Keeping a diary is usually associated with the teenage years. Middle and high school girls use their “dear diaries” to gush over the guys they have a crush on and give a vent to their frustrations. However, diaries are not only for teenagers. Keeping a regular diary can be useful for adults, too. Here are the benefits of keeping a personal journal or diary.
It reduces stress. A journal is your shoulder to cry on. Whenever you feel frustrated or angry, you can write about it in your journal. Of course, you can also vent to your friends, family or significant other, but when there's no one around or everyone is too preoccupied with their own problems, a journal will be a great outlet.
It strengthens your self-discipline. Writing regularly is an act of self-discipline whether your write morning pages or analyze your day before going to sleep. You doesn't have to create literary masterpieces, it is consistency that matters.
It helps you know yourself better. Writing about your life will help your learn more about yourself and people around you. You will get to know what makes you happy, if there are any patterns in your behavior (for example, the inclination to make the same mistakes in relationships), how you react to certain situations or people, etc. Writing can also help clarify your emotions and thoughts.
It boosts your creativity. The more you write, the better you get at it. Even if you've never really wanted to try your hand at writing, keeping a journal might unleash your creative potential. Journaling can also help you brainstorm new ideas, process new information, and enlarge your vocabulary. “Stream of consciousness” writing in your journal is a great way to overcome writer's block.
It helps you achieve goals and solve problems. When you write your goals down, they don't seem abstract anymore. As for solving problems, journaling helps clarify them and prompts your subconscious to find a solution. Keeping a diary is also helpful when you need to make an important decision; you can use your journal to formulate the pros and cons.
It improves your communication skills. Writing is a form of communication, albeit keeping a journal is basically communicating with oneself. When you learn to express your thoughts coherently in writing, you will notice that it has become easier to vocalize them, too. Of course, journaling will benefit your vocal communication only if you really work on improving your writing.
- 7 Ways to Combat Stress, 8 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem, How to Increase Your Creativity