Journaling allows people to process their thoughts (Opinion)

Journaling can be useful to anyone because it can be tailored to fit the individual


Sarah Lee

Journaling offers benefits for anyone who chooses to start. You won’t regret it.

People write all the time — at school, at many jobs, or at home with to do lists and grocery lists. This makes journaling more approachable than most people realizes. Since journaling doesn’t have any strict guidelines, people have the freedom to write what they want.

Even if you just write a little bit everyday, it can boost your mood and help you understand your needs. There are no limitations for how you wish to convey your thoughts and emotions.

Sometimes asking for support and identifying what will help us is difficult — journaling gives us that opportunity.

An independent journalist that studied English literature at UC Berkeley, Dee, is the writer for Vanilla Papers. In her work she focuses on journaling and creativity. She said that she “experimented and found what works for [her]…Something – even a few lines in your note app on the subway – is far better than nothing.”

The most common types of journaling include bullet journals, free writing, daily logs (activity or mood logs), vision and goal journals, and self reflective journals. Being able to write in any quantity about whatever you’re interested in or whatever is going on in your life helps you learn how to journal in an unrestricted state. This allows for you to acquire a new style of writing that works best for you personally.

Journaling has been beneficial for me because of how I organize my writing. Rereading what you write and putting dates and times helps track progress. If you’re journaling often about things you don’t want others to read, keeping the journal somewhere only you can get to it will keep your thoughts honest and private. 

Social psychologist James W. Pennebaker considered the pioneer of writing therapy and said, “Labeling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events — both natural outcomes of journaling — have a known positive effect on people, and are often incorporated into traditional talk therapy.”

Journaling has the real possibility of opening a path for you to help process your emotions and thoughts, to reflect on them and possibly find solutions to issues in your daily life and within your relationships.