5 Reasons Why you Should Start a Diary
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When I was a kid, journaling sounded cool. Many of my favorite shows featured a main character with diary so I started to write all of my thoughts in a daily planner.
But guess what happened … my brother and a friend found it and shared all my secrets, including the boy I had a crush on. So I changed my mind about diaries and stopped writing. I think I even ripped it into pieces and threw it into the trash to make sure that nobody would read it again. Remember the joys of middle school drama? Did you have a similar experience?
I thought I would never write a diary again… EVER.
Guess what? More than fifteen years later, I started a new diary. You must be wondering why I changed my mind. Lately, I’ve been researching and reading a lot about happiness and one of the most common tips I found was journaling.
Gotta say I was on the fence at first. What if someone read all of my deep thoughts again? Well I’m happy to tell you that since middle school, I have become more confident and I feel that I have nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, I’m married so everybody knows who my crush is 😀
I started writing in my diary two months ago and am happy to let you know that I checked in every single day. Yes. Every night I took a moment to think about my day and write it down. I was surprised of the effects it had on me.
So here are my 5 favorite takeaways about journaling.
1. End the day positively
The first thing I do when I go to bed is grab my Pocket Moleskine Daily Planner and a nice pen.
Then, I think about my day and focus on the positive things. I think about my new achievements and any positive activities like hanging out with a friend or going for a walk around the lake.
When I take the time to think about my day and write it down, I realize that my day was good instead of focusing on the one annoying thing that happened. Most of all, I go to bed with a smile on my face.
2. Writing is relaxing
Between our jobs and the activities we have at home, we spend a lot of time typing on keyboards, swiping on phones and staring at screens. Do you remember when you last sat down with a pen and a paper without staring at any screens? How did you feel?
What I love the most about writing a diary is the feeling of the pen sliding on paper and watching the ink slowly filling the page.
If you want a more relaxing experience you can spray your notebook with your favorite perfume or use a scented pen.
3. Better Sleep
I have to confess, the main reason I have sleeping issues is that I often reenact the day in my head especially what could have been better:
- how I could have worded something differently
- how I could have avoided embarrassing myself
- how I could have been more prepared for a meeting
- how bla bla bla bla
You know what I’m talking about. Right?
One of the positive things about journaling is that if something is bothering you, you can just write it down and be done with it. Yes, you heard me right, when you take the time to think about it and let it out, it feels like it has been resolved.
If something is bothering you, I would recommend starting writing about it. Just focus on the subject until nothing more can be added. Then take a moment to think about the good things that happened during the day and write it down.
Ending your writing with positive thinking, makes you think about all these good things when you close your eyes and start falling asleep!
4. Do new things
This was a surprise for me. I started writing about my daily routine, every day: went to work, went to the gym, went home, watched TV, went to bed. It was pretty basic and I quickly got tired of it.
So I decided to change things up by adding simple random tasks every day :
- Call a friend
- Walk to the park with another friend
- Send a Snapchat
- Small goals to achieve in a few days like write a new blog post, take pictures, etc
My life is more interesting since I started journaling.
5. Save memories
Remember The Notebook? I’m not going to spoil it for you if you’ve never watched the movie or read the book. Let’s just say that a diary is a big part of the plot.
At almost 30, I’m already forgetting so many things …
When I was in school, I needed to write things down to memorize them better. Same with writing a diary. The simple act of putting my actions into words engraved them in my brain. As a result, I can recall more easily what is in my diary. Plus, if I forget I can always look for it 🙂
Ready to start journaling?
There is a lot of different type of journals. It’s up to you to find what works the best for you. For example, some have questions you need to answer every day, others let you write on the same page the same day 5 years in a row and much more.
Here are a few examples:
Moleskine Daily Planner Pocket
- Everything You Need To Know To Stop Stress
- 56 Lists To Make When You Are Feeling Down
- The Best Audiobooks That Will Change Your Life
- The Best Tools To Improve Your Life And Be Happier
- Book Review: Calm, Learn How to Calm Your Mind
Over To You
Are you going to start journaling? If you already do, what do you like about it? Let me know in the comment section!
idaplougpahusOctober 21, 2016 at 9:21 am
Such a great post, loved reading it! Especially as a person who have been journaling for a long time herself. I don’t do it every day, but I do it every time I go through something that has had an impact on me I want to remember in the future. It feels so great doing that!!
