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6 Reasons Why I'm Obsessed With Journaling

How the heck did journaling become my new favorite hobby?
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Lately, we started covering wellness here on TotalBeauty and we've already published a few articles that tout the benefits of journaling (it can help improve your sleep hygiene! And reduce anxiety!). And seeing these posts got me thinking about what a huge difference journaling has made in my life recently.

I've journaled on and off for years, mostly starting in college. But over the past year or so, I've been more consistent than ever; journaling 4-5 times per week, several pages at a time. Sometimes, I worry that I'm bordering on obsessive and, yes, some of my consecutive entries read like a broken record. But still, when I look at the big picture and see the overall change in my general well-being and writing acuity, I can see that it's been good for me.

So, if you're on the fence about starting a journal, keep on reading to see six reasons why I highly, highly recommend it.

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It helps me organize my thoughts
Since I started journaling seriously around a year ago, the practice has gotten me through quite the rollercoaster of life's ups and downs. It's helped me gain perspective on my relationships, it's gotten me through a lot of changes at work (not to mention some career highs and lows).

And after all that scribbling, I can honestly say that I know myself better. Part of that, I'm sure, can be attributed to other factors, like maturity (and therapy) — but I do believe that spending the time to parse and reflect on my experiences on a semi-regular basis has really laid the groundwork for a clearer sense of self; a more introspective, more grounded me.

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It gives me perspective
Most people who meet me would never guess it, but I'm prone to melodrama. Mood swings are something of a constant in my daily life, whether it's swirling doldrums over being passed over for a promotion, white hot rage over a sexist comment someone made at me at the beach, or some of that good ol' late-twenties "where is my life going???" angst.

Journaling helps me gain perspective on these incidents and the emotions they provoke. Think of it this way: Do you ever draft a livid email to someone? You never actually send it (well, except for the times you do), but the simple act of getting everything on the page usually makes you feel... better. Journaling is like that.

And lest I sound overly negative, it's also a good way of celebrating your successes — you can ramble on for pages about how happy you are in a way that wouldn't necessarily be deemed socially acceptable if you were saying things out loud.

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It's a creative outlet
Most of my journal entries are your typical navel-gazing fluff. But if the spirit moves me, I'll occasionally add in a scene from a new play. Jot down ideas for a possible novel. Sometimes, I'll even write down ideas for an article to publish here on TotalBeauty. And once — ONCE — I even wrote a poem. (It was terrible. Even thinking about it makes me embarrassed. But still.)

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It sharpens my writing skills
I write pretty much every day for my job and have for the past six years. I take the occasional writing class when my schedule allows and I pride myself as being someone who's always working on my "craft."

Do you know what's made one of the most noticeable differences of all, though? Yeah, journaling. It allows me to try out different writing styles and conventions and sentence structures in a setting where I'm not being judged (since, obviously, my journals will be thrown onto my flaming funeral pyre when I die).

And maybe it's the practice of writing on a semi-regular basis, but I also feel more agile with my words somehow — like they come easier to me than they used to. I even feel like it's slightly expanded my vocabulary.

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