As someone who’s spent a lifetime in constant awe of the beauty and power that words possess, recording my thoughts has always felt like slipping into a second skin. When I was 10, I used my allowance money to indulge in a dollar store shopping spree which included copious amounts of candy and a bright green diary with the world’s flimsiest lock. Preteen clichés aside, that one purchase gave me the tools to express myself in a way that I didn’t even know was possible.
Your Thoughts Matter: 4 Reasons To Keep A Journal
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
– Anaïs Nin
Whether you use a leather-bound notebook or the Notes app on your phone, whether you create sweeping lines of poetry or jot down blunt musings in point form, your thoughts matter. Here are four reasons to keep a journal so you can start writing them down.
Perspective and growth
My very first journal, in all its glitter-encrusted preteen glory, is an endless source of embarrassment. But it’s also a sign of my growth. It’s a snapshot of my life at that moment, and a testament to how far I’ve come. We’re all a work in progress. Who you are now isn’t who you’ll always be. We’re all meant to evolve and grow. Sometimes the winds of change pick you up and send you flying wildly into the next phase of your life, but often it pulls you along without you even knowing. Keeping a journal is a brilliant way of documenting those changes while they’re taking place.
With such a constant stream of information bombarding us day in and day out, our minds can easily become crowded. In a split second, you can go from having it all together to feeling like you can barely navigate your way through the haze. When you’re looking for a way to quiet the noise, a journal can serve as a safe space for your most intimate thoughts. It can be a place free from judgment, where all that’s asked of you is to be honest with yourself. Each sentence you string together makes your mind a little lighter and leaves you with a greater sense of clarity.
There’s something so concrete about seeing words laid out on a page in front of you. Thoughts can vanish as quickly as they come, especially when they center around the things we want for ourselves. When it comes to your accomplishments, goals, and dreams, writing them down can be a catalyst for setting things into motion. Think of your journal as a vision board, created solely with the words you use. It can be a place where you can hold yourself accountable, where you can map out your destination and the steps you’re willing to take to get there. And when things don’t go your way and you’re feeling discouraged, it can also be a positive reminder of what you’re working towards and what you’ve already accomplished.
Just like people, language evolves. Words take on different meanings, and how you use them becomes such an important thing to consider. Keeping a journal can bring about an acute awareness of the words you use most often. You begin to realize how much negativity or positivity you’ve let into your life by seeing the things you leave on the page. Time and time again, we throw around our words without realizing their weight. Writing them down can help keep that in check, and lead you towards a more mindful state where you’re focused on using your words with positive intent.