There are numerous why you should write in a journal every day, and they’re tremendous mental and physical benefits associated with jotting down a journal entry every day.
Writing in a daily journal has been proven to reduce stress levels, improve cognitive function and memory, and has even been shown to make it easier to lose weight if you are keeping a diet journal.
What Are The Benefits Of A Daily Journal?
There are 16 major benefits of keeping a daily journal. As you will see, the legitimacy of these benefits has been reinforced through numerous studies that are mentioned in this article. Research has shown that keeping a daily journal has many benefits that you may not have thought of.
The benefits of a daily journal include:
- Improvements To Memory
- Cognitive Function
- Organization Of Thoughts
- Professional Development
- Therapeutic Benefits For Those Undergoing Stress, Even Trauma
- An Easier Way To Lose Weight
- Increased Creativity
- A Record Of Life Events
- The Opportunity To Take Joy In The Little Things In Life
- The Opportunity To Confront Your Feelings, Even If You Are Not An Open Person
- Improved Handwriting
- Having A Pocket Journal To Bottle Up Your Ideas
- Opportunity To Use An Online Journal Program
- Learn How To Overcome Writer’s Block With Journals That Have Prompts
- Keep Track Of Progress On Goals
- A Strengthened Immune System
Everyday Journals Can Be Entered Online Or On Paper
Many people still enjoy the feel of being able to hold and write in a journal that you can hold in your hands. Others enjoy the convenience of a journal located on your phone or computer. There are a plethora of journaling options; hard copy journals persist even in the digital age.
You will certainly find that there is a wealth of opportunities when it comes to daily journaling. Smartphones often come with a factory-installed notes app, such as those seen in Apple phones and tablets. You will also be able to find a variety of journaling options on your device’s App Store.
There are still many hard copy journals available, as you can see with this search result for the query “daily journal.” The hard copy journals remain popular for more reasons than just the comfort of familiar traditions. It turns out that physically writing down items results in benefits that typing the same information doesn’t. These benefits will be discussed in further detail in this article.
Writing In A Journal Everyday Keeps Your Mind Sharp
Many people enjoy completing puzzles and games to keep their minds active and engaged. Research has shown that puzzles such as sudoku and crossword puzzles, among a host of others, are effective at improving mental health. But did you know that even keeping daily journals are an effective way to keep your mind sharp?
Research has shown that writing in a journal every day can extend mental health, well into older age. In one study, elderly patients experienced memory loss at a rate that was 32% slower if they were engaging in active behaviors such as reading and writing daily.
This is particularly the case when journal entries are completed every night before bedtime. Journal entries require you to recall the events of the day. It is a less-intensive, but also effective, way to keep your mind active and engaged without starting a complicated puzzle.
Doctors are now encouraging elderly patients to start journals in order to stave off the onset of memory loss or other mental health complications.
There Are Journals That Come With Prompts If You Are Unsure Of What To Write-About
Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles to people writing journal entries every day is the fact that they are unsure of what to write about. There are journals that conveniently-come with prompts or subject lines added to each page. This feature can make it simpler to recall the events of the day or even to just be able to stay on topic.
You will be able to find journals that are tailor-made for specific uses. This includes journals with prompts useful for:
- Automotive Care Journals
- Home Maintenance Journals
- Fishing/Hunting Journals
- Gardening Journals
- Investment Journals
- Running/Exercise Journals
- And Many More
How You Can Stop Yourself From Missing Events
Daily journals present the opportunity for you to organize your hectic life. It is far too easy to lose track of appointments and tasks amidst all the other daily events. There are many reasons why keeping daily journals can help you organize your life.
A bullet journal is a type of daily journal that can go a long way in helping you organize your life. There are a variety of specific design methods for designing bullet journals. You start out by purchasing a blank notebook. You will then organize the journal so that you can plan each day’s meetings, appointments, classes, or events ahead of time.
