If you are like most moms then I bet you write more than you like. Between grocery list, bills, signing homework, and not to mention things you write at work I mean who would even think about keeping a journal.  But putting a pen to a journal is a great tool and I bet you were not even aware of the many benefits of writing a journal.

What is Journaling?

By definition, journaling is a personal record of your personal experiences, ideas, and reflections that are kept in a private diary.

But in practice journaling is whatever you want it to be. It can be a detailed record of your feelings for therapeutic purposes or it can be a way to record your life events for your children. Whatever your reason for picking up a pen, journaling can provide many benefits both practical and physical.

What are the Benefits of Writing a Journal?

Journaling serves as an escape and is a  great way to get a type of clarity of your thoughts and feelings. Children are taught one way of journaling in school when teachers ask them to write a few sentences on how they feel. A therapist uses journaling as a tool to help to solve problems and encourage their patients to do the same. When you journal about traumatic events in your life you are able to release the emotions you feel behind that event onto paper which can help you manage the symptoms caused by the event.

Journaling has been used for centuries as a way to keep records and details of events because remember we once didn’t have cameras and how do you think we got such great details about those who lived before us (ie. Abraham Lincoln) in our history books.

Here are some of the benefits journaling can provide for your mind, body, and practice.

  • It improves cognitive function
  • It can help with your self-esteem
  • It is great for helping you deal with the effects of stress
  • It can help you process and communicate complex ideas
  • It can help you build better habits
  • It decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions.
  • It strengthens the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses.

Journaling Tips to Try

Journaling is a great tool for managing your stress and there are many different ways you can approach this. It is most effective when you give it about 20 minutes per day and the great thing is you don’t have to worry about spelling or punctuation. If you aren’t new to journaling then you should pick up that pen, but if you need a few ideas here are some different strategies you can try.

Gratitude Journal – If you are someone like me who thinks that being grateful for things can have a very positive effect not only on your mind and body but those around you then you may want to start a gratitude journal. A study was done by the University of Florida and it showed that writing down a positive list of things from the day and how those things make you happy can lower your stress and calm you before bed.  I mean who doesn’t want lower stress levels and to feel calmer at night? Waiter, I’ll take two!Lol

Emotional Vent – Another great journal strategy is to use it as an emotional vent or release. Write down how you dealt with emotional events throughout your day. This is a great way to help you cope with stress by releasing the emotions onto paper you can manage the symptoms. It will also work as a reference to help you deal with same situations better if and when they may arise. This is one of the most used forms of journaling and it has worked for many of our ancestors so why not take up their good habits.

Personal Planning Journal – This form of journaling is great if you are a goal oriented type of person. You can write a journal that keeps tracks of things you need to do each day. Yes, this is a form of journaling and is very effective for building better habits. It is also a great way to declutter your mind and elevate stress. I have to keep bill diary because it helps me not stress about the bills because I see it on paper, call me weird I know, Lol. Organizing is a great way to help relieve stress. Click here to read tips to help with time management

Which Medium Should I Use?

Now that you have some different options of what to journal about you will want to choose a medium. There are many different options so you just want to pick what works best for you.

Paper Notebooks

Maple Leaf, Book, Reading, Dear Diary

In a world of phones and apps and electronics some have gotten away from paper but if you are like me and you still love the good old fashion way of writing your thoughts down, then paper notebooks are for you. I like the idea of seeing what I write in case I want to pass it on to others later. I still keep photo albums.

It is the most private because you keep it stored and you don’t have to worry about it being “hacked”.  Plus it isn’t stored on someone else’s memory and you don’t have to worry about things like the app no longer being available and you losing all your entries. Unless you are forgetful like me and you leave it at Starbucks, oh jeez! It is prone to fire and theft so that is something to think about.

They come in different forms and are not all blank, so if you are not up for the blank diary here are two to consider:

Bullet diary – which is great for personal planning journals.

Five-minute entry – Gives you a motivational quote at the top and then gives you a prompt to fill out (What would make today great?), this is good for those who have less time to journal.

Journaling and Diary Apps

Iphone 6, Apple, Ios, Iphone, Ios 8

If you are like many of us, and your phone is attached to your thumb ( I know my kids is) then you may want to look into some journaling apps. There are some apps that are secure that you can use like Penzu and Journey.

