What I Learned About Journaling

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Hello everyone! For the final installment in the What I Learned series, I’m going to share with you some of what I learned while taking an introduction to journaling class over the summer.

To start, keep in mind that there is a difference between keeping a journal and keeping a diary. A diary is where you record what are considered to be outward focused things and facts (such as keeping a headache diary if you are trying to figure out what causes your headaches) and a journal is where you record inward-focused reflections often in paragraph form.

Let’s get started!

Creativity

The thought of journaling might sound intimidating to people who don’t consider themselves to be creative. I know that I personally have been intimidated by the amazing and beautiful bullet journals I have seen all over Pinterest. I am not great at drawing and could never recreate some of those stunning journal layouts. But guess what? Everyone is creative in their own way. No one has the same perspective that you have, and what you bring to your journal will be special and unique no matter what it is – cutesy little drawings or not.

Benefits

The benefits of journaling are many. The main benefit is that it is a huge stress reducer. As you write about the things in your life that you are uncertain about or that cause worry or concern, you detach yourself from them. This can help bring about an awareness of your problems and in turn give you clarity.

If you are going through some tough times, I highly recommend spending some time writing about what is going on and how it makes you feel in order to better process things. It is also a great way to learn more about yourself! There are so many opportunities for self-discovery in journaling, especially if that is the type of journal you plan to keep. Are there more than one types of journal? Yes! See below…

Types of Journals

Many people start out journaling with a specific goal in mind. You may have heard of travel journals that people take along on trips. This is just one type of journal you can create. Here are a few more themes to journals:

  • Goals
  • Historical
  • Travel
  • Gratitude
  • Health
  • Career
  • Spiritual
  • Art
  • Dreams

…and many more! I have never kept a journal for one explicit reason and don’t really categorize what I write. The type of journal, then, that I mostly use is what is called a thought journal. Thought journals are meant to explore ideas and opinions.

After taking this class, I can see a lot more chances to journal in my daily life. I especially like the idea of keeping a gratitude journal or a career journal to track certain specific aspects of my daily life as well as my longterm goals.

Ultimately, your journal is what you make it. But there is nothing wrong with browsing the internet for new ideas of how to make yours extra special.

What About You?

Do you keep a journal? What are your favorite things to write about?

P.S.

Thank you for reading along to the What I Learned Series this summer! Be sure to check out my past posts on Non-Fiction Writing and Pet Adoption.

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