Journaling to set-up a daily schedule for yourself is not as much work as it may sound like it is. You should find that methods like the bullet journal method do not involve a bunch of tedious work. You are essentially using as few words as you possibly can. You are encouraged to use a handwritten daily planner for reasons that will be discussed in further detail later.
Writing things down instead of typing them tends to lead to improved memorization. Calendars on electronic devices may also be more difficult to visualize versus a handwritten planner where you will usually be able to see the plans for the entire day without having to scroll through a digital calendar.
Daily Journals Allow You To Revisit Old Memories
Another perk of daily journal entries is that they allow you to revisit old memories. Daily journals are an effective resource for being able to revisit what you did on a given day. This action will often be performed years down the road.
Young families have a wonderful opportunity to record their memories and keepsakes with journals such as the Grandmother’s Journal: Memories and Keepsakes for My Grandchild. This type of journal is a place for a grandmother to jot down all her memories.
There may not necessarily be enough room in the journal for daily entries, but you can see how a daily journal can be used to preserve those moments that you take for granted. You can also find daily entry journals that include spots where you can drop photos.
Online journals connected to the cloud are particularly useful for these purposes, but you can find journals such as this Pioneer photo album book that includes memo space for you to write messages next to photos. This can be a fun journaling option for those who travel often, who may not be able to remember all the details of every fun story behind the photos.
Why Are Daily Journals A Good Way To Track Progress?
Daily journals are an excellent way to track progress on personal goals and objectives. New year’s resolutions and other self-improvement objectives are helpful, but it is difficult to track progress without keeping a journal or some kind of a record.
Exercise journals are particularly useful. It can actually help you hold yourself accountable, and you can track your exercise progress. With exercise-related journal entries, you will be able to see if you have increased repetitions over time or have been able to gradually decrease recovery times between sets of workouts.
The objective or goals you are tracking with a daily journal need not be limited to exercise workouts. You can also use a daily journal to track other objectives as well. Say, for example, that you want to cook more meals for yourself rather than going out to eat all the time. In this case, it would be beneficial to track your meals.
An excellent example of a journal that can be used to track self-improvement can be seen with this daily positivity journal. The daily positivity journal includes a page where you can make a 60-day reflection on the progress of your goals.
Why Keeping A Daily Journal Helps You Overcome Adversity
Writing a journal entry every day helps you to overcome adversity and deal with unexpected events. One effective way to overcome adversity is to write about how it made you feel and how you plan to overcome the issue.
According to psychology research, expressive writing can lessen the impact of post-traumatic stress and depression. It also improves cognitive functions, including memory. Expressive writing involves writing about events in your life and talking about how they make you feel.
Expressive writing allows you a chance to sit back and think about your response to a given situation. By writing down what you have done to overcome challenges, you will also provide yourself the opportunity to revisit the entry when you meet similar challenges in the future.
How Can I Make It Easier To Learn A New Language?
Writing a daily journal entry can actually make it easier to learn a foreign language, an activity that many people give up on because it can be quite difficult.
According to the University Of North Carolina, being able to write down coherent paragraphs in a foreign language can be effective when paired with practicing speech. Writing a daily journal in a foreign language puts you in a position where you can take the time to make sure that you are translating all words correctly.
This differs from speech practice where you are more likely to form bad habits because you have to make rapid-fire decisions about which word to use and proper pronunciation. It is also easy to show journal entries to fluent speakers who will be able to more easily identify the mistakes that you are making.
Daily journal entries in a foreign language also allow you the opportunity to track your own progress with regards to how fluent you are becoming in the language that you are trying to learn. It is harder to track this progress on your own with speech progress unless you are recording the audio of your speech practice.
Does Writing In A Journal Everyday Actually Make You Smarter?
Research has shown that writing in a journal every day can actually improve cognitive function. Writing improves cognitive function by enabling the writer to organize thoughts in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise. Letters, symbols, and numbers can be difficult for you to wrap your head around until you write them out.
If you are unsure of why this is the case, think about how you plan your meals for the week with shopping lists. You can avoid forgetting to buy needed items by taking inventory of what items you have on hand and jotting down what you need from the store before you go.
