Why Have A Journal And What Should It Include?

April 14, 2024

In the words of Anne Frank, “I can recapture everything when I write.” Throughout history, several notable figures, such as Frieda Kahlo, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie have expressed their hardships, day-to-day activities, and aspirations through the guise of a journal. By penning down your thoughts, you take a step towards self-awareness, creativity, and positivity. Journaling is a mindful self-practice that lets you pour your heart into the pages of your journal without fear of judgment. You can think of a journal as a safe harbour where you can let yourself loose. In this blog, we will cover the benefits of journaling and things you can include in your journal so that you can touch pen to paper or fingers to key and go on a journey of self-expression.


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7 Surprising Benefits Of Maintaining A Journal!

1. Clears Your Mind

That’s right, fellow readers. Much like meditation, journaling helps clear your mind. There are often turbulent times when our emotions drive us to feel and react in certain ways, overriding everything. By developing the habit of journaling, you can empty out the baggage and look at things from a fresh perspective. Your journal will help you reflect on things you may have felt or said during heated moments, helping you break the cycle and reinforce change for your betterment.

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2. Builds Intrapersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand oneself better and be more in tune with one’s thoughts, emotions, and inner self. Journaling can help you venture down this journey of self-exploration. By succinctly jotting down your version of events in your journal, you can see how you mentally visualise and perceive the objective reality around you. This makes journaling great for learning more about yourself.

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3. Develops Emotional Intelligence

Quite simply put, emotional intelligence is an umbrella term for a myriad of qualities -  the ability to regulate one’s own emotions, effective communication, empathy for others, social cues, and more. Journaling is a way to achieve all of this. That’s right! By penning down your internalised emotions, you can get a better understanding of how they work. This will help you bridge the gap between how you feel and what you say, paving the way for effective communication with your loved ones.

4. Enhances Creativity

Apart from improving your writing skills, your journal lets you tune in to your creative side. It provides a creative outlet to document the day’s events. The possibilities are endless - whether you use aesthetic stickers, add washi tape, fill some pages with paper cutouts from magazines and old books, scribble in cute doodles, or flaunt your calligraphy skills. 

Journal Ideas

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5. Helps With Setting Goals

Whether you’re easing into a new diet plan and workout routine or have your week packed with plenty of work meetings, taking down notes in your journal will help you stick to your short and long-term goals. You can also benefit from your journal notes for future activities, seeing how you can schedule things to keep going smoothly and efficiently.

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6. Builds Better Memory

You’d be amazed at how many studies have linked journal practice with improved memory. This is because by writing down the highlights of your day, you are consciously directing your brain to pay attention to the information that’s there in your journal. You see, it helps you enhance your memory and overall cognition. So, waste no more time. Get yourself a journal or use an app and start journaling!

7. Organizes Your Tasks

A journal catches you up to speed with your daily errands. Whether you have to pick up some groceries, pack lunch for your kids, or need to get some office supplies before heading to work, you can use your journal as a practical to-do list.

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17 Things Your Journal Should Include

1. Things you are grateful for

2. Inspiring quotes

3. Resolutions

4. Personal or professional barriers

5. Plans to overcome said obstacles

6. Short and long-term goals

7. Positive affirmations

8. Errands

9. Travel destinations

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Cute Journal Ideas

10. Breakthroughs

11. Diet plan

12. Photos

13. Sketches/Doodles

14. Paper scraps or cutouts

15. Stickers

16. Mood

17. Revelations

It goes without saying that you don’t have to include all of these things in your journal. You can pick a handful of things that seem relevant to you and align with your interests, and build your journal around them. If you are having difficulties creating an outline for your journal, there are many journal prompts available online that will help you design it.

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Last Words

Having explored the secure and safe harbour that journaling offers, we’ve uncovered some surprising benefits that can have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. We’ve also given you a list of things to include in your journal so you can get started. Of course, the key is to design your journal in a way that suits your unique self and expression, thereof. Happy journaling!

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