Journaling 101 // 5 Benefits of Keeping a Journal

You may be thinking that journaling is a silly notion and an additional task to add to your already busy life. But suppose I told you it was an activity that released stress, helped you organize your thoughts and cleared away clutter from your mind? I remember when I was young and I would come home upset from a bad day at school – my mom would hear me out and then she would recommend that I write my feelings and recollection of the day in my diary. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t – however, looking back I can say without a doubt that the times that I wrote out my feelings and strong opinions on paper, allowed me to let go of them and face a new day. The same goes when I have swirling thoughts for a project ahead of me. The best thing I can do for myself is write out those thoughts, ideas, emotions, etc. As I do, I begin to formulate my thoughts, develop those worth developing, and scrap any hindering emotions.  

No.1 Let go of emotions and reduce stress. Whether you’ve just had a fresh fight with someone or you’ve bottled up feelings for years, writing about your feelings can help you to release them. Releasing them may help you heal, move on, or get a better grasp on a situation. It also helps you to feel less like a pressure cooker! 
No.2 Document your life. You should read the things I wrote when I was in the 4th grade. Some entries are just so sweet and precious; others are downright hilarious. For myself, looking back on what I’ve journaled in the past reminds me of things that I’ve overcome, experiences that I’ve cherished and events that were of great significance to me.
No.3 Get clarity. It doesn’t matter what subject of life it is,  if you are feeling all over the place schedule a limited amount of time to write. For example, 10 minutes to just blurt out on paper, all random and not so random thoughts on the topic. I’ve done this exercise a few times and find it quite helpful.
No.4 Self-Discovery. Nope, I’m not a psychologist, but my mom is a counsellor and self-discovery is not foreign to me. Knowing who you are through and through really helps you make decisions in life, clearly and confidently. Journaling can help you find out more about yourself than you think. As you write, things unravel that you didn’t necessarily know were in you – dreams, emotions, opinions, etc. Having an outlet to discover more of who you are is awesome. 

No.5 Find resolution. You might be going back and forth on a decision that you need to make or perhaps you’ve had a disagreement with someone and there hasn’t been any resolution. Instead of keeping it inside and letting it swirl around, write about it. Write out both sides, write out pros and cons, write out your point of view. It may not be where the issue ends, but it will probably lead you to resolving it instead of being anxious over it.Hope these five points encourage you to begin the journaling journey!

This post is Part 2 of Journaling 101. To read about how to pick a journal in the 1st segment:The Journal Itself, click here  and be sure to tune in next week for segment 3 of this series – we’ll be talking about writing prompts and how to get started!


  1. says

    I think this is great! I just bought one today to keep by my bed as a Gratitude Journal. I just want to write down a couple of things each night that I’m thankful for.

    Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

  2. says

    Such a perfect post for me. I’m just getting back into journaling and trying to be more disciplined about it. The creative outlet is essential for me. Thanks for sharing these great points… Very true! Also thanks for stopping by my blog today. :)

  3. says

    Emily I thank you for this post. I also kept a journal of my twins from the day I found out I was pregnant and kept it going for years and still do it. In my journal I compared my twins in so many ways. One day my son was diagnosed with autism (not his twin sister) it was taken by a researcher ALL my documents and made medical history breakthrough into early diagnosing of autism. It was a decision that I decided to do when I found out I was pregnant and at 3.5 years old my son was diagnosed with PDD (autism). You never know how journaling will one day maybe help others with what you have documented – ANY way it may help. Again thank you for this post.

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