains. The mind creates a stronger bond with written information, and that’s going to help you call stuff back up when you need it.
And if your memory is complete sh*t, here are some other ways you can improve it!
6. It connects you with needs and desires
Journaling forces people to be reflective, so it’s going to strengthen mindfulness. You’ll start to understand what you need and when you need it because you’re more in tune with your body and rhythms.
A written record helps us understand patterns the body and mind go through, and what those rhythms mean for health and wellbeing. This is a fantastic tool for self-diagnosis and remedying issues as they happen.
7. Keeping a journal benefits the creative instinct
This is a great one. It might just unleash your inner George RR Martin … but perhaps with the ability to actually finish what you start because (back to point one) you’re holding yourself accountable!
We’re all creative beings to some extent, but a lot of us don’t get many chances to flex that muscle. When you’re journaling, go wild with your imagination. Jot down things that pop into your head and let whatever crazy run wild a little.
There’s a practice called “freewriting,” where you sit down for a period and just write whatever comes to mind. Many writers use this as a brain dump to get the noise out of the way before they start the real work. It’s also a great way to brainstorm and capture some great ideas among all of the nonsense.
Keeping a journal goes hand in hand with the benefits of CBD
So, maybe your sold on firing up the laptop or buying that sparkly Hello Kitty journal you’ve had your eye on. But might we suggest something to make the experience even more relaxing—and fun? Add some delicious CBD gummies to the mix for your nightly (or morning, or both) writing ritual.
CBD can quiet racing thoughts, helping you chill and let the words flow. Subscribe to a Sunday Scaries package and get 20% off and free shipping!