4 Reasons To Keep A Journal

reasons to keep a journalOne of the things that I prefer my clients to do is to keep a journal. It isn’t mandatory of course but there are many benefits to journaling every day.

I have always kept a journal it seems, ever since high school and I have stacks of spiral notebooks to prove it. At first, I used journaling as an outlet just to express myself but the effort to keep a journal has proven more valuable than I ever suspected. For instance, many of this Blog’s articles and material come directly from things I have written over the years.

If you have ever wanted to keep a journal or have thought about it, here are four reasons that doing so will be of benefit.

4 Reasons to Keep a Journal

  1. Keeping a journal is great for your mental well-being. We don’t always have someone in our lives to share all of our feelings with and to “get things out” which might be bothering us. If you keep a journal, you have a safe-place to express yourself on regular basis completely free of judgment and maybe even criticism. If nothing else, it is a great way to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
  2. If you keep a journal, it is a great way to gain clarity on your life. By simply writing out your feelings and reactions to life’s events, you can get a better picture of your own thoughts and behaviors that you may have never seen before. One thing that I learned many years ago was that there would be spells where I wrote in my journal a lot and then times that I didn’t at all and the difference was if I was having a problem in life or not. The times I struggled, I wrote, and the times things were good, I didn’t. When I noticed that pattern, it gave me the insight to what was really going on in my life that I might have never realized.
  3. A journal can serve as a great log of your personal history if you need it. As time passes, the details of our histories may become clouded and having a journal to look back on can provide you with details that you might have otherwise forgotten. Not only does it provide those details, if you keep a journal, it gives you a great opportunity to take inventory of “where you are” compared to “where you used to be.”
  4. Your journal can serve as the incubator for your dreams, goals, and your life plan. When you keep a journal, one of the things that you will write down will be the things that you want to do or achieve in life and while they might not jump out at you at first, these ideas can serve to give you direction on what you want and what you want to do with your life. It was a simple entry in my journal in 2004 that sent me on my path to becoming a therapist and life coach and though it did not seem that significant at the time – it was that little sentence that I wrote, “I want to help people…” which ultimately changed the entire course of my life.

If you decide to keep a journal and begin journaling, it is as simple as picking up a notebook and start by writing a few notes each day. Myself, I tend to keep a notebook and an online document that I use whenever one is more convenient than the other. My clients tend to do a mix of both as well, choosing whichever format suits them the best.

And who knows… if you decide to keep a journal, you may discover a passion for writing and expressing yourself using the written word that you may not have realized you had, and that could be the starting point for your own awesome online Blog, screenplay or best selling book. You never know and you will never know until you start writing.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 24 February 2015

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