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I have spent my entire life writing. I have journaled in various notebooks and cutesy journals since the third grade. It has always been an outlet. Though I have tossed many of them since my pre-teen years, I remember each journal and its specific design and quirks.
When I first began journaling, I tried to stick to a schedule for documenting my day-to-day life. When a month passed and I hadn’t written a word, frustration set in. What was the point of journaling if I never felt motivated to write? It wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized journaling isn’t about scheduling and routine. It’s about letting your thoughts run wild and escape so you can refocus and start fresh.
1. Journaling can calm your body.
When I write in my journal, I throw everything into it. If I am angry and frustrated, it comes through in my writing. From the intensity of the handwriting to the pressure of the pen, you can see it in the script. When you write with intense emotion, the body will tire out, but this helps move it into a calm, relaxed state. Much like punching a pillow or screaming at the wall, the body’s tense feelings release when we project our feelings
2. Journaling helps organize your thoughts.
Have you ever felt lost in your own mind? Have you had so many things on your plate that you cannot begin to complete them? A journal is for more than your thoughts. It can be your daily to-do list, monthly or yearly goals, plans for the future, or plans for your next vacation. Use your journal as a place to organize and list your thoughts, rather than just recapping the day. There’s a reason bullet journals are so popular these days.
3. Journaling creates accountability.
Though journaling requires no commitment on your part (see below), it is still a great way to hold yourself accountable. You can use a journal as a diary or bullet journal to task yourself and keep track of your life goals. It is an awesome way to look back in your past and see what you did right and wrong. Hold yourself accountable for what you want to accomplish by journaling.
4. Journaling requires no commitment.
This is something I struggled with for years. I commited to schedules and colorful themes, only to end up feeling guilty and disappointed when the motivation to write wasn’t there. That’s the beauty of journaling. Commitment to writing is not required. Have your journal available when the need to write arises, but leave it at that. It is a safe space for you to let go of your thoughts, not another piece of your life that needs managing.
5. Journaling is imperfect.
The best part about journaling is its openness to imperfection. No one is perfect, so your journaling won’t be either. Embrace the screw ups and scribbles. I have ripped full pages out of my journals due to their ugliness and scribbles. That’s the beauty of a journal. It is a projection of you in all your imperfect glory! Write in it. Draw in it. Doodle. Make scribbles. Create listicles! Do whatever the heck you want and bask in it!
Now…. Don’t you just want to go buy a bunch of beautiful journals to pour your heart into? I do! …and I already have three waiting to be opened. I still haven’t finished the massive one that was given to me three years ago!
Do you journal? What is your favorite part about journaling?