Why Keep a Journal?

Many folks ask why journaling is so powerful and transformative. Here are a few reasons you might find it beneficial for your life:

1. Keep a record for the future of how your life unfolds. Soren Kierkegaard once wrote, “We live life forwards; we can only understand it backwards.” Being able to go back into your life and observe it from the vantage point of a future date can be transformative.

2. Track the cycles, patterns and trends of your life. As I fill the pages of my journal, I glean valuable information about the degree to which I am working toward becoming my best self and realizing my goals and ambitions.

3. Get to know different parts of yourself. Each of us is like a diamond with many facets that shine differently depending on our circumstances. The mental and emotional parts of ourselves are sometimes public and sometimes private. Your journal gives you a place to identify these different facets and find the ways to befriend them.

4. Heal relationships. Your journal gives you a safe forum to ventilate strong feelings that may not be appropriate to express aloud. It gives you a safe place to calm your emotions and control the reactivity you may feel.

5. Access information stored in your subconscious and unconscious minds. Journal writing is an excellent way to access and draw information from hidden levels of awareness. Using my journal has often enabled me to become aware of the sources of anxiety or to identify issues that I struggle with.

6. Develop your intuition. Sometimes the noises of society drown out our ability to hear our intuition and to connect with its power. Journal writing gives you access to your intuitive gifts.

7. Develop communication skills. The more I reveal/connect in my journal, the better I become at framing the language I need to communicate with others.

8. Get in touch with feelings. Journal writing has enabled me to move through emotional periods in my life and to process the feelings that I might otherwise bury.

9. Work through life choices, decisions and alternatives. When I have difficult decisions to make, using my journal to consider all sides, pros and cons helps me to visualize my options and potential outcomes. I have made wiser and more well-thought-out decisions in my life from having first journaled about them.

10. Gain neutrality. There are often situations in our lives in which we don’t feel objective.  Journaling offers a place to gain greater objectivity.

11. Remember our blessings. By recording my gratitudes on a daily basis, I am reminded of the blessings in my life, especially when I am inclined to lose sight of the trees for the forest.


Sarah Birnbach is a writer and author who shares the transformative power of journaling, providing encouragement and insights to help people on their journey to their "best self" and is the creator of the free 52-Week Best Self Program.

52-Week Best Self Program

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