I am so bad at journaling.  It’s something I’ve often made goals to do but I can never seem to find my groove.  Despite my lack of dedication, however, there are many reasons why everyone should prioritize journaling regularly.  This week we’d like to discuss the reasons why it’s worth it to journal, as well as provide some tips that will hopefully make it less daunting.

Link to Mental Health

Studies have shown that journaling positively impacts mental health in a variety of ways.  There is evidence that writing can help to both boost mood as well as reduce symptoms of depression when preparing for stressful experiences, such as before an exam.  It also can be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and in improving working memory.

Writing provides a wonderful opportunity to put language to emotions.  Often the scariest aspect of mental health problems are the emotions involved.  When someone is on the verge of a mental health crisis it can be difficult to verbalize what is being felt and why.  Writing things down enables an individual to actively clarify what they are experiencing at present and what they have experienced in the past, providing clarity to a racing mind.

Provides a Learning Opportunity for Posterity

Many of us have had the chance to learn about those who came before us, whether that be a distant ancestor or our own parents.  Such stories can provide deeper insight into life itself and can teach us lessons about what to do in certain situations and what to avoid.  Our posterity needs such guidance as well.  The simplest experience, if written down, may make a huge difference in someone’s life, even if we can’t see how. 

Learning about those who came before us also provides a sense of connection.  The decisions they made have had a ripple effect down to our present day.  None of us would be where we are if those who came before us hadn’t made the choices they did.  The more we understand and respect that fact, the better we will be at living our own lives in a way that will benefit those who come after us.

There’s So Many Different Ways to Do It

Particularly in our world of technology, there are so many ways you can journal.  Those who may not like to write can try filming videos instead and saving them somewhere secure.  If there’s someone who’s concerned about being on camera, voice recordings can also be a great alternative.  There may be some who don’t mind writing but would rather not do so by hand.  There are many apps and websites dedicated to providing online journaling.  Find what works for you!

Some may also be intimidated by the idea of writing about their day or their week.  Find some writing prompts online that will inspire you to write about experiences you may not have thought to write down.  You can also just write a bulleted list of things you’ve been thinking about or struggling with.  Even if it seems a little messy, something is better than nothing and a little can go a long way.  Just do your best and find a way to enjoy the experience and know why you should journal.