The Benefits of Writing a Diary
I have kept a diary since my childhood, although I have not been able to save them all; and I keep/write diaries in many different ways. Some of my diaries are kept regular journal style. Some are brief comments kept in calendars. I write in all of the books I own as I read – my thoughts about what I read and my opinions about the respective author.
My textbooks from law school look like a young child “ripped through them” - worn out pages with comments in the margins explaining to myself in English what it all means and then a kaleidoscope of highlighted paragraphs. Heaven knows, as a lawyer, I wrote thousands of pages. I can write in my sleep (just kidding)!
Finally, in my first three months of writing for HubPages, I published 42 hubs/articles. I'm up to about 65 now. Yes, HubPages has become another diary of mine. It’s a diary of issues that are important to me and my feelings and experiences along the way.
There are many reasons to keep a diary; and I will share them with you in my Top Ten Style.
Top Ten Reasons to Keep a Diary
1. The more you write the better you get. Writing is such a important skill to develop, particularly in this information world. Whether it is an email to a friend or applying for jobs online, grammar, spelling, and the ability to be articulate are valuable skills.
2. Documenting important events is healthy. Keeping a diary can prove to be useful to remembering important events in your life. More importantly, clinical psychologists have found "Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health." (Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2005)11: 338-346doi: 10.1192/apt.11.5.338).
3. Express your emotions. A diary provides an outlet for your emotions. Not everyone likes to wear their emotions on their sleeve. Writing can prove to be a wonderful outlet to let loose, get the emotions out of your system so that you don’t carry them around with you. Writing is very therapeutic.
4. Writing keeps the mind sharp. It can be a great way to sort out your problems without argument.
5. Writing increases your confidence. Writing about positive things or events in your life can help to boost self-esteem and confidence.
6. Write about whatever you want. Diaries do not necessarily have to be about your personal experiences. That’s the best thing about diaries…fill the pages with famous quotes, your favorite poems (or your own), your favorite song lyrics, sections from books you have read, or your own sketches…
7. Writing gives you perspective. Writing on a particular experience, situation, or issue can help you achieve proper perspective.
8. Writing is a productive activity. Writing in a diary is a productive way to spend your time.
9. Writing is a conversation. Diaries provide the space for you to have a conversation with yourself, which we all need from time to time.
10. Writing makes you self-aware. After writing in a journal for a period of time, you will find self-awareness. You will be able to see patterns in your life experiences and thought processes.
Long Term Benefits of Expressive Writing
Social & Behavioral Outcomes
Less stress-related doctor visits
Lower absenteeism from work
Improved immune syst. function
Improved working memory
Reduced blood pressure
Higher students’ grade point average
Now that you know all of the many good reasons for keeping a diary or journal, I hope you take the time to start writing. Writing, for the sole purpose of writing, can be an amazing experience. Who knows how talented you might be…you could be the next famous author!
Thanks to kannanwrites for inspiring me to write this hub.
By Liza Lugo, J.D.
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