JulieOctober 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm
Thank you! It’s not easy to do it every day but I try to force myself. My Moleskine is next to my light on my nightstand so I can see it every night!
Esther NagleOctober 21, 2016 at 9:51 am
LOVE IT! I have always been reluctant to keep a diary for a similar reason, except that mine was soon to be ex boyfriends reading my private thoughts then using them against me when things turned sour!
You have inspired me, I am going to start tonight. I reflect on things I am grateful for most nights, but know how powerful writing is, I just published a book that is testament to my belief in the healing power of writing!
Thank you 🙂
JulieOctober 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm
Oh I’m sorry for your boyfriend. I hope you find someone who respects your private space and this experience is not going to stop you from journaling.
I will check out your book !
aliasullivanOctober 21, 2016 at 3:24 pm
I love this! I used to keep a diary and wrote everyday in high school. My blog is the closest thing to a diary now. Thanks for this great post.
JulieOctober 23, 2016 at 2:18 pm
Thank you! You’re right, blogging is a form of journaling!
Sharon WuOctober 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Ahhh! Growing up my mom would always make me keep a diary and I grew to really love doing so exactly for the reasons you’ve listed! I think it’s definitely a great way to reflect on your day and end it on a positive note. Thanks for sharing! xo, sharon
JulieOctober 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm
Thank you for commenting!
barriebismarkOctober 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm
Love this. I strongly believe that writing in a journal is healthy. I like the point you made about ending the day on a positive note. I need more positivity in my life. I like that idea. Thank you for sharing this post!
JulieOctober 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Thank you for commenting!
prettyweirdbombshell (@kandja_sylla)October 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm
What a great post! I certainly enjoyed reading it. I suddenly remembered why I like blogging. It started with having a diary. Now, I kinda do it in cyberspace lol! xx
Recovering MamaOctober 24, 2016 at 8:18 pm
OMG I remember the mortifying moment when I realized my journal was missing from my underwear drawer and my brother had his friends over! I was so upset! Thank goodness I was older so I got to pound out my anger on him 😉 honestly I don’t even remember how it ended, wait, I think my next journal had a chincy lock on it! I’m pretty sure he broke into that one too…. nonetheless I’ve never quit and can attest to all the benefits you talk about! I advocate for journaling all the time! #soulfood
Juliette @ Snorkels To SnowOctober 25, 2016 at 11:06 am
Brilliant post – I am lost without my diary! It is a crucial part of each day for me. I need it to be able to keep all those crazy thoughts out of my head and onto paper! Writing is very therapeutic. Keeping a journal also helps you keep track of emotions & create mindfulness which is ideal for people who are suffering from anxiety, depression, anger issues etc. I must admit it’s been entertaining ready my diaries from when I was a child/teenager!
Lucia SantiagoJanuary 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm
I have started journaling as a way to keep track of my daily walking. Now I have evolved to write about my feelings, fears and other impressions of my day. I found it very relaxing. It is a way to release anxiety and calm my mind. Excellent post!
Aline - Graphiste illustratriceFebruary 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm
Haha, your first experience of journaling was hard! Kids can be so cruel u_u.
I love journaling and i’ve been doing it since school time (more than 10 years ago), i don’t keep my journals anymore because i write only to make me feel good and then rip and send every pages to trash so no one can read it. =p
When i was young, i kept the diaries, i was writing in English so nobody in my family could read it (French is my native language) but there were so much notebooks! I think if i have kept them all, i could build a house with all the diaries. =p
robinmp27May 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm
I really want to journal but I get so caught up on how to start. It’s probably a lot simpler than I am making it, right?
JulieMay 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm
Hi Robin!! I think the first step is to get a journal that you really like. Then all you have to do it leave it on your night stand next to your light. That way you’ll see it every time you go to bed. It’s really easy and it will quickly become a habit !
robinmp27May 2, 2017 at 3:42 am
Thank you for your thoughts……..I am going to try and do this 🙂
maintak9July 31, 2017 at 2:14 am
Absolutely love it. I love writing so journaling comes naturally,
Артем АношкинOctober 5, 2017 at 10:26 am
Julie, I too think that journaling is a great thing, but I can’t write without a journaling prompt 🙂 at all, it’s going to be a waste of time, as I will probably start with what I was writing yesterday, and this way I might be writing the same things for days.
And for me the best solution is the app called Writelight, there are looots of prompts and you get a prompt on a random basis, and often this is an unusual or unique prompt.
Great thing, I encourage you to try.