Monday, December 10, 2012

The Benefits of Daily Journaling

Day One Electronic Journal
Since the last week in October I have been experimenting with keeping a daily journal.  I have found great benefits to this activity, and I am surprised at the enjoyment I am getting from chronically my daily moods, activities, important events, etc.  For the next several weeks, I will record my experiences with keeping a journal for those interested. 

I am beginning to see some tangible benefits from keeping a daily journal.  Journaling helps keep life in perspective.  I look back on entries I made to my journal in the past, and it helps me measure my feelings today, compared to then.  If, for example, I am in a bad mood today, and see life as a dark adventure, I have only to look back, sometimes a few days, to see that I was very happy. 

Journaling also helps fulfill my need to express myself.  Writing down my feelings helps me assess my moods from a more objective vantage point.  Thoughts and feelings that I would be reluctant to share with others, can be written in a secure environment where only I can see it. 

Keeping a journal also allows me to keep a running history of my life.  I am amazed at how quickly I forget important events that may have happened just a month ago.  By periodically reviewing my journal, events stay fresh in my mind.  When did my son buy his new car?  How was I feeling before the presidential election?  How did I feel afterwards?  Journaling is  a memory enhancer.  I am now less likely to say to myself "when did that happen."  The date is either in my mind, or just a journal-read away. 

I have also discovered a way to always have my journal accessible.  I now use Day One.  Just started using it today, and was able to include most of my journal entries back to the end of October, December 10.  Day One is a computer program.  I have a version on my Macbook Air, iPad and iPhone.  One of these gadgets is always with me.  So, when I feel like writing, I can.

One of the other advantages of keeping a journal on a computer is the ability to quickly add photos, icons, doodles and other visual tools to a journal entry.  "Pictures are worth a thousand words."  Images add significantly to making a journal entry vivid and memorable.  For example, while training on my bike, I can take a quick photo with my iPhone, enter the photo in my journal and keep a great visual history of the ride.

The article on this website, summarizes many of the real advantages of journaling.


kneecap said...

great idea. I'm going to try this.

Howard Veit said...

Hi Barb, Nice to hear from you. I have now been keeping a daily journal since early October. In addition to being fun, I can see some real psychological benefits. Hope everything goes will with you.