Journal Writing Benefits

Now I know handwriting is, sadly, becoming a lost skill. These days, hardly anything is written by hand; almost everything is done by typing or texting. Handwriting can sometimes feel a bit weird and uncomfortable. But writing with pen and paper is actually a therapeutic exercise that helps you get more in touch with your feelings and free your mind with unwanted thoughts, which eventually can help you develop a strong sense of self. Here are 5 benefits you will find in journaling.


  1.    Clear your mind of clutter

Writing emotions on paper will free up your brain and enable you to think clearly. If there are negative emotions that have been taking up space in your head, such as anger, the feeling of betrayal, etc., pour them all on paper. These thoughts, however meaningless, may cause emotional distress if you keep them inside.


  1.    Improve your memory

Journal writing improves your memory in a way that when you record your life events on your journal, you somehow preserve the emotions you felt on that specific event, not just the surface details. When you open your journal and look back at some random past events, you will get a memory refresh of what happened on that specific moment of your life.


  1.    Cultivates creativity

Writing down your ideas, no matter how small they are, can help spark creativity. Even the least creative people may find a boost through the simple act of notes writing. And not just writing, you can also use your journal to doodle, draw a picture, create a scrapbook, any form of creative expression. As you fill your journal with random ideas, it becomes a breeding ground for great creative projects.


  1.    Makes you feel happier

Ever heard of a gratitude journal? A gratitude journal contains all the things you are thankful for in life. It helps you focus on the positive while blocking out negative thoughts. Start your grateful journal with the small, everyday things, like the comfortable bed you have or the roof above your head or the meal you just had or the people in your life. Find a specific time in the day when you will be “grateful”, like before going to bed or in the morning when you wake up.


  1.    Keeps you organised

Writing down your goals provides a visual cue to get things done, and since your list is physically present (instead of a computerised version that disappears when you switch your laptop off), it will be easier for you to tackle them one by one. Even the manual ticking-off of your checklist gives you a sense of fulfillment.


Journal Writing Exercise

Think of journaling as a ritual, a solemn practice that you do for a specific time of day where you get to create something that is all about you. You can have any journal you want. You can get one with beautiful colours, or with fancy illustrated pages. Or you can get just the ordinary spiral notebook.

Remember to write uncensored, write freely, write what you feel. Don’t be conscious about every word you put into writing. This journal is your private space, so you shouldn’t hold back with your writing. If all you can write are nasty words, then do it. You have to get your emotions out, allow your thoughts to flow through writing instead of leaving them bottled up inside your head.

As Shrek says “Better out, than in.”


Fiona Stevenson

Fiona Stevenson counselling psychotherapist Gold Coast

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