As a form of self-reflection and mind organization, journaling, the simple daily task of writing down thoughts, or even doodling, has been proven to have several personal benefits.
First and foremost, even if you have not participated in the act of journaling, there have definitely been instances where you have gained knowledge from a journal of another thought provoking human being. Whether it is learning about the extreme trials and tribulations of WWII through the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, about the evolutionary process through the journals of Charles Darwin, about the westward expansion of the United States from the journals of Lewis & Clark, or even about the days in the life of one of the most famous authors, Mark Twain, journaling has been an effective outlet of self-expression for people that come from all different backgrounds and historical importance.
Most of the people mentioned above probably never had any intention to ever have their personal journals published or exposed to the public, which is probably what you hope to never happen to yours. However, it just shows you the profound impact that journaling can have not just on yourself.
With all that being said, your probably still wondering what benefits will you be able to reap by starting this process? Well I’m about to get to that, just remember that journaling is different for everyone. For some, it’s writing down every detail of your day, for others it’s simply writing down ideas you want to remember. Whichever direction you decide to choose, the simple act will further personal growth. Here are some of the many benefits of journaling that get you to put pen to paper:
1. Boosts memory
The mind is definitely a horrible thing to waste! Writing down what you experience improves your ability to remember it later, rather than just having to recall from mental memory alone. It is actually insane to go back through my journals and remember things that would've been so easily forgotten otherwise. By expressing what’s inside our head into another medium, our brain has to further process our ideas, leading to a stronger memory.
2. Improves decision making and critical thinking
Reflective writing has been shown to improve decision making and critical thinking. Journaling helps you examine past experiences, evaluate your actions, and draw insights for encountering future challenges. Whether the past experience was positive or negative, being able to evaluate it and learn from it will be beneficial. Either trying to recreate the positives or avoid the negatives, it is important to keep both on hand to reference in the future!
3. Decreases stress
Writing reduces the scatter in your life. It increases your focus and offers stability to your life. Directing your attention to one task, writing, will help you clear your mind. Take time to pause in life, it will do you some good.
Life is hectic. Organizing your thoughts not only have a profound effect on your mental health and capacity, but also inspires you to be more physically organized.
5. Opportunity for growth
Journals can help you cope with the events going on in your life. When we journal, we convert an experience into words, helping us make sense of our thoughts and experiences. Journals can be powerful tools to help you navigate the discoveries and obstacles of life.
6. It’s flexible and easy
Journaling has no rules - typos, messy handwriting, and poor writing are all okay. Also, there’s no commitment involved; you can start and stop writing whenever you please.
We always find incredible value in journaling and do it in some way shape or form every day. We value journaling so much so that we created our own. One of our favorite things to do is to travel and explore new places. Traveling and experiencing new things constantly brings out the best in us and always inspires us in one way or another. Some of your best memories in life come from traveling. There is so much raw emotion that comes out of us, it is sometimes overwhelming. So much so, that when trying to recall and remember the trip in full, there are definitely some holes and gaps. We did our best to try and make sure this doesn’t happen again, especially as we are trying to hit all 50 States by the time we are 35. Check out our 50 States Travel Journal to help you keep track of your memories throughout the 50 states!
Fun fact: 50 States Traveled was created when coming home from a birthday trip with my sister. This idea came to me after we vowed to hit all 50 states at some point together. I sat on the plane, thought about this concept and started sketching on a shitty piece of paper what I wanted to include in the journal and what the design would look like. I then took it back to Tanner who helped execute this product so that we could make something that others could journal in as well. Writing down my thoughts in that moment led to creating one of our top selling products ever. So write it all down, whatever you want because you never know where it might take you or others inspired by your work or stories.