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10 Healthy Advantages of Journaling

Updated on November 25, 2017
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

My passion is to inspire and coach people to achieve what they want to get out of life.

Feed Your Soul

Feed your Soul with endless energy through journaling
Feed your Soul with endless energy through journaling | Source

Journal or not to Journal?

Do you journal? Are you recording your ideas, creations, thoughts, and successes? Maybe you should. Journaling can be a very beneficial tool. It helps your brain reduce the volume of content kept in your consciousness memory, and it also is useful for recording what you have experienced in your life.

Record Your Own History

Journaling or recording events, thoughts, emotions, inventions, research, and ideas date back to the beginning of man. Cavemen started journaling their history by storytelling through drawings on cave walls. Some of the greatest inventors, visionaries, world leaders and thinkers have kept a daily journal.

Record keeping or journaling advanced with the advent of handwriting, and even further with the invention of typewriters. But now technology with computers, tablets, and smartphones recording one's history has gone to the next level. Not only journaling with words by also with images and sound combined.

Heal through Journaling

Enhance your sobriety journey by journaling
Enhance your sobriety journey by journaling | Source

Why use a journal, you might ask?

Let’s look at what a journal is. A journal is a daily personal record. A personal recording of creative thoughts, dreams, events, feelings, ideas, and personal experiences. The main purpose of journaling is to gain new perspectives each day by going back and reviewing your daily posts and recognizing your development of ideas, inventions and progress through many of your projects. Best of all journaling is a key to knowing yourself more intimately and improving your relationship with you.

Journaling can also be a chronological record of your perceptions of yourself and your connections with other people. You can explore your feelings about specific situations, or cultural circumstances throughout your day and world events. You can also record personal lessons and experiences you have had in unusual locations with others, and finally, you can keep track of things or events that excited you.

Many Advantages of Journaling

10 Tips to improve your life through journaling
10 Tips to improve your life through journaling | Source

10 Health Advantages

The health advantages of journaling are substantial. There are as many advantages to journaling as there are people who journal. You won’t find out the full extent of these benefits until you make a commitment to explore the path of reflection and introspection. Some of the advantages reported by many die-hard people who journal are:

1. Free up Mental Space

One of the advantages of journaling is the opportunity to free your mind. Your conscious mind has a limited amount of conscious space. Freeing space by journaling your thoughts will open your mind and allow you to have free space to create, think, and dream more.

So surrender your questions, dreams, gratitude, fears, goals, ideas and inventions every day to your journal and liberate your mind from holding them all.

2. Free up the clutter in your mind

When your mind is cluttered, it is so hard to concentrate, be creative, or focus on all the chatter going on in your head. You hear constant reminders like; “don’t forget this” or “you haven’t done that.” If you record through journaling, you will not have to keep a multitude of thoughts, ideas, schedules, appointments, tasks and so on in the conscious mind … you won’t need to constantly exert effort in order not to forget. Journaling daily allows your mind to free conscious space in your mind. So rather than filling up your mind and memory storage with your thoughts and feelings you put your thoughts manually in a notebook or computer. At that point, your mind will be free of clutter and chatter. Your journal becomes you living consciousness.

3. Be in the moment

When all you think about is “what I haven’t done” or “what is going to happen next,” it is really hard to focus on the here and now. If you concentrating on the past or projecting into the future, it is almost impossible to focus on current, moment to moment tasks or experiences. It is also difficult to keep a positive and active mindset if you are focused on past or future attitudes which may or may not come to a realization.

4. Improves clarity of thought

Journaling is a method for expressing feelings, ideas and your creativity. Pondering ideas and expressing your thoughts merit being recorded and remembered in a journal. Once that is done, you no longer have to hold those things in consciousness, and thus free space for more thoughts and ideas to flow freely. Journaling is a platform for releasing anxiety, tension and worry while allowing your creativity to be expressed again.

5. Relieve stress

Journaling can be a vehicle for relieving stress. Write down all your negative thoughts, worries, anxieties and fearful predictions. Once in your journal, you can stop holding onto them. You can also go back weeks later and see if they ever come true. You’ll see that 99% of the time worries, anxieties, and fearful predictions never become reality. Your journal acts like a trusted friend or confidant who helps to relieve your burdens in life.

6. Improve decision making

Use your journal to help process decisions you need to make. You can enhance the ability to make good decisions by having a conversation about these issues in your writing each day. Don’t procrastinate and wait until the last minute deadline for having to have a decision on something. Explore your options and consider all sides in your writing, and you’ll feel confident that you’ve reached the best decision possible.

