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The Benefits of Journaling

Updated on August 16, 2017

Why Journal?

It's a question I have asked myself for a number of years, why journal? What good could it possibly do to write down the thoughts, memories, and struggles of my day in a book that most likely I will only ever read? I decided to write this hub because on my dorm room desk sits a red leather bound journal that I received as a Christmas present. It sits in the corner of my desk with not a word written in it yet, and it has been nearly a month since I received it. My red journal created the inspiration for writing this hub. Over the past few days, I decided to do some research and see what others thought about keeping a journal and if it truly is worth taking the time to write in. Let the journal journey begin!

When Did "Journal" Become a Verb?

Surprisingly enough, the concept of keeping a journal has not existed since the world began due to a key reality. Individuals in biblical times, did not often times keep a journal at all simply due to the lack of writing supplies such as pencil and paper. While these items seem so easily obtained to us today, these materials haven't always been readily available. C.S. Lewis, a well known twentieth century Christian author, said that he kept a journal before becoming a Christian but he stopped keeping a journal after becoming a Christ follower because he felt that writing in a journal brought the focus on himself and his selfish desires rather than on Christ.

I think it is hard to say when journaling rose in popularity, but I do feel that in the last ten years or so journals have been distributed widely in stores such as Barnes & Noble. Nowadays, many people keep the pocket sized moleskin journals with them to jot down thoughts throughout their day. Additionally, more and more people keep a regular blog that is definitely a journal in its own way. So then, I think it is fair to say that writing in a journal is simply a personal preference suitable for some people and a nuisance for others. Let's explore some of the obvious benefits and negative effects of journaling.

Benefits:

1. I believe journaling provides a great avenue for self-reflection. Keeping a journal gives you a physical source to refer back to when you face similar challenges or high points throughout the course of life.

2. Writing regularly in a journal increases focus, and allows you feel to more organized as you go about your day.

3. Journaling enhances creativity and intuition because it literally provides visible direction on a page. Instead of thinking of intellectual ideas in your mind, writing these ideas on paper allows you to revisit them at a later date and make adaptations accordingly.

Disadvantages:

1. As C.S. Lewis said, writing in a journal can have negative effects if a self-centered approach is taken in writing on a daily basis. Personal aspirations, goals, fears, and reflections could become the sole focus of the journal instead of seeking out and building community with others.

2. A daily journal could become a means to internalize emotions and bad habits rather than sharing them with a close friend or family member that could provide assistance or some alternative outlook that you personally couldn't see.

3. Your journal is a perfect mechanism to be completely honest with yourself. However, it can be difficult to be entirely honest even on paper, and individuals may falsely portray themselves or their desires in life.

All in all, I feel that keeping a journal is a necessary discipline that all people should at least try for a period of at least a month to see what effects it has on your life, which why I personally have just begun my journey into journaling to see where it takes me.

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    • Saleeln18 profile image

      Saleeln18 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      This is a great hub. I got into journalism myself when I was young but abruptly stopped, but I got back into it in the past year. I find that it is a very constructive outlet. I realize so much when I take a look back at old entries, because the words have captured my thoughts and feeling of that specific moment. I really encourage you to stay in journalism, personal or public, I think it's really beneficial.

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