Benefits of Journaling

by JeanBakula

Writing in a journal is a great way to stay organized, and it also aids your mental health to be able to express your thoughts on paper.

What are the benefits of journaling? Once a person sits down to organize their thoughts and commit them to paper, they can learn alot about themselves in retrospect. Utilizing a daily journal can be helpful in planning towards goals, or just jotting down ideas for plans in the future. Why not try it?

One Benefit of Journaling Is It's Aid To Memory

Writing in a journal may seem to be a very passive and boring activity to some; yet I have found that there are really quite a few benefits of journaling. Your journal may become a very important record of the goings on in your life, and can also be a font of information you need to remember. Most importantly, it can be a great tool for releasing your emotions and an aid to your mental health.

I began to study how to read Tarot cards about ten years ago. What does that have to do with journals? A Tarot deck contains seventy-eight cards, which each have a different meaning when they are drawn in reverse, and that meaning is not always just the opposite. It is necessary to approach this task with some sort of plan in mind. I decided to draw one card each day, and then later, record the general things which happened during the course of that day in a journal. I was consistent, wrote in the journal every evening before bedtime, and tried to see how my daily activities jived with the card I had chosen from the Tarot deck. I did not see the benefits of journaling in the beginning of the project, it took time for me to see the fruits of my labors. At first I did not always see a correlation. But I always re-read all of the journal entries at the end of each month.

Journals You May Enjoy Using

Grolier - Hardcover Lined Paper Writing Journal - 9" X 7"

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The Tree Of Life Refillable Leather Journal with Embossed Tree Designs, Ivory Sheets, Lined, 5 3/4x8

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Romance Refillable Handmade Journal with Embossed Heart, Lined, 6x8"

This Writing Journal was made by hand with skills learned from centuries of experience. The Writing paper is acid free heavy stock ivory paper. it is not known how long ink will...

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Another Benefit of Journaling: It Helps You Track Your Goals

As the months went by, I began to see that certain cards came up more frequently than others. But more interestingly, I was surprised by some of the other things I wrote about the people I interacted with during the course of the day, or how certain occurrences affected me. I began to notice that certain people often annoyed me, and that dealing with them drained my energy. So I began to see less of them. Sometimes I wrote about things I wanted to accomplish. But after several months of reading my journal, could see the topic come up again and again, but that I was not doing anything to accomplish the stated goal. So a benefit of journaling became to take control of my thought processes and turn them into plans.

As time passed, I graduated to a three card reading each day. I was becoming a better Tarot reader, and getting more familiar with the deck. I was also beginning to look forward to my “journal” time, writing about the day’s events, whether they could be described by the tarot cards I drew or not. One clear benefit of journaling is that it is a relaxing activity, and actually helped me see certain aspects of my days in a much clearer manner. We do not always recall a conversation where someone said something hurtful, or realize that this person may be trying to undermine us. On the other hand, sometimes people do really kind things for us, and we so quickly forget about that without returning the favor.

Journaling Is A Calming Exercise

There were many serious things happening in my life during this time. My best friend from childhood passed on from cervical cancer. Some of the conversations we had during her last weeks alive are still with me because I wrote about them in my journal, a benefit to be truly treasured. My only sibling is bi-polar, and came to live with the family for a year so he could try to straighten up his life. He was able to manage that for a while, but regressed. Yet we did have the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and got to know each other better, as we didn’t spend much time together when we were younger due to our age differences. I recorded family details about our parents that I saw through his eyes, and it helped me to see places where our relationship could be improved. My son began college, even though he did not want to at the time, and then realized it was one of the best decisions he could have made about his life. If I had not recorded that in my journal, I would have forgotten what a hard decision he made about his career trajectory and goals in his own life. It was wonderful to have this family record of the little, everyday thoughts and things we sometimes brush aside in the hustle of everyday life.

I also realized that a benefit of journaling was that it was calming to write down my thoughts about the day’s happenings before bedtime. It enabled me to let go of whatever it was that may have bothered me, as writing forces you to stop and think about your own emotions and reactions more. I believe that reviewing my writings at the end of each month helped me to plan, and be able to reach my goals in a timely manner too. Sometimes I just wished for something that seemed unobtainable at that time, but when I thought about it at another reading, on another day, all of a sudden I could find ways to accomplish what didn’t seem possible. Maybe some days I was just in a bad mood or feeling low on energy.

