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Keeping a journal is an excellent idea for everyone, regardless of their age.

Insight is defined in the Oxford Languages dictionary as the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. Additionally, in the Cambridge English Dictionary, as a clear, deep, and often sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation.

A multitude of positive benefits can be gained from taking a few minutes each day to record your thoughts and emotions in a journal. The costs are minimal, and the payback is enormous.

A journal is an excellent idea for you and something you could share with your children (if you choose to have them). Many life coaches strongly encourage their clients to keep journals as part of increasing the level of success in their programs — that’s evidence of the usefulness and efficacy of incorporating journaling into a self-development practice.

Check Out These 5 Insightful Reasons to Keep a Journal

Reason 1: You can record your life’s events for yourself 

How often have you tried to remember when a particular event in your past happened? Was it 1994 or 1995? Do you remember the facts differently from others that were involved? Who’s actually right?

If you consistently write about your life in a journal, you’ll have all the dates, facts, emotions, and details about your location and mindset right there. More importantly, you’ll be given the opportunity to see how your life has progressed and how you’ve matured, changed, and increased your capacities and strengths.

As we continue to work and live in a routine manner, each day starts to blend into the next. We get up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV, and repeat for 40 years. Routines like this can tell you a lot about what you value and what’s important to you.

By writing down the everyday aspects of your life, you’ll open yourself up to experience more diverse events and become more interesting. Recording the events of your life will encourage you to get out of your comfort zone (or your routine) and live a life you deem worthy of recording. You might add more fun and adventure to your life, just so you can write about it.

It’s possible you might want to pass your journals on to your children at some point. Wouldn’t you like to read about your parents or grandparents?

Reason 2: You can record the lives of your children 

Imagine how great it would be to keep a journal while your child is growing up and then give it to them later in life.

You’ll record big and trivial things that happened during the years when they were too young to keep a journal themselves. The entries will also be great reminders for you and a way to relive noteworthy events and “firsts.”

Reason 3: Your Journal can empower you to process and organize your feelings

Things we experience can become much clearer when we get them out of our heads and down on paper.

Everything is a little more objective and realistic — writing helps create clarity, and the intentionally slower pace allows you time to think about what you’ve experienced.

You might be surprised at what you figure out about yourself if you take the time to keep a journal — the time spent in writing down your entries also gives you time to focus on the experience and gain additional insight.

Reason 4. You can work toward achieving your goals with journaling

A significant part of reaching goals is recording your progress and prioritizing the activities that help you achieve the goal. By writing about your goals daily, you’re consistently reaffirming them and reasserting that they are worth achieving.

How often have you set a goal, and then life happens, time passes, and you forget all about the goal after a few days or a couple of weeks? If you write it down in your journal, there’s less chance of that happening.

Record the progress you are making towards your goals. Tracking your incremental steps can help improve and recharge your motivation to keep moving forward. You can also make notes about innovative ideas to help you reach your goals.

When you achieve a goal, you’ll be able to look back and remember how great it felt to accomplish it, in addition to noting what worked and what didn’t throughout the achievement process. The next goal you set will benefit from those notes and achieving it will be even easier.

Reason 5. Building consistent journaling practice will help reduce the amount of stress in your life

Journaling forces you to unplug and focus your thoughts. Sometimes the best thing for a stressed, overwhelmed mind is to turn off the computer and sit quietly with your thoughts. Your journal becomes a relief valve, getting challenging emotions and responses out before they explode.

When you record your challenges, your brain starts looking for solutions. Writing about your thought process in trying to solve a problem encourages new pathways to form with fresh solutions. Having a solution to a challenge relieves stress!

Consider keeping a journal for yourself and, if you have children, for them as well. The benefits are considerable, and it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes daily. When your children are old enough, encourage them to keep journals as well. Journaling is a great tool that doesn’t cost much at all. A pen and notebook are the only items required, and the benefits are numerous.

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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