Man with red hair staring intently into the camera with a funny expression as he writes his secret thoughts in his journal.

What do you Mean You're not Journaling?!?

What Do You Mean You’re Not Journaling?!?

Dear Diary, 

The funniest thing happened at work today. Not sure the boss would agree, but...

Do you keep a diary or journal? No? Well, you may want to. Journaling lets you bare your soul and offload everything and anything on your mind. Don’t take it from me… There are studies that actually show journaling provides benefits – physical, emotional and mental!

Do I journal? Of course! Where else can I admit, without fear of ridicule, my guilty habit of watching The Bachelor or that those surprise military homecomings they show on TV always bring a tear to my eye? (Don’t judge me. Burly men have hearts, you know.) Journaling is like entering a judgement-free zone: it’s between you and your journal.

Dear Diary,

Yesterday all I ate were six celery sticks and I still gained 3 pounds. What gives?

Well, okay...I may have had some M&Ms, too – but not that many. Oh alright… I ate the whole bag of M&Ms. I’ll be better tomorrow. I promise myself I’ll be better tomorrow. 

You see you can always fess up in your journal! It’s a sacred place where you can converse with yourself. You can plan, make goals, document what’s going on in your life. Your journal can be anything you want it to be.

Dear Diary,

I had that dream again last night – the one where I was locked out of my house in my underwear... 

It’s been said that dreams are a window to our soul, or subconscious, as Sigmund Freud put it. Sometimes we wake up and remember our dreams. Then what happens the next morning? Poof! The details of those dreams are gone right out of our heads! But… If you had a journal by your bedside, you could document your dream and try and make some sense out of it the following morning. Some dreams can be so outlandish, it’s difficult to decipher where they’re coming from. But still, dream journals are great if you have very vivid or particularly puzzling dreams. By recording these dreams in detail – When did the dreams occur? Were they in black and white or in color? What happened the day preceding the dream? etc. – you may be able to solve the mystery. Me, I just want to know why I’m always outside in my underwear!

Dear Diary,

Today the doctor told me that, if I wanted to enjoy my retirement years, I had to find a way to reduce stress. How’s that for a stress-inducing declaration? 

Journaling can help reduce stress by forcing us to focus our minds on the present. That alone can lessen frustrations over the past or help calm anxieties about some upcoming event. When you put pen to paper, you’re telling your mind, “Hey, pay attention. This is what’s important to me right now. Don’t waste time on those other things.” Reduced stress leads to better sleep and improved health overall – two things I’m very much in favor of.

Dear Dairy,

Today I am grateful for... 

Gratitude journals are perhaps my favorite. Often, it’s the little things that make life special, but life is so fast, those are exactly the things that are easy to overlook. Forcing yourself to take just five minutes a day to focus on the positive can be really powerful and help us appreciate just how we are blessed. It could be anything – I’m thankful for another day . . . I’m thankful for my loyal friends . . . I’m thankful I didn’t drop a bowling ball on my big toe . . . Try it. You’ll be amazed what a mood booster this can be!

There are many other types of journals. I keep a few: a writer’s journal to jot down ideas that can be fleshed out later for future blogs and articles; a goal and accomplishment journal to keep me on track; a travel journal of the places I’ve been and those I want to visit. Who knows, someday I just might parasail off the beach in Costa Rica!

Whatever your reason for journaling, consistency is important. Finding a journal that motivates you to write will help. There are probably as many styles available as there are reasons for journaling. Check out our collection of handmade journals for some inspiration and to make the experience even more special – then start journaling!

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