The Benefits of Journaling

The Benefits of Journaling

Avery Kalter, Head Writer

As students, we lead quite busy lives. At times, it can feel like the work is unmanageable, and that we need an escape from all of the overwhelming tests and workload piling upon us. This is where journaling comes in: a soothing, productive way to express our feelings on paper and reflect on our days. From geniuses to artists, writing is an effective way to strengthen your writing skills while practicing self-care. Most would neglect that writing is beneficial because they feel as if they already have enough academic activities and assignments during school hours, but what they don’t seem to realize is the hundreds of ways benefit your mental health, and soothe that hyperactive part of your brain that is constantly stressing.


Improving academic performance:

Writing is a skill, and in order to improve in it, you need to practice it. As you journal and become more familiar with new writing techniques and ways to express yourself on paper, you also become a stronger, more sophisticated author that can demonstrate their writing skills in other forms of writing than journaling.


Boosts our mood:

Journaling is a tactic for dealing with our stress, and when we relieve the stress we feel more refreshed. Putting our thoughts on paper and looking them in the eye is an efficient way to let them go, and deal with anything on our mind that could be troubling us. In return, our mood improves, and we are able to be more social, friendly, and a better person overall. According to Dr. Pennebaker, a doctor who reported to the New York Times, “This, in turn, improves our immune system and our moods; we go to work feeling refreshed, perform better, and socialize more. There’s no single magic moment,” Dr. Pennebaker said. “But we know it works.”


Achieve goals:

When we journal, we are able to record our goals, which can allow us to keep better track of them, and motivate ourselves to achieve them. For instance, if you are repeatedly writing about a specific goal then it will reiterate it for you, and influence you to accomplish it. It will also keep you accountable for your goals because writing them down is almost as if it is a promise to yourself that you are making. 


How can I begin journaling:

When beginning your journaling journey, you often ask yourself the question, “how can I start?” Journaling can come in many forms, and at times, it can become overwhelming. The easiest way to start this journey is by starting simple. Firstly, jot down any interests you have. This way, you are generating ideas for what you can possibly journal about, or the components of your life that make you, you. Next, you want to deal with any emotions. For instance, writing about specific thoughts you are having, or things that are bothering you. By doing this, you are letting out your emotions and leaving behind any negativity in your life. The next step is to really start engaging in thoughtful, meaningful journal prompts and topics. You can do this either by finding prompts online that resonate with you, and that you feel you can make use out of, or you can be a bit more creative and create your own unique prompts. A few prompts that I have created in my own journaling journey include the following:


  • Life can be quite overwhelming at times, and it can be easy to see the negative things in your life rather than the positive components. Take a moment to reflect on everything that made you smile today, and what you can do to re-create those positive things for tomorrow. 
  • We often watch TV and read books about characters living their best, most perfect lives. Take a moment to write about your perfect life, and then go off and create it. 
  • Sometimes, our fears consume us. They control our actions, our thoughts, and our behavior. What would a day be like without those fears, and how can you make that perfect day without any fears your reality?


Journaling has so many scientifically proven benefits, however, not everyone chooses to utilize it and receive those benefits. It is unfortunate, but some people don’t have the mindset to start their own journey, and that can leave them feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and drowning in their own emotions. Life is difficult, and being a student never gets easy. Life takes many twists and turns, and sometimes you end up feeling lost and hopeless. Often, emotions are too hard to express to someone out loud, and writing is an effective way to cope with those feelings, even if you are only expressing them on paper. While it may be a choice, it is a crucial one, and it is never too late to start. Pick up your journal. It’s time to start your journey.