The Benefits of Journaling

Maybe it’s just me, because I love to write, but recently, I have started journaling and I can’t help but notice how much more calm and collected my mind seems to be. (Well, not recently, but for about 6 months now.) Even so, I look back on what I wrote these past few months and can’t help but smile. To see how my perspectives have changed, and to see how much my life has changed is rewarding and honestly, encouraging.

It’s no question that being a college student is extremely stressful. Students are expected to study for 2 hours per hour of class time. Upkeep an acceptable social life. Get 8+ hours of sleep. Eat healthy and get exercise. Have time to call your family and friends back at home. Self care gets pushed to the side much too often.

I have learned that a very easy fix for this is to simply dedicate a journal to your thoughts, memories, and ideas. Since I have began my journal in July, it has kept me on task. I started my journal as a “themes, thoughts, and actions” journal, in which I would start the page off with my “themes” of the day. Some examples of these themes are mental health, faith, or honesty. I would then go in description of why these were my themes of the day, and what occurred throughout the day to make me ponder these themes. Lastly, I would set “actions” for myself to upkeep these themes in days to come. Eventually, that set-up became hard to keep up with, and it just eventually morphed into a journal where I will record my day, how I am feeling, and my goals. It has become one of the highlights of my day. I cannot wait to get some downtime to just be alone with my thoughts and words.

Okay, so what? How does writing down how you’re feeling actually lead to a more collected and calm mindset? In simple words, it will help clear your head, and above all, it will help you make important connections between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors–a sort of self reflection. I have noticed so much about myself simply by reading my own words. I have realized how to become less jealous, appreciate the good things, and focus on my own self improvement. Not to mention, it helps me to remember the good days. Days that I may not have remembered if it wasn’t for my journal. Days where I laughed with my family, days where I was traveling, and calm days where I was relaxed and truly happy. It is a reminder that those days will come again.

Now I cannot promise that your results will be the same, but I encourage you to at least try it. Journaling has truly improved my outlook on life, my mind, and my faith. It helps keep me organized and thankful for the life that I have created for myself.