Keeping a diary can be a great way to document your life, express your thoughts and feelings, and even improve your physical health. But it can also have some negative effects if not done correctly. According to Stosny, writing a diary can turn dark when you live too much in your head, turn you into a passive observer in your life, obsess you, become a vehicle of guilt instead of solutions, and you wallow in the negative things that have happened to you. So can keeping a diary be harmful? The answer is yes, there are scenarios where journaling can be detrimental, but these scenarios can be easily avoided.
Like anything else, moderation is key. You just have to know when to stop. Once you moderate your habit of keeping a diary, you'll find that it's one of the most relaxing and positive habits you can develop. People tend to highlight only the advantages of keeping a diary because they believe there are no disadvantages as a result.
However, there are some disadvantages of keeping a diary that can affect people mentally, as keeping a journal requires other lifestyle changes that people don't make. In a report by The Smart Lioness, keeping a diary can cause some to overthink their daily movements, which has a negative impact on their mental health. In addition, keeping a journal can cause some to think about how they will write daily experiences in a journal rather than actually experiencing what is happening in the moment. For those with inflated egos, keeping a diary can also make one obsessed with oneself and they can become obsessed with the negative thoughts that have happened.
It is also a source of guilt rather than a place to find solutions if not done correctly. Obviously, unless done correctly, keeping a diary can have more negative effects on your life than positive ones. By observing how you feel when you physically see it on paper, keeping a journal allows people to identify their priorities, problems, and general fears in their daily lives. I told my girlfriend about my diary because I fully trust her not to rummage around when she's bored.
Some people think so much about their diary that it prevents them from experiencing their lives firsthand. I kept writing in a diary and improved by hiding them (I fill the journals very quickly), but since that day I haven't had a single positive entry in a journal. In spite of that, I have done my best to find ways in which the habit of keeping a journal can still be harmful to another person. And use these tips to increase your attention from the negative to the positive, and to move from defenseless passivity to constructive action. However, many psychotherapists who use journal writing as part of their work have noticed that simply letting off steam emotions is not enough to reduce stress and, in fact, can increase it. That's what the “Keeping a Journal for Happiness” section in the larger (freely available) guide on how to be happy is all about.
Research shows that keeping a journal helps if it leads to greater understanding and behavior change in your interactions with others. So the next time you experience intense negative emotions as a result of an undesirable life experience, go ahead and write about them. When you're going through a rough patch, keeping a diary can cause your mind to fall into a chain reaction of negativity. Not only does keeping a diary offer a number of intellectual, organizational and psychological benefits, but some studies have shown that it can also improve your physical health. Before weighing the pros and cons of this activity, there are numerous types of journals that The Healthy highlights.