The other night I found myself shopping for my fourth journal. I have almost completed my third, and I was looking for the specific brand of the journal that I love. While I say I am on my fourth journal what I mean is, this is the third consecutive journal I have completed in the last five years.

I have always written and journaled throughout my life, but never consecutively. In 2015, my parents decided to downsize so just before my wedding I drove up to my parent’s house to go through all the stuff in my old room. It felt symbolic like I was shutting one chapter of my life and starting a new one. Anyway, in my old room, I found tons of old journals, all half finished or just started. It was interesting to go through them and read all the exciting moments and worries that seemed so huge at the time.

While I have always journaled it wasn’t until the end of 2012 that I started to journal more frequently. I was going through a lot emotionally, physically, mentally and I found journaling to be incredibly therapeutic.

Why do I journal?

I can get in my head a little too much. I am an over-thinker, I stew and can get overly worked up about things. I find being able to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper helps to relieve some of the craziness I feel I am experiencing. When I journal I can work through issues, gain perspective, and hold myself accountable.

I don’t just journal when I’m upset or angry; I journal when I am happy or going through something monumental. These entries I love because I can relive the beautiful moments of my life and recall those feelings and emotions I felt.

For example, my January 11, 2018 entry is in two parts. The first entry was when I discovered I was late, that entry ends with, “ If I am pregnant, what a fantastic gift B and I have been given.” The later entry I wrote while sitting on our bathroom floor after I took a pregnancy test and it reads in all caps, ” I AM PREGNANT.

Why is journaling important?

I am a big advocate for journaling – I think everyone should do it. I don’t think it healthy to hold things in, anger, sadness, happiness. I believe all emotions should be felt and experienced. Journaling provides a way of doing that.

For people who tend to hold things in and not let their emotions out it is a wonderful outlet for doing that. For people who tend to be too expressive and tend to find themselves in hot water for saying things they shouldn’t, it is a good outlet for getting it out without upsetting anyone else. It is fantastic for collecting memories as well.

Rules for Journaling

When I started journaling, I made three rules for myself. You can always make your own rules to follow, but just in case you need a starting point, these are mine.

  1. Be Honest. I am a firm believer that if you can’t be honest with anyone else at least be honest with yourself. We often filter ourselves in our everyday lives, in my journals I remove the filter. Having a straightforward telling of your thoughts provides you with an excellent opportunity to evaluate and reflect on them in their rawest form, without any fluff or sugarcoating.
  2. Be Free. What I mean by free, is not to judge your writing. Don’t worry about grammar and errors. Just write freely and see where your entries take you.
  3. Be Consistent. This rule can be difficult for me to follow sometimes but write often. I notice when I make an effort to write more, my entire mood improves. It is like exercising. The entries do not have to be super long, but writing a little every day is good for the soul.

I encourage you to give journaling a try and see where the journey takes you.