7. Enhanced self-care

Journaling is a wonderful way to focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself. Many times, your needs and wants get buried under the activities of day-to-day life. By taking time to reflect and explore what’s really important, you can find better means of taking care of yourself through journaling.

Free your Mind through the Act of Journaling

Allow your Mind to Fly
Allow your Mind to Fly | Source

8. Reboot your mood

Journaling can be a great vehicle which you can utilize to set a mood or eliminate a mood. Focusing on noting in your journal and expressing what you need to can pull your mind off of a troubling mood and before you know it your mind is in a different mood. Journaling is a very effective way to shift your mindset.

9. Documenting your passions

Journaling is also a way of keeping up with your passions. You will be able to go back and review your progress toward your goals. After a time, you may begin to see a history of your growth and development. It is important that you journal daily so that you maintain this perspective over time.

10. Enhance creativity

Journaling is the art of creating a mental picture with words. A written picture emotional words that will help you remember, return to the thought and connect immediately with the feeling you had that moment you wrote the note. Not everyone has a good memory. Different people remember in different ways. Some people connect with an emotion through words to remember. Some connect visually through reading words. Some through physical connections with a description of an event you experienced.

Another important point is that journaling is a creative process and allows you to express in degrees and creativity. Even though creativity is not natural to everyone, creativity can be enhanced with consistent daily practice and dedication.

Getting Started

In order to get your journal started, you first have to decide what type of vehicle you are going to use to record your beliefs, dreams, events, ideas, passions, perceptions, thoughts, and visions.

Think about it.

Do you prefer the feeling of writing the traditional way, by hand on paper?

Does having a special notebook inspire you to journal regularly?

Perhaps, your personality is more suited to record your feelings, life, and thoughts on a computer.

Try different options and see which suits you best.

Once you have decided on your method of recording then make a commitment to dedicate at least a minimum 10 minutes or even more of your time writing in your journal every day.

After Thoughts

Be good to your brain by starting an active and living journal. Don’t wait.

Start today recording your life, beliefs, dreams, ideas, passions, thoughts, and visions. For you never know when someday your journaling will be important to you or even to the world.

Have compassion for yourself and remember, "any life worth living is worth recording."


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    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 2 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Dear Marilyn,

      Thank you so much for validating this HUB as well as my beliefs of what journaling can help for recovery.

      Yes journaling is very cathartic in nature and releases old thoughts, worries and resentments we accumulate along the way while allowing you to create new ideas and beliefs about yourself. Not to mention the health benefits.


    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Dr. Bill; excellent article. As a writer and person in long-term recovery, journaling helped me evaluate my thoughts, feelings and perceptions in my use. That in turn helped break through much of the denial about the severity of my problem.

      After twenty-six years in recovery, I am still journaling for the cathartic benefits. You reinforce this within the article, but add the various health benefits. All around good job. ~Marilyn

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 3 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Dear thefedorows

      I am happy you enjoyed my HUB on journaling. It means a lot to me.

      I also have been journaling since I was young. Otherwise I would not have a lot of knowledge of events of my life. My memory have slipped over time as I have gotten older.

      I am also old fashion and put pen to paper. I can see more as I write without scrolling.

      I really like the idea of reading last years journal on your birthday.

      Great idea. Blessings, Dr Bill

    • thefedorows profile image

      thefedorows 3 years ago from the Midwest

      I agree with all your benefits of journaling. I've been journaling since I was about 8. My early journals are so much fun to read! However, I just don't find the same effect with typing. I like good ole fashioned paper and pen. Each year I enjoy finding a new journal and at each birthday I enjoy re-reading my past year. Voted up!

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 3 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Hey denise.w.annderson,

      I really appreciate your comments on the subject of your journal. You have brought in another advantage in that reviewing your notes or entries helps you to not make the same mistakes over and over again.


    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Journaling has brought many benefits into my life, especially when I started reviewing my entries on a regular basis. I have two markers in my journal, one for reading, and another in the place where I write. It has been a good way to keep myself from repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I find that I am able to move forward with my goals, and be more at peace with myself.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 3 years ago from Southwest Florida


      Thanks for your voted up on this blog. I am happy you found the method easy to follow. and that your clients could find inspiration and benefit from the blog. Keep following for more to come.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great hub Dr. Bill. Very easy to follow method and will certainly use all these reasons so my clients can find inspiration to journal. Voted up.