By writing in a journal every day, you are taking inventory of everything that you have experienced during the day. Numbers and symbols may even find their way into your daily journal. Perhaps you are looking for ways to bring your spending habits under control, but yet you cannot figure out where you are going wrong.
Is It Better To Write A Journal Or Type A Journal?
There are actually more benefits to handwriting a journal compared to typing one on a device such as a laptop or a tablet. Many people are drawn to digital journals because they are less wasteful and easy to transfer across devices. Unfortunately, digital journals do not have the same impacts on cognitive function that handwritten journals do.
This claim is supported by research performed in the fields of psychology and neuroscience that suggests that handwriting contributes to a more positive effect on memorization capabilities than typing. Writing by hand is said to require more focus and concentration on the structure of each word than typing.
This is most true in the education environment where students have to quickly jot down lecture notes. The same principles can be applied to daily journaling, where you may have less time to think in full detail of the events that you are describing in your daily journal entries.
Are There Journal Books That Are Environmentally-Friendly?
One of the major concerns with hard copy daily journals is that they waste a lot of paper and resources. Fortunately, there are daily journals available that reduce the impact on the environment. Such journals are designed to make the use of these materials as efficiently as possible.
One of the more environmentally-conscious daily journaling options is this hard-cover 5-year journal. This journal has a nice feature where you will be able to see each year’s journal entry for a specific date, such as January 1, on the same page. The 5-year feature makes it easy for users to see how their behaviors have changed over the years.
You will also find that there are many daily journal notebooks that are made largely out of recycled paper. Take, for example, this Northbooks Eco Notebook. The Eco Notebook is made of paper that is sustainably sourced and certified by both the Forestry Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Is It True That Journaling Can Actually Strengthen Your Immune System?
One of the leading causes of a weakened immune system is stress. Studies have shown that stress actually significantly suppresses the body’s ability to fight infectious agents. Stress can even make vaccines less effective. Journaling daily is an excellent way to relieve stress.
According to UC-Davis Health Services, practicing gratitude does much more than just boost immune function. It also lowers the risk of heart failure. You are encouraged to keep a gratitude journal to write down what you are thankful for each day.
The university cites research that has shown that keeping a gratitude diary for 2 weeks:
- Reduces stress hormone levels by 23%
- Reduces dietary fat intake by as much as 25%
- Lowers diastolic blood pressure by 16%
There are many gratitude journals available online that include prompts on each page that nudge you towards the right direction. One example of such a journal is the Habit Nest Gratitude Sidekick Journal. You obviously do not need to buy a journal with prompts, but it certainly can help those who have never kept journals before.
A Pocket Journal Helps You Bottle Up Your Ideas
If you have a journal on hand, then you are certainly less likely to forget the brilliant ideas that pop up in your head. A pocket notebook such as the one found here makes it easy to jot down ideas while you are out on the run.
In the alternative, you are also encouraged to make use of the notes app on your mobile device. The downside to notes on electronic devices is that there are more benefits to handwriting a journal entry versus typing one, although an electronic journal is perceived as being much more convenient.
Will Writing In A Journal Every Day Improve My Writing Skills?
Studies show that writing daily not only helps improve mental dexterity, it also actually improves your writing ability. By writing a journal entry every day, you will find that ideas pop into your head more readily. Writing in a journal every day also improves the quality of one’s handwriting.
Proper handwriting is a skill that is becoming lost to time, due to the onslaught of the digital age. Many may question the value of still emphasizing handwriting quality. Research has shown that the physical act of handwriting lights up areas of the brain attached to pattern recognition.
Having legible handwriting is also still a critical skill in the professional setting. There will probably be some point where you will have to hand off a handwritten note to a coworker. You may also find yourself in a position where you find it easier to explain information if you are able to sketch out a clean diagram during a meeting.
