Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is not one of my strong skills. I always admire my wife’s ability to journal for long peirods of time…. just flowing in what seems like chatting with her Higher Power.

I guess I’m posting this just as much to help me get motivated as I hope it’ll help you.

Please share what works for you and why.


Here is a Top 10 list of benefits

1. You can let your ideas and feelings flow freely, and follow them wherever they lead you.

Because there is no editing, revising, or structure to journaling, it is easier to put your inner critic on hold and get to the heart of what you are thinking and feeling.

2. People write what they need to know.

You will gain surprising and valuable insights into yourself as you journal, and again when you revisit past writings.

3. Journaling over time gives you a broader and more accurate perspective on yourself and your journey.

It is easy to be unaware of how long you have been grappling with a particular issue or challenge. Rereading journals from previous months and years will afford you a time perspective and allow you to see recurring themes.

4. There are many different ways to journal.

Experiment with journaling longhand on beautiful paper, on a keyboard, at different times of the day, in different locations, and for varying lengths of time. Many people find that doing “morning pages” upon first rising, and “evening reflections” at the end of the day are very effective and yield very different results.

5. Journaling is a safe way to express negative feelings and half-formed thoughts until you are ready to communicate them to others in a healthy and constructive way.

6. Journals can be burned.

If you are uncomfortable committing your innermost thoughts to paper, journal and burn them. Although you will not get the longitudinal benefits of rereading past writings, the journaling process itself is still extremely valuable, and the ritual of burning the pages can be very freeing and releasing.

7. You get to decide who you want to be, and you can change your mind at any time.

Until you can grant yourself this personal freedom in real life, use journaling to try on different ways of being and expressing yourself. Write as though you are already the fearless, limitless being you aspire to be. Remember, journaling is risk-free and private. No one but you is affected by what you write. Your journal will not resist change or pressure you to be who it thinks you ought to be!

8. Journaling can enrich the coaching process.

Sending selected journaling to your coach between coaching calls helps both of you prepare for the next call, and gives your coach additional insights into your visions and dreams, as well as your obstacles and blocks. Your coach can also provide you with powerful questions to get you started.

9. Regular journaling can make the rest of your day better.

Riutalized practices, like journaling every morning or evening, bring a rhythm to your life, and become a time for calming, centering, and reflection. Taking this time to go inward and be with yourself enhances your ability to be with others in a positive and intentional way.

10. Intentional journaling can be a gift to others.

While most journaling is private, another form of journaling is done for an intended audience. Keep a notebook or tape recorder handy and record the thoughts you want to share with your children or grandchildren — stories of the funny and touching things they say and do while they are still fresh in your mind, important family stories you want to share, and even those of your personal thoughts and feelings that will be meaningful to them later in their lives.

This piece was originally submitted by Peggy Neill, BS Ed, MLA, CTP


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