Reasons to Keep a Journal: Medicine for the Soul
I heard a man once say journaling is like medicine for the soul. He told me the story of how journaling helped him cope with his wife’s cancer diagnosis. Bernard would keep a journal of the words of his wife, as if they were all her last, journaling her personal thoughts and memories. Writing also helped him cope with his divorce. “It isn’t something I’d recommend for everyone,” he said, “but journaling was my medicine.” After journaling with a pen to paper, Bernard felt empowered with a refreshed energy to build a life of his own without the baggage of his past relationships.
Mixed Memorable Events
The journal Bernard keeps is filled with pictures, short stories, and quotes—a mixture of both their most memorable events. He showed me one page in particular: The inscription read: “One of the reasons to keep a journal is not meant to be negative or positive; it’s only meant to provide insight on where you’ve been and what you’ve learned along the way.” It struck me because this was exactly why I searched for ideas about journaling. I feel journaling is so important because it’s an outlet for me to be honest with myself. We all have the urge to keep things bottled up inside, but journaling provides a space to express your thoughts without judgment or criticism, without blame or shame. As Oprah once said, journaling allows you to “release what no longer serves [you].”
“To keep a journal is like having someone whisper in your ear every day,” my friend Siddharth says. He claims journaling stopped him from making impulsive decisions that can sometimes derail another person’s growth. Siddharth tells me journaling has given him the ability to reflect on his feelings before he acts them out. For example, journaling helped him see how his parents’ divorce affected him, and journaling helped him process his feelings through journal prompts for years after. “Journaling allows me to remind myself of the progress I’ve made,” Siddharth says. “This gives my day a foundation.” He believes journaling is an important tool in understanding both yourself and the world around you, but journaling isn’t a one size fits all solution.
Hard Drives: The Modern Journals
Journals, as you may come to find, are the oldest forms of “hard drives” for the modern human. If you are religious, it is likely you read “journals” of people who documented their experiences. If you study law or politics, you are constantly referencing journals of information written a long time ago. Whether you journal in a paper journal or journal online, the purpose of journaling is to store information that may come in handy later. Have you ever been to an event and made a comment that you wished you could immediately take back? I was at an event once where I had to make a big decision and the answer was inside a book full of past experiences.
So why should you keep a journal?
Why take the time to write the things you have already experienced? The importance of keeping track of your memories is worth discussing. For whatever is worth, consider our research and enjoy it. Here are just four reasons why you should consider journaling:
- You can go back and reference moments when you made a mistake in life
- You can recall a time in your life when you have full happiness
- Journals can help you create content!
You should never rely on your memory to compartmentalize all the important information you need to remember. Most people journal just to remember what’s going on in their lives, but journaling can also help you create content for your business and online marketing. “Content is king,” so why not make some of your own? By journaling, you are creating a written record of your thoughts/emotions. Your journal may contain the secret to the additional piece of code you needed for the app you are building. If you journal consistently, it can help relieve stress and anxiety. There’s nothing more depressing than not remembering what happened last week because you were so busy with your work/life balance.
#1 Avoid Same Mistakes
One of the key elements of a journal is staying honest with the things your write. Your journal should be a place for you to keep your feelings (positive and negative) in one place. This journal can assist you when you are feeling less than confident about the things that are going on in your life. When you log in, there is a recording of information that may come in handy later. For example, let’s say you go out of town, and you referenced a road you journaled about.
You remember writing about how nostalgic your trip was, and how it made you feel like “riding through fields of the home where I grew up”, but the potholes were UNBEARABLE. The trip just became a little less dangerous because you were able to reference that moment in time. If journaling is something you want to implement in your life, be sure you take time daily. I journal every night before I go to bed and during my morning meditation.
#2 Remember the Good Times
The memories are there. They might be buried under your consciousness. But statistic shows that, inevitably, our memory erodes with age. Write the positive experiences down and go back to them periodically. The consistent exercise of remembering your positive life episodes will enhance your confidence to new levels.
According to Ellen Byron of the Wallstreet Journal, “Journaling is really, really good for us. It’s a tool for self-reflection and there are many studies that show it is good for our physical and mental health. I teach my own method but there’s no wrong way to journal. What makes journaling most effective is this idea of welcoming stillness and reflection. Where we get stuck is that in our culture everything is screaming at us to not stop.” – How Journaling Can Help You Live Your Best Life, April 13, 2021.
Use journaling as a tool to recall those moments when you were truly happy. You can journal about your dreams and aspirations in the present and future. Let’s write about what it’s going to take for us to reach those goals.
#3 Create Content
The journaling process will help you create content for your marketing. By journaling, there is a database of information that can be published elsewhere or used in conversation, or even used as an outline for a blog post. There are many ways journaling can be beneficial to the business owner, especially one who understands the power of marketing and advertising. And the best part of the journal content – is it doesn’t cost anything! But don’t journal to just remember. Log events in your life to create the vision you want by remembering the things that make your life better. Remember positive thoughts and feelings. Journaling is just as much an art as it is a journal or diary. So journal because you enjoy journaling, not because you are forced to.
“The best advice for anyone trying to grow on social media is to be real and to be consistent. People will connect more with you if you stay true to yourself and who you are.” -Lele Pons
Set up an outline before you begin journaling – create a journal outline that will help you know what type of information should be put into your experience. Set up journal entries for a specific time of day. For example, journal in the morning or journal before bedtime – whatever works best for you to remember it will work. The idea is consistent and makes journaling effortless so that you can focus on writing about your experiences instead of trying to figure out when you are going to do it.