Why Keep a Journal?
There are a few reasons to keep a journal. One of the first is obvious to pack rats: a keepsake. Journaling about your life, however mundane, can be a treasure later in life to you and your family. Think about your life ten years ago ‘š or even the world ten years ago. There was no such thing as an I-Pod. Cell phones were clunky, and required actual buttons. There is a great capacity for change every day and people rarely take notice.
Another common reason is therapy. Journaling allows an outlet for stress. A common tip for relieving frustration is to write a letter to a person you are angry with, telling them why you are angry. You will not send this letter, but it provides some closure just to have the problem on paper. Journaling gives us the opportunity to address feelings without hurting others. After placing the problem on paper, it is sometimes easier to find a solution. Think of it like a math problem ‘š sometimes it is just easier with a big picture. Writing sets you outside of the problem to see the solution. Journaling has been proven to improve health and cognitive function. In cases of traumatic events, journaling allows patients to deal with loss and their new lifestyle.
A creative tool, most writers or artists keep a journal or a small notebook handy to write down a passing idea or inspiration. Several keep notebooks by their beds in case ideas stir them to wake from a deep sleep. Thoughts can be fleeting, and inspiration is easily lost after ink is set to page. Ideas begin to take shape in these cave drawings of imagination.
It takes a great amount of practice to learn to ‘journal., Many people see journaling as formal writing when, in actually, it should be anything but formal. Perhaps its prior experience that teaches us that there should be a sense of formality to writing and that some topics are taboo. Learn to write honestly is difficult and takes practice. However, once the skill is learned, it is one of the best possible stress relievers.