Click here for a list of the 10 best journaling apps for android

Just remember that you want to keep the journaling experience as close to natural as possible to get the benefits so stay away from automation.

Blogging

Blogging, Computer, Female, Girl

Blogging is a great way to journal and is often overlooked because people think that blogging is only about making a name for themselves. Of course with blogging your feelings are on front center for an audience to read and view but the benefits are just as useful. And on the other hand, you may help someone by sharing your blog get through a situation they may be facing. This is both brave and selfless of you. You don’t have to choose to publish your post, it is completely up to you. There are many free platforms that will allow you to get started very easy and it doesn’t take any experience to get started. You may even want to turn your passion into a business.

Conclusion

Whatever way you decide to journal there are definitely benefits to doing so. It is not about your writing skills or what pen or fancy book you use it is about you finding something you enjoy to get the benefits you need. If you don’t journal every day do not fret, you can do it anytime, anywhere, and any day you like.

So what do you think, do you see journaling as something you may want to do to help you cope with your stress? Do you have any journaling techniques you already love to use?

I would love to hear about it in the comment section below. Any feedback is always welcome.

14 thoughts on “Benefits of Writing a Journal – 7 Benefits You May Not Know About”

  1. Yeah journaling can really help you cope with a stressful day. Psychologically it is very helpful to acknowledge all the stress full thing going on in your life. And by journaling, you may even help yourself establish plan of action in dealing with your stress.

    1. Hi Dan,
      I agree it is a great way to come up with solutions not only to problems that may be causing you stress but ways you can better deal with your stress. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi there,

    I really enjoyed reading your article, and yes I love to journal. You are right, we as moms, love to write, I find it personally to be a way to vent out. Thank you again, I really enjoyed reading your article.

    1. Hi Kay,
      Yea I think moms have a lot of practice and it is a great way to ven, so no one else has to hear it, Lol! Thanks for the comment 😀

  3. Great advice. I have been using a journal since I was in middle school and let me tell you nothing helps more than that. It helps me remember things, I can look back on fond memories. I honestly think it helps me to be a better mom. Thanks for the input!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      That is really great! I love expressing myself not just in journaling but in music and poems, always have since a little girl. As humans we are meant to express ourselves and using a pen and paper is just as useful as using our voices. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love journaling, and didn’t realize all the different cognitive benefits of it! It’s a great way to figure out what I “really” think or feel about something, like having a conversation with yourself where you don’t yet know all the answers, and you have total privacy. Thanks for the great article

    1. Hi Penelope,
      It is a therapy in the way you can talk out your problems, even when no one wants to listen, your journal will, Lol. It is very private and intimate and I great mental escape. Thanks for the comment!

  5. As a blogger and a writer, I think the best thing to do if you do want to write a blog to vent your feelings but you do not want anyone to see it, you can set up like a private blog so that only people who you let can see it. Or you can just write stuff on your computer and not publish it.

    1. Hi Ben,
      You are absolutely right and I agree you don’t have to make your blog public. Some people are better at typing than writing and so a blog is great. Thanks for commenting!

  6. I agree, writing is such a therapeutic form of self expression, in addition to being an effective way to boost the self confidence and find answers to the big questions on your own.

    Not to mention: I’ve gone back and read some of my journals from a couple years ago and it was pretty entertaining indeed!

    1. Hi Andrea,
      That is neat, going back and seeing your state of mind at a younger age would be pretty entertaining. I found some journals from elementary and it was so funny to read what I thought and felt at that age. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow, Melissa, what an excellent, comprehensive post on journaling. I started journaling when I learned how to do “Morning pages” during “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and I found it incredibly freeing and cathartic. Definitely a way of working through or letting go of unwanted emotions. I’ve found tremendous peace and release in journaling and yes, it often leads me to count my many blessings. I have precious paper notebooks dotted about all over the house with years and years of journaling and can’t bring myself to throw them away (eek on your Starbucks loss -did you ever retrieve it?). Thanks for including the link to journaling apps. What a great idea!

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Even though the world is becoming more and more involved n electronics I am still a big paper person. I write everything down and it helps keep me sane. It is something about writing it that helps my brain acknowledge and remember things better. I can see why you wouldn’t want to throw your journals away it is a part of your history. I would just find a way to neatly store them away. With all the smartphone, apps are always useful ways to pull out a journal when you are in a quick need and it is much more discreet. Thanks for the comment!

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