Benefits of keeping a journal

I’ve written in a journal nearly every day since December 2002. By my count I missed 14 days in 2003 and 2004 and haven’t missed a day since then. Actually, that’s slightly misleading. I haven’t necessarily written a journal entry each day, but I have an entry for every day. I typically write in my journal for the previous day, usually in the morning. If I don’t write in the morning, I try to write something later on that day, but sometimes I’ll miss a day or two and then write about those days later on.

In any case, after reading 10 reasons to keep a journal, I was surprised to find that there were health benefits associated with keeping one. I’ve never considered keeping a journal as a way to maintain good health, but it’s a great side benefit. I can relate to the reduction in stress because writing your thoughts down allows you to stop worrying about them and can be a great stress reliever. Writing everything down on paper makes problems and difficulties seem smaller. Most challenges aren’t nearly as daunting when you see the small amount of space they take on the page.

I also love reading past journal entries. I’ve written in a journal on and off all the way back to 1984 and I recently read through some old journal entries from high school. It was incredibly revealing for me to read what I had written because of the hindsight I now have. Things I was worried about then seem trivial now. It was very eye-opening, and at times it seemed like I was reading a stranger’s journal because what I had written was so foreign to me now.

Keeping a journal is also a good way to track your personal growth because it provides evidence of how you’ve changed and (hopefully) improved over time. I highly recommend it to anyone, no matter your age.

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