The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Along with this blog I also have my own personal journal that I hope nobody will actually read (at least until I pass away). I believe it’s important for everyone to write regularly about a number of different subjects, whether they plan for other people to read it or not.

There are many benefits to writing out your thoughts; for example, I find that my mind wanders quite frequently, even when I’m supposed to be concentrating on something. Well writing out my thoughts helps me to clear my mind so that my concentration level is maximized; it’s basically like brain dumping for me. But besides just clearing your mind it can also raise your IQ, expand your mind, allow you to think about things more objectively and improve your mental health.

Below are just some of the ways that keeping a personal blog or journal can be beneficial. By the way, if you’re struggling to think of something to write about then I’ve coded a random subject generator just for you, check it out!

Writing a journal can help you achieve goals

Achieving goals

Writing a journal can help you keep track of your goals, and you can even breakdown how you plan on completing them. Writing down your goals also sends a signal to your brain that this is something important, and perhaps you’ll find yourself dedicating more brainpower to your goals once you have it in writing.

Emotional understanding

Writing a journal will not only help you manage your emotions, but it can also help you understand the emotions of another more clearly. Writing helps make you more self-aware, and with this self-awareness you’ll begin to become more familiar with the ways emotions (yours or others’) are affected in certain situations.

Documenting your journey

Our personal accomplishments are a big deal to us all, and accomplishing something usually considered a milestone in our lives. It’s natural to be happy once you’ve accomplished something, but the journey you took to get there is just as important as the end goal. Writing in a journal can help you keep track of the different points that lead up to your personal milestones. This is perfect for reflecting, and advising others who plan to follow a similar path.

Your journey should be documented

Just imagine when you’re old and have the grand-kids over and want to tell them about how you went from sleeping on park benches, to sleeping in five star hotels around the world every three months. There’s nothing better than having all (or parts) of the experience in writing.

Having content at the ready

If you’re big on creating content and publishing like I am, then you’ll understand that it’s important to always have content at the ready. Writing regularly will eventually create an endless supply of content for you.

You may not even use every journal entry as a piece of content verbatim, but the context of what you’ve written can be re-purposed and reused in a number of ways. For example, there have been a number of articles on this very blog that have started out as journal entries, and now they’re available here for the world to read. Some of them get hundreds of hits per day, and prompt people to contact me and start discussions. These things are priceless.

Also, what if you’re to become famous one day? That autobiography will be so much easier to write if you’ve been keeping a journal ay?

Sparking creativity

I love being creative. In fact, I get extremely grumpy when I can’t do creative things for long periods of time. I also get into modes where I get so exhausted that I can’t do anything, but my mind is racing at Usain Bolt speeds because I need to do something creative, but the motivation just isn’t there. These are the times when writing in a journal can be beneficial to creativity.

Writing anything, no matter what it is, will allow your creativity to flow.

“Our struggle isn’t whether we’re creative, it’s how to let it flow.”

Once it’s flowing the possibilities are endless.

Keeping a journal will help your memory

Improving your memory

These days I’m involved in so many different things that it’s hard for me to remember small details. It’s natural for us to forget things, especially as we get older. Nevertheless, you’re 7 times more likely to remember something if you wrote it down, or wrote about it period. On top of that, writing a journal will improve your memory in general, not just on the subject you’re writing about.

Words represent ideas, and these formations of words help the mind to compose new ideas and draw connections to existing ones. This solidifies previously understood information and allows you to recall them more effectively.

Honourable mentions

  • Improving handwriting: My handwriting is poor, but I get to practice and make it more presentable with writing more frequently
  • Improving vocabulary: Reading and writing frequently will make you a better speaker and wordsmith.

There are many more benefits.

I could go on and on, but this is where I ask you all to contribute your thoughts in the comments below. Do you have a personal blog or journal? How has it benefited you? Which other ways do you think it’s beneficial to have one? Let us know!

Again, if you’re struggling to find topics then use my self made topic generator.

  • Alice Calch

    It’s amazing how a simple pen and a paper can be powerful life tools. Just by writing down your thoughts, you can relieve yourself of some of the stress and shift your feelings from negative to positive. Thanks for the great article Gary. Thought you might find this article interesting as well: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/improve-mental-emotional-stability-simple-writing. Cheers!

    • Thanks for your comment Alice. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      That article you linked is certainly interesting and I know for sure that writing is linked to my happiness.