Jounaling Keeps Your Good Ideas Organized

I found my attitudes often changed regarding certain people and situations too. We’ve all heard that saying, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” But I found that by journaling and writing about new people I met, I liked many of them more as I got to know them better.  Or if I didn’t really click with someone, that I could still find something that I could like about that person. If I didn’t sit down to write about these things, I may have dismissed them from my mind more quickly. So journaling helps us to remember things that may seem little or unimportant at the time, but become more meaningful as time passes. Another benefit of journaling was that it helped me to understand not only myself, but the people around me much better.

I did still study the tarot, and continued to reap the benefits of journaling for many more years. By then I had mastered the tarot deck. But more importantly, I found a new activity that relaxed me, helped me record important things I may have otherwise forgotten, and taught me to take time for introspection in my life, no matter how busy I was! I still utilize the benefits of journaling in other areas of my life. Now that I have my own blog and write on several sites, I keep a journal for jotting down ideas when I get them, so I don’t forget the good ones. I also keep a journal for financial planning and future goals, and find it makes my life much more organized. If you have scriptures you particularly love, or inspirational sayings that help you through the day, you could keep a small journal with those and add to it. Lastly, I keep a small one in my purse, with gift ideas and clothing sizes for the people I am close to, so it’s always with me if I’m out shopping and see something I like, but am unsure if it’s the right thing for the person. Or if I just think of an idea while browsing I can write that down too. I hope you find ways to incorporate the benefits of journaling in your life too!

My Metaphysical Website

http://www.spiritualitypathways.com
If you are interested in Astrology, the Tarot, Reincarnation, Meditation and such topics, don't forget to visit my site! I look forward to seeing you there!

Updated: 05/10/2012, JeanBakula
 
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JeanBakula on 08/02/2012

Hello Dustytoes,
I like your name. I once went a whole summer without wearing shoes when in my teens, I can't recall what I was trying to prove, lol. My feet were tough though! Anyway, I found that I didn't write in the journal every night either, it was usually when I was trying to work out problems, or when my life was changing a lot. I also used one when I learned to read the Tarot, to choose a card a day, and write a brief summary of my day, to see how the cards worked in my life. It was useful. Since I began writing online I don't keep a journal either, I meditate now. Online writing takes alot of time, I write on 2 other sites besides here, and have my own blog. Thanks for commenting.

dustytoes on 07/31/2012

I always keep a journal, but don't necessarily write in it all the time. I tend to write when I have problems or am trying to work out an issue in my life. It's interesting to go back and read how things were in comparison to how they worked out. I like journals that are easy to write in - open flat.

JeanBakula on 06/07/2012

Hello Tolovaj,
Thanks for reading and commenting! Journaling is a good way to keep track of your progress (or lack of it sometimes) towards goals. I'm sure blogging is a great option too, though I would like to keep some of my thoughts private. It is nice that blogs can be used for so many things. I used computer spreadsheets when I learned to read the Tarot, about 10 yrs. ago, when all I knew were accounting programs. It was great. I traced all the cards I drew in a nightly reading for one year, and was able to see what happened in my life, and if it correlated with those cards. Take care.

Tolovaj on 06/07/2012

Journaling takes some discipline but it can be very rewarding. You mentioned organizing thoughts and setting goals and there is always an option to look at the progress (development?) of yourself... I think with blogging a lot of new options for journaling opened and now everybody can find the option which suits him best.

JeanBakula on 05/17/2012

Thank you! I feel like a kid in a candy store when I see pretty journals and folders in Staples. At least it keeps me organized! Take care.

katiem2 on 05/17/2012

I love journals too, I have quite a collection of journals. I have a weakness for fine journals made of hand crafted paper, fine materials, fabrics, beads you name it the more unique and fancy the more I like them. I have a beautiful cloth journal that's beaded, I love that journal. Great article on journals. I like the ones you've included here today.

JeanBakula on 05/10/2012

Hi Debbie,
Thanks for reading! Journaling has made my life much more organized, and I'm a definite convert. They can be used for so many things. Take care.

DebbieBrooks on 05/10/2012

I love Journals.... thanks for shairing
Debbie

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