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Benefits and Tips for Journaling

When you think of journaling, you may think about keeping a diary in middle school. However, journaling is a fairly useful activity even for adults. In fact, there are many benefits of journaling. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and some tips for getting started.

Benefits of Journaling

Improve Communication Skills. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of journaling is that it can help you to improve your overall communication skills. You’ve heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Writing regularly can improve how well you communicate in the written word.

Stress Relief. Many therapists recommend that their clients journal as a way to help their stress levels. Journaling can reduce stress and anxiety by providing an outlet for the thoughts bouncing around in your head, giving a release to negative thoughts.

Improve Memory. Research has found that regular journaling can help to improve working memory. The brain is incredibly elastic, constantly forming new connections. Engaging in tasks like journaling helps facilitate this process.

Achieve Goals. Many people opt to use journaling as a way to write down their goals and keep track of progress. This can help you stay accountable. Reviewing goals periodically has been shown to improve your likelihood of accomplishing them.

Improve Self-Confidence. Writing down and reflecting upon the challenges and difficult situations you face can help you improve your self-confidence. Many people more easily see negative things about themselves than positive ones. Journaling can help you reflect on positive outcomes.

Tips for Journaling

Journaling is a very personal task and can look different for many people. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. However, here are some tips for getting started.

Make it a Habit. Set time to journal every day. Many people prefer to spend 10-15 minutes journaling right before bed. Having a typical time set aside can help you get in the habit and stay in it.

Write about Thankfulness. Many people find themselves with a bit of writer’s block sometimes. When this happens, writing with a prompt such as “three good things that happened today” can help them to break out of it.

Find Your Space. You don’t have to journal in your bedroom or living room. Find a place that inspires and comforts you. Journal at a local park or corner café.

Don’t Summarize Your Day. Journaling is most effective when you write about your thoughts and feelings. Simply recounting your day is often not helpful in producing the benefits discussed earlier. Write about things that matter to you.

Consider Keeping it with You. You never know when the urge to write will strike. Consider carrying a journal with you in the event that you decide you want to write a bit.

Don’t Worry About Structure. Journaling does not have to look any certain way. It can be messy and disorganized. Focus on content rather than how it looks.