Ever since the beginning of time the human need to leave a mark on history has been one of the most powerful ones. We ache to make our lives meaningful, to show other people that we’ve lived and been loved. This is why a great number of famous writers, scientists, kings, queens, politicians and entertainers through history had their own journals. Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Jefferson, Isaac Newton and many other great people who are known to have kept a journal always praised the profound effect it had on their lives. If you wish to know what the whole deal with journals is, read on as we talk about a few benefits they bring, and how you can start your own.
A boost to creativity
If you were to ask them how they became good at writing, most famous writers will simply tell you this – through practice. There is talent, and it counts for a small part of the process, but what really makes someone good is sheer repetition. Even if you don’t care about becoming a writer, keeping a journal will boost your ability to think outside the box and help you articulate your thoughts much better. You will earn a very valuable, transferable skill that you can use in your day-to-day life as you process the events around you. Writing down ideas helps you memorize them better and see them in a different light.
Benefits to our mental health
There are a lot of studies done on mental health benefits of keeping a journal, so most social workers, psychiatrists and other therapists often recommend it to their patients. Writing about the events that transpired and how they affected you can give you a whole new perspective on something and help you process your emotions. You can find wisdom and objectivity in the written word, especially because you’ll be able to come back to it a few days after you’ve written about it and see if any of your feelings have changed. It’s a good insight into your past personality and a good way to see the flaws in your way of thinking. This can only lead to you becoming a better, smarter person.
Starting our own journal
As Nora Roberts says, “You can fix everything but a blank page.” To start your own journal, you can have as little as two things. A simple notebook and a pen can be more than enough, but there’s something incredibly satisfying in keeping your journal neat and colorful. An old-fashioned, leather-bound journal, or a beautiful notebook with a lovely pattern are the perfect places for your most precious thoughts. Find some quality gel pens in various colors and use each color to, for example, underline a different mood. This gives you an insight into how often you feel happy, or sad, or frustrated. The only way to start a journal is to simply sit down and write in it. It might feel awkward and clumsy at first, but if you keep doing it every day, you’ll get a hang of it. Creating a habit
Keeping a journal might sound like it requires a lot of time, but in truth, you don’t need more than fifteen minutes a day. If you stick to doing it every day, soon you’ll feel the need to spend more and more time writing. Writing is a form of escapism, a form of meditation that helps us understand ourselves better, that helps us get rid of stress and solve our problems. If you have issues sticking to something, then try organizing yourself so you write at the same time each day. Even if you don’t feel like writing, sit down, open your journal and tell yourself that you don’t have to write more than two sentences. Before you know it, those two sentences will turn into pages and pages of your thoughts.
You have to ask yourself: how important are my thoughts to me? Even if you use your journal to simply write about which obligations you have, or to track your fitness goals, jotting things down really makes us think about the things we are doing. You could type everything on your computer, but let’s face it – can you promise you won’t be distracted by other things? Hand-written journals are a lot more personal and infinitely more fun, so grab your favorite pen and start writing.
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, designer and a regular contributor to highstylife.com , devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She seeks for beauty in everything that surrounds her. Will start a blog about it once. Until then writes her diary occasionally. Romantic soul and tech geek in one body. She enjoys hiking, cycling, yoga and cooking.