Why I Love Journaling + Why It Could Be The Game-Changer You Need

Saturday, June 22, 2019


I've been scribbling words onto the page for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I had a thousand different diaries, the proof of which can now be found on the top shelf of my closet in the form of around 45 notebooks, ranging from spiral bounds to dollar store notebooks covered with Disney princesses. Most of them are sporadically filled up, the pages of my life littered with sketches of flowers and games of hangman and tic-tac-toe. As I got older, the scribbled doodles became more infrequent as the pages became filled with stories about school, my friends, ideas, worries, and everything in between. Every now and then, I grab the stepladder and haul the piles of pages down from that high up shelf and sift through them, laughing and cringing and remembering. 

I don't know if it's always been the writer in me or the memory hoarder (or perhaps a little of both), but I have forever been a firm believer in the importance of journaling. The day that I graduated high school, I had to give a speech. That speech is a whole story in and of itself that I really ought to share sometime, but I ended up choosing three things that I would encourage my friends still in high school to do. One of those things was to keep a journal. I still stand by that, perhaps even more strongly than I did then. 

So, why is journaling so important? Why bother?

There are a thousand reasons that I'm a firm believer in the power + value of journaling. (If you ever talk to me about this in person, beware - I may never stop talking.) But let's get to the root of it.

1. Journaling is the best way of storing memories.

There's no better way to remember a season of your life than being able to pick up an old journal and read through exactly what you were thinking and feeling. Tiny details that you don't think anything about now will be so much fun to look back on, and it's fascinating to see how you've grown and changed as a person in ways that you're unable to really see without actually getting back into how your brain was working a few years back. I can't tell you how many times I've been looking through an old journal and been so happy to find stories of various adventures I had that I'd completely forgotten about. It's such a special way to store memories to last for a lifetime. I'm so glad to have so many of my crazy high school adventures written down, so that I'll be able to look back on them. It's also a way to see how many prayers have been answered, and how much I've grown and how much the Lord has done in my life over the years. Being able to look through a journal and see how God wove everything together is also singlehandedly one of the most incredible things in the world. You literally get to read your story, and as someone who's madly in love with words, I think that's pretty amazing. 

2. It's such a stress reliever. 

I don't know about you, but I keep a lot of stuff in my head. My brain is constantly going a thousand miles a minute, and after a while, it can get exhausting. Especially when I have something stressing me out - my brain never shuts off. It just spins and spins and spins until I am so beyond drained. What I love about journaling is that it gets the stress and overwhelm out of my head and onto the page, helping me to breathe a little bit easier. It's truly one of the best forms of self-care, and one that I've found I'm able to do without feeling guilty for "wasting time". (Not that self-care is a waste of time, but my perfectionistic, Type A brain doesn't always want to believe that.) It's not that it gets rid of the problem, but there's something about tangibly writing your thoughts down that can help you to stop obsessing. I struggle a lot with anxiety, and when I'm not in the greatest place mentally, journaling can really help to calm down my thoughts. And not to sound like a cranky adult, but there really is something about stepping away from screens and doing something more tangible that helps in ways I can't describe.

3. With that being said...it can help you work out your issues.

A lot of times, things look a lot clearer when they're sitting in front of you as opposed to tangled up in the web of "what ifs" that your brain tries to feed you. There have been a multitude of times where I've been stressing and stressing and stressing only to start to journal my thoughts and realize halfway through that the answer has been in front of me the entire time. When you take the time to take a step back and pick up the pen, it's amazing how much clarity you can gain. 

4. Journaling can help you to understand yourself better.

In writing down your thoughts, you gain the ability to better understand yourself. Maybe it's just the self-reflective introvert in me, but I've found that journaling has helped me to understand different aspects of myself - my stressors, why I react the way that I do to certain things, what's actually upsetting me about a situation, where my priorities lie, what really brings me joy. Journaling helps me to slow down and process, which is important.

5. The freedom is infinite.

You can journal however you'd like. Want to write down a detailed description of your day? Do it. Need a space to vent? Go for it. Exhausted, but want to remember something? Jot down some bullet notes and head to bed. Need to process something? Explain it in the journal. Can't get into a consistent rhythm of praying regularly? Prayer journaling might be just what you need. Your journal can be whatever you want it to be. It's completely up to you and your needs. 

But, Grace Anne, I've tried. I half eight half-filled journals on the shelf that I know I'm never going to finish. I try and try and try, but it's never worked for me. 

Believe me, that was the story of my life for the longest time. I wanted to keep a journal, and I would sporadically go through periods where I would do great with keeping up with it, but it really wasn't until about two years ago that I really figured out how to be consistent and what had been messing me up for so long. Since then, however, I haven't looked back, and I promise you won't either. 

Journaling has singlehandedly been one of the biggest game-changers for me, and I want to show you how it can rock your world, too. SO, if you're ready to dive into the world of journaling with me, stay tuned for part 2 of this post, where I show you just how easy journaling can be, and how to make it work for you. Trust me - you're going to want to give it a shot. 

