Far from being restricted to the realm of teen angst and that awkward phase you’re oh-so-eager to forget, keeping a personal journal can actually be pretty damn good for you, both psychologically and emotionally. Before you roll your eyes at me and ask about my pink, padlocked Barbie diary from primary school (yes, this exists), just hear me out.
In 2017, it might be considered quaint to keep a tangible pen-and-paper journal; an offline conversation you can have with yourself. We’re almost always online in some way or another, and taking a few minutes out of your day to sit down, pour a hot cup of tea and just think can be really satisfying. It’s a quiet, private space where you can talk about how you feel, what you did, why you think you did it, and what you want to do differently tomorrow. You get to gush about all your deepest ambitions, think about what you achieved that day, and plan out what you want to achieve in the future – no matter how big or small that accomplishment might seem. You can even vent about that thing that happened which made you want to swear in six different languages as you press your pen that little bit harder into the paper. It’s a delicious, self-indulgent ritual of the best kind.
It’s good for your mind – Scribbling a few lines into your journal after a difficult day is a safe, cathartic release of emotion and stress. The page in front of you is a secret space where you can be your absolute, unapologetic self; a space of total honesty and a place where you can say all the things you wish you could say in your normal, day-to-day life.
It’s good for your soul – And by ‘soul’, I mean that magical place inside where you keep things like your love for puppies, the tears you shed during The Notebook, and of course, that strange thing called nostalgia. In a world so saturated with social media, many feel a sense of relief in the simple act of going offline and spending some quality time with themselves. Keeping a journal also means that you get to keep a physical record of your experiences, thoughts and ideas, allowing you to go back and rediscover precious memories you might have otherwise lost completely.
It’s good for your writing – This ties in with the fact that keeping a journal allows you to express yourself in a totally uncensored way. That freedom creates room for you to articulate and explore complex thoughts and ideas that you might not get the chance to express online or in person. That, in turn, can be very liberating when it comes to doing a bit of creative writing. Sometimes your journal might gift you with some beautifully phrased bits of writing, but you should look at it as the warm up before the full work out of writing that lies ahead.
Have you ever kept a journal before? What do you think makes it such a therapeutic experience?
Let us know in the comments section below.