Daily Journaling Will Help Your Career
Keeping a daily journal can actually help you advance your career. Journals allow you to organize your ideas more effectively. One of the most frustrating experiences as a staff member is the inability to effectively communicate your ideas. The theory might be structurally-sound, but you are wasting your efforts if you are unable to communicate said theory.
A daily journal is a dependable solution for a cluttered mind. You do not want to go into an important meeting without first taking the time to plan out how the conversations with your coworkers or managers may go.
There is an abundance of reasons why daily journaling helps move forward professional development, according to this article appearing in Harvard Business Review:
- It allows the opportunity to see things in a way that others don’t
- It teaches your mind how to effectively communicate ideas
- You need opportunities to reflect on your own professional growth
Can Keeping A Food Diary Actually Help You Stay Healthy?
Writing in a journal every day significantly increases the chances that the participant is able to find a balanced diet. A food diary can be used to track daily eating habits and identify diet patterns that may be influencing your quality of life.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, a weight-loss study of almost 1,700 participants showed that those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as participants keeping no records. The participants who kept daily records were able to identify harmful diet patterns more easily.
A food diary should include the following:
- Specific foods and beverages consumed
- You are encouraged to include sauces, condiments, and other toppings
- Descriptors of how the food is prepared (baked, broiled or fried, etc.)
- Include the amount you ate in measures such as ounces, cups or tablespoons
- List the times of the day that you are eating
Keeping track of all these numbers in a physical journal can get complicated. Fortunately, you have access to a variety of resources that can make it easier to track all these numbers. The NewMe Fitness Nutrition Journal makes it easy to jot down the daily details of your diet and make sense of your personal diet habits.
You may also find online dieting journals convenient. There are a variety of online journals that will track your nutritional intake numbers automatically. You can find these resources online by using search terms such as “calorie counter” or “online diet journal.”
If you are sticking to a hard copy journal, you do not necessarily need to write every detail, as described in the above paragraphs. You may consider just adding the time of the day that you ate and what you ate into your daily journal entries that cover a myriad of topics such as the highs and lows for that particular day.
Even if you are light on the specific details of your daily diet, you can still identify and weed out bad habits. An example of a bad habit may be continually skipping lunch and then binge eating later in the day because you are busy during your workday.
Journaling Daily Helps People Overcome Traumatic Events
Studies show that journaling can help people overcome adversity associated with traumatic events. This can include the recent passing of a loved one, the diagnosis of a terminal illness, and a myriad of other possible traumatic scenarios that are capable of altering the trajectory of one’s life.
There are a number of effective strategies for creating a healing narrative, according to Colorado College:
- Journal entries should be grounded in time and place
- Major details of the event should be addressed
- Details causing distress should be confronted rather than passed over
- Thoughts and feelings need to be included
- It’s a good idea to include at least one positive thought or feeling
- The writer should reflect on the significance of what happened
- Connections should be made to previous experiences that were similar or friend’s experiences that were similar
Many professionals, such as those associated with Colorado College, will recommend that journal entries should tell a complete and coherent story. You need not share details that you wish to not include, but confronting traumatic events has proven more effective than just ignoring the problems.
Is There A Specific Type Of Journal That Will Help You Overcome Trauma?
Some writers will find that it is effective just to have a blank canvas for a journal, unadulterated by prompts that they may feel pressured. Other writers have found that it is effective to use a journal with pre-set prompts, especially when trying to create a healing narrative after a traumatic event.
Researchers have found that some people find success writing about the same topics every day, while others may find it simpler to establish a healing narrative if they are able to get creative. They have also found that journaling is an effective approach for those who are less inclined to open up vocally.
Those who are unsure of what to write about may find journals with prompts particularly helpful. One healing journal with writing prompts is Expressive Writing For Healing: Journal Your Way From Grief To Hope.
The journal includes pages of thoughtful advice, interrupted by blank space for writers to reflect. The author of the guided journal, Mary Potter Kenyon, draws knowledge from past experiences and her role as a program coordinator for a retreat center called the Shalom Spirituality Center.