The Importance Of Keeping A Journal

Many people keep a journals  in which they write down experiences, thoughts, ideas or feelings.  Often, people use their dreamstimefree_576209 notebooksjournals in idiosyncratic ways and most believe it to be very helpful – or else they would have stopped long ago.   It can be formal or informal, daily or whenever, following guidelines or random, and private or public.  Some journals are used to track external events, other track our interior journeys – some do both.

What you can learn from keeping a journal:

  1. Journal writing provides a regular occasion for examining or recording events.
  2. Writing down ideas can give shape and significance to your interactions with others or with yourself.
  3. As you write and reread, you learn about the deeper meaning of events.
  4. Writing is a different form of expression than thinking or speaking. Therefore, it gives you an opportunity to learn in a different modality.
  5. Writing things down gets ideas out of your head and can remove interior clutter.
  6. Writing things down, especially if you do it systematically, can increase your awareness and lead to taking action with greater intention.
  7. It is difficult to remember events or feelings accurately later on, so journals provide an on-the-spot record

You can learn to be a better writer.

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4 Responses to “The Importance Of Keeping A Journal”

  1. April 18th, 2012 12:18 am

    Dr. Edelstein,
    I just love this beneficial list of learning from our journaling practice. Significance, deeper meaning, increased awareness, and especially removing interior clutter are all fabulous benefits we can expect from journal writing, if done consistently. And creating positive change, taking action, is ultimately one of the most life-enhancing goals.

    I have chosen your post, 7 Reasons to Keep a Journal, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 4/17/12 for all things journaling on Twitter; I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal, my weekly e-journal:

    You’re welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Thursdays at 5 EST/2 PST for all things journaling on Twitter; our topic this week is Your Journaling: Stress Busters!

    Thanks again for such a fabulous, succinct journal writing list of benefits. You simply can’t go wrong with such a practice.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

  2. April 18th, 2012 11:16 am

    I have kept journals since I learned how to write. I’ve used them for many reasons, but mainly to “remove interior clutter”. As I am now nearing 50, I find myself writing more about my memories because they seem to be becoming more and more elusive to recall. Thanks for your post…it was a great reminder of all the other wonderful reasons for journaling!

  3. April 21st, 2012 1:49 am

    I love to write and for me, keeping a journal about my current battle with cancer is a “lifesaver”. When the depression sets in, or the pain is driving me out of my mind I put all of it down of paper and hit post. I strongly urge anyone to keep a journal, even if you are not a writer, keep one for yourself. It does not have to be shared. Do whatever it takes to help ease some of those negative emotions.

  4. April 24th, 2012 3:59 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Edelstein!

    This is a great post to point out how useful a journal can be. And good comments from your readers.

    I resonate with Nae’s comments about how writing during her cancer treatment has helped her maintain more ease. This happened for me when I was treated for breast cancer 14 years ago. I believe that this was a defining experience for me. My looking further inward for direction turned my life around. And I found that journaling was a great solace and support for me. I began journaling in earnest after that time and have since begun my later life career in writing for well being.

    I now teach journaling for creative empowerment and note that when my class participants begin using a journal, they find a useful tool to help them articulate their strengths and purposes. In so doing they have often found more joy and happiness in their lives.

    Many of us loose our steam for writing, and don’t know where to go with it, and for these folks, I provide daily prompts on my Twitter feed. Sometimes this takes the angst out of determining what to do to probe our inner territory.

    I look forward to reading more of your informative posts and wish you the best!

    Karen Silsby

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