There seems to be a surge in journaling these days. Whether it’s keeping a personal journal, a bullet journal, an art journal, even Facebook status updates are a form of journaling in that they provide a history of our daily lives. Why are people doing it and what are the benefits?
The obvious one is that we get a permanent record of our life, which in these busy times is a great memory aid. Recording the minutiae of daily existence provides us with something to look back on and the mention of one small event can trigger a wave of memories of thoughts, feelings, people and places. Also, the mere process of recording something helps us to remember it.
Secondly, keeping a journal has become a recognised form of therapy as it provides a cathartic release. Writing about our responses to an event or situation can assist us in getting things into perspective, understanding our feelings, relieving our stress, working through our problems and dealing with trauma. Looking back through our account of the difficult times can help us to see that we dealt with them, got through them, survived them, and can reassure us of our ability to cope. We can see how far we have come.
Then there’s the creative aspect. In these times of speed and technology, the creative side of our natures can become lost as we focus on working and surviving. We are bombarded 24/7 with inputs; journaling is our output and allows us to keep touch with our creativity, explore it and harness it, thus giving another dimension to our lives, one which all too often gets squashed in the busyness of daily life.
There are many other benefits such as helping us to identify and pursue our goals and to measure our progress. Writing things down hones our communication skills, assists the decision-making process, and generates clarity and congruence. It gets things out of our head and onto paper, where they often don’t seem quite so bad or as overwhelming as we thought.
There are so many benefits that it’s easy to understand why it is becoming so popular.
Do you keep a journal and how does it benefit you?