There is a certain catharsis that accompanies the penning down of one’s thoughts. It is this catharsis that, if pursued, leads to a crystallization of thoughts and gives a certain undeniable clarity to our thoughts. The written word is one of the most powerful, and underutilized, techniques of self- exploration and analysis. More importantly, it is one of the best ways to understand what you feel and give it a voice that that is your own.

From Anne Frank to Viginia Woolf and Franz Kafka, some of the most strongest and distinct individuals on the planet have kept journals. Most of these individuals agree that a journal is ever a private musing, and never something meant for public consumption. It is a process of speaking your thoughts, except in the form of words on a page, giving it solidity the spoken word cannot dream of. A journal can also work as a brilliant reminder of things that you need to do and can help you motivate yourself to reach your goals. Having a diary, or journal, is essential not only to a child’s growing articulateness, it can also work as brilliant tool for anyone who chooses to indulge in it.

It can be hard though, sitting in front of that blank page trying to think about what needs to be written. But therein lies the mistake, begin with the first thought that comes to your mind and let it flow from there. Talk about your day, about what you are feeling, about things that affected you and that you saw.

Here are some more reasons why you should seriously consider writing a journal:

A record of our progress

A journal, when used right, can provide us a brilliant map of how far we have come. Marathon trainers often keep a journal to measure their daily goals. It needs to be understood that doing the same through social media may also work, but a journal is a more personal record, something to celebrate on your own. Success, in the face of failures, has a habit of getting forgotten a little too easily. It is important to constantly remind ourselves of what we have done and what we are capable of.

It forces you to think

Writing, much unlike thinking or speaking, forces you to battle with the why and how of all that you are thinking. It makes you question things and encourages analytical thinking. There is suddenly an emphasis on solution rather than merely ranting. However, ranting on occasion can be incredibly helpful, but if you keep writing it usually ends in a conclusion that is astoundingly astute. Answering the questions your journal throws back at you can not only be a therapeutic way of dealing with your issues but also an interesting way to train your mind. Writing makes you think beyond the obvious surface impression.

Engenders accountability

The more you write the more accountable you feel towards your own perceptions and beliefs, you also begin to open yourself up to other rationale and perspectives more easily. It makes you accountable towards your own thoughts and brings a certain sense of gravitas to your thoughts and words. It provides a record for us to refer to, which tells us about your successes and transgressions in our own words, providing an extremely start picture of one’s own reality.

It shapes your reality

Writing a journal, be it in a notebook or on your computer, can help you reflect upon who you are and what you want. As a continuation, it begins to shape your reality since your thoughts begin to crystallize as you keep writing every day. Different goals are set, updated, and ultimately met, as a continuation new goals are formed. Having a journal is good way to challenge yourself and build upon your self- respect and shape your reality the way you want to. It brings a certain sense of resilience and gives you the strength to fight off setbacks. It is important to remember that your reality is under your control, being positive about it in your writing will only go on to make it better.

It can help you heal

Language is an important link between the body and the mind. Research indicates that expressive writing, or writing about your feelings, can often help you overcome stress and works as an emotional healer. Research by GreaterGood has found that having a gratitude journal also helps increase your overall sense of well-being and reduce symptoms of physical illness. Writing that focuses on the depth of emotional experience can often bring a lot of benefits.

What do you think?