The Benefits of Keeping a Journal: A Comprehensive Guide

When you use your diary to write down your goals, you can keep a better track of your intentions.


help us organize our thoughts and make them understandable. They can record daily events, thoughts and feelings about certain experiences or opinions. Journey allows you to tag and archive your journal entries.

In a follow-up study, 12 to 18 months later, 85 percent of participants reported that the writing exercise had been useful. Fifty-nine percent continued to use writing to cope with stress. A diary helps you review past failures and successes, and better plan for the future.


allows you to track your progress and see what is working and what is going wrong.

It's also a record of your past accomplishments, which can be invaluable on cloudy days when you feel that nothing is right. Putting pen to paper can help you relax, manage anxiety, cope with depression,1 and enjoy one of life's pleasures (writing). By capturing your thoughts on paper, you can gain a deeper understanding of the causes of your own internal conflicts, while exploring the external challenges you face. Your problems, fears and concerns will come to the surface so you can begin to address them and visualize solutions.

Journaling is a great way to channel your creative energy to express yourself, reduce anxiety, and solve problems.2 Expressive writing has been shown to provide significant benefits for people with a variety of medical problems. Self-reported physical health outcomes of expressive writing have included improved liver function, reduced blood pressure, improved immune system functioning, and improved athletic performance.3 It is clear that keeping a diary can not only improve mental health, but also physical health. Writing down your ideas forces you to organize your thoughts. It can help you communicate better both on paper and verbally, as there is a strong connection between writing and speaking,4 Keeping a journal can also improve your ability to write well, particularly by improving your voice and vocabulary,5 Maintaining a growth mindset can help you open up to new experiences and can also increase your neuroplasticity.

It has even been shown to have an impact on physical well-being; avid journalist and magazine writer Michael Grothaus points out that studies suggest that keeping a diary can strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, and generally stay healthier (201). Writing about positive events before sleep also helps, as it redirects your mind from dark thoughts that keep you awake. Along with all the groups mentioned above, students of all ages can also benefit from keeping a diary.

If you haven't been writing a diary in a while, here are some incredible benefits that will inspire you to get back into the habit


Now you have an idea of how to start your diary, but you may need a little more conviction about the benefits. As you might have guessed, the benefits of keeping a diary naturally extend to more general stress management as well as anxiety. Simply keeping track of your thoughts, feelings, and actions can have a surprisingly big impact on your life. Keeping a diary can help you stop distancing yourself from your problems, encourage you to face your problems head-on, and reduce the obsessive component of your disorder (Rabinor, 199).

Most of these benefits will benefit children both in and out of the classroom, helping them navigate the difficult parts of life in different domains. Keeping a diary is one of those habits; it can keep you focused, help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, give you the opportunity to reflect and self-analyze, and much more. If you keep a journal to keep your thoughts and schedules organized, you may find that being prepared reduces anxiety. The benefits of keeping a diary is that you can record all your ideas in one place anytime anywhere.

If you've decided to start (or start over) keeping a journal but aren't sure how to do it, there are some great tips in this section that may be useful for getting started or maintaining this useful habit.

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