So tell me - where do you stand with journaling? Are you as big of a fan of it as I am? Been wanting to give it another shot? Never journaled before? Stay tuned, my friends, and let me know your thoughts in the comments! (Like this post? Check out part two!)





19 comments:

  1. This post really makes me want to start journaling again!!! I've tried to journal multiple times, but haven't ever been able to make it work :(

    Great post as always, Grace Anne...I can't wait for part 2!!! 💛💛

    -Ash ♥
    ashronnel.blogspot.com

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    1. You really ought to!! It's the best. ♥ I hope that part 2 helps you!!

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  2. I can imagine all the journals you keep in your closet! This post makes me want to go back and read some of my old ones! I never took journaling seriously until college. College seemed to open a lot of creative outlets up for me, journaling being one of them. I love that I can keep track of memories and thoughts I've had. I'll get excited about writing words I didn't think I had in me and reading thoughts and I would have never remembered if I didn't write them down. It's great! Bring on part two!

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    1. You really should!! It's so fun to go through all of the old memories. I'm so glad that you've gotten to develop journaling as an outlet. It's so truly special.

      Thank you for stopping by, V!

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  3. I *love* journaling. Every morning, I sit down with myself and empty all my thoughts out onto a page. My favorite part is to go back through them (something I haven't done in a while) and see how all the things I worried or stressed or complained about fixed themselves.

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    1. I've always wanted to get into morning journaling - I've only journaled at night. But isn't it so crazy to see how the story of it all plays out? I love it.

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  4. I love journaling so much and this post is sooo true!!!!! Journaling is my happy place to go when my world is seriously in chaos. XOXO

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  5. I LOVE journaling!! Literally kept me sane throughout high school. Makes me so happy :)

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    1. It has totally been my sanity!! I love it. <3

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  6. Already excited for pt. 2!!
    I too have a collection of notebooks (although not a massive as yours : ) It’s always fun to re-read through them and all the stuff I’ve forgotten that happened. Younger Me used to be super consistent with it, but as life has gotten busier, I have slacked off way too much. Yet this is the most important time for me to be journaling! Transitions into adulthood, social struggles, adventures, emotional ups and downs – these are all things I need to be documenting more than say, what I ate and who came over (which is the kind of stuff I wrote about when I was a child).

    Anyway, I just love this post and the topic.
    cheers.
    k.

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    1. Your words are always beautiful, and so worth documenting. Consistency is so hard, though. Keep pushing through. xx

      I just love you.

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  7. CAN'T WAIT FOR PART 2!!

    This post is so so perfect and SPOT ON. Girl, you totally got me into prayer journaling and I'm forever grateful to you <333 I really don't know what I would do with my thoughts if I didn't journal. like...my head would probably explode lol xD I loved what you said about journaling helping you answer problems!! Like that has happened to me SO MUCH. Whether it's a problem with business, a story, mental health, it's amazing how many times I'll start journaling my problem/issue/questions and by the end of the journaling session I have an answer and a clear focus of what to do going forward. IT'S SO COOL.

    One thing I don't journal enough is experiences and memories. I really need to do that more!! When I was younger that was usually the thing that made me bored of journaling lol because memories aren't as special when they're happening in real time (SO WEIRD) but now I think I should start doing it again. :')

    LOVE THIS POST AND YOU
    xx Abbie

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    1. ISN'T JOURNALING JUST THE BEST??? Like, in every area, it just helps SO MUCH. You should definitely try to add in more memories to your journaling!!! It's so much fun to be able to look back on. :') (MY JOURNAL ENTRY AFTER GETTING TO HUG YOU WAS V LONG LET ME TELL YOU)

      LOVE YOU SO MUCH <3

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  8. I've been trying to start journaling ever since I learned how to write, but have never managed to stay consistent. I would LOVe to have a collection of memories and thoughts but always never seem to have enough time or motivation. :( Once I start writing, it always seems to take so long to empty out my brain, and I don't have time to do that everyday, so I . . . don't. I'll keep trying though, someday (hopefully soon) I'll succeed.

    Excited for part 2!

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    1. Consistency is just SO HARD. And I know exactly what you mean - half the time that I want to write, I don't have enough time to say everything that I want to, and it gets super discouraging. BUT I SORT OF FIGURED OUT HOW TO COPE WITH IT SO HEY MAYBE PART 2 WILL HELP YOU!!! <3333

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  9. I'm one of those people who could never get into journaling. I always felt obligated to write in my journals whenever I tried and it felt like a chore. Blogging has been my form of recording my thoughts and memories. But I recently got a new journal and I kind of want to give it another try. I know there's so much value in having something that you can write anything, it doesn't have to be perfect. It's just for your eyes. We'll see how it goes though.
    Lovely post!

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    1. Blogging has definitely been a major way that I've recorded memories over the years. I always tried to keep most of the personal names and details out, though, so I had to keep up with journaling as well, and now I'm really glad that I did.

      I hope that your new journal goes well! It's definitely refreshing to have a space where you don't have to be perfect. I love being able to relax and just write.

      Thank you so much , Hannah! <3

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