As I’ve mentioned before, I try to journal every night. Writing has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Spelling, too. As much as I love blogging, I love pencil-to-paper writing even more. It took me about two years until I got bored of having a diary, if you will, and keeping up with myself every night. I took a break for at least a month. I then missed it and have been writing in it almost every night, once again.
So why am I convincing you to start journaling? You can look back to any day and see what you did that day and how you were feeling. Some people are blessed with an insane memory and can recall what they did and how they felt, which I can’t relate. Some people don’t care since it’s in the past, which I can relate. I like to use my journal as my last thing I do at night. Even after I (ashamedly) scroll through Instagram for 30+ minutes. I reflect on my day and let out the feelings that I had forgotten about earlier that day until I started writing. And let me tell you, it feels so nice to just write it out. Many people turn to a significant other, best friends, or even God when trying to release the days emotions. I have great friends who will still love me no matter how much I complain to them and they listen whenever I tell them how I feel at work. The thing about journaling is that I want to write out my feelings in the most positive way possible. I also want the words to be just right, making me think about how I should say something next.
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” – Anaïs Nin
For example: If I wanted to tell my friends about my day, I would say, “ugh. I hate that I have to sit through 45 minutes of traffic everyday after work” versus writing in my journal and saying, “my normal 45 minute traffic wait felt even longer than usual, but I found some good tunes to jam out to after about 10 minutes which made things better”. Or maybe I wouldn’t even mention it in my daily journal. The process of thinking before I speak (write) plus twisting it to a half-glass-full outlook motivates me in the real world when talking and texting. I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t want to improve their optimism.
“Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems.” – Unknown
Does journaling have any benefits? Well, duh! Writing about your day can keep you from annoying your boyfriend (or dad in my case) about talking it, keep you from unnecessary complaints, calm your thoughts making you sleep better, improve your memory, help you create and reach goals, and many other personal reasons. For me, journaling helps improve my blue-tang-like-memory (Dory from Finding Nemo) and helps me shed a positive light on the not-so-positive parts of my day. It’s so easy for me to come home in a bad mood because I’m hot, worn out, and hungry. Praying before I get out of the car helps calm my mind and journaling helps me think of tomorrow and how it won’t be bad at all.
I know it’s crazy, but sometimes I think my silly journal entries will mean something one day. Specifically like Anne Frank. Now her entries had meaning and information while many of mine don’t, but still! How cool would that be if my words meant something to someone someday?
“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.” – Susan Sontag
I encourage you to start journaling for any reason at all. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it’s beneficial. Who knows, maybe you’ll start writing fictional stories or poems because a diary just isn’t enough.