I remember well my college days. Fast-paced lifestyle, numerous plans and goals, and constant emotional confusion could simply sum up my essence during those years. Most of the time I just felt lost until one simple routine changed it all.
In my first year of college, I read somewhere that journaling can make a massive impact on your mindset and your life in general so I decided to give it a try, not thinking much about it. I never would have guessed that a pen, paper, and pouring out my soul in a notebook could be a life-changing experience. It turned out that it is.
For all you young and thriving individuals who have decided to change your life for better but don’t know where to start from, my advice is to start journaling and now I’ll tell you why.
Have a Safe Space to Express Yourself
No matter if you have friends for a lifetime or not, there are still some thoughts that you want to keep for yourself.
Even though I was and I still am surrounded by trustworthy and supportive friends, journaling lets me express my most inner feelings and life goals that I just don’t feel like sharing with anyone else.
College years tend to be tough on us and it can be hard to find people who you can honestly speak to and who will understand you. That is why so many young adults just pile up all their emotions inside.
Journaling can be your savior. You may be doubtful that writing things down can help, but it really does.
It won’t take much of your time, just spare five minutes of your day, sit down, take a pen, and give it a try. Don’t hold anything back because the journal will keep all your secrets.
Become More Mindful
Another great benefit of journaling is mindfulness.
I think that we have all become aware of how important it is to be mindful and live in the moment.
The reason why everyone is talking about it is not just because it teaches you to be happier but it also has a beneficial influence on your health. Stress is one of the main causes of many illnesses and being mindful eliminates stress to a great extent.
One of the tools for achieving mindfulness is journaling.
You are probably wondering how does that work. Well, by expressing your thoughts, sharing your feelings, and writing down your obligations and plans, you are actually decluttering your brain from excessive information and venting out all the negativity.
It can help you to relieve stress, organize thoughts, and enjoy the moment you are in.
Achieve Your Goals and Be More Organized
If you are having trouble coping with all the obligations and you feel anxious about remembering all the tasks and exams that just keep piling up, journaling will help you to master your organization skills.
Seeing all your obligations written down makes them seem more tangible and far less overwhelming than when they're spiraling around in your head.
You can even make a checklist in the journal of your daily or weekly tasks or exams so you won’t have to burden your mind with all the information. Allow yourself to forget about it because you’ll have your little notebook to remind you.
According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t do it.
I love writing down both my short term and long term goals because it reminds me what is important.
Writing down your goals and plans will keep you focused on what you want.
Put Your Life in Perspective
One of the things I love the most about journaling is that it gives me an opportunity to look back and see how I’ve grown.
I can clearly see the difference and my personal growth from the first day I started journaling to the present day.
Just think about it. When you are having a bad day because you failed an exam or you had a fight with your friend, you can take your journal, read your previous inputs and become aware of all the blessings you have in your life.
That will be your space to write out strong emotions, document important events, and look back on where you are when you get lost.
People tend to forget about how lucky they are. They forget about the good days when the bad moments come along. The journal will remember it all and put your experiences in perspective.
When you get older, you can even go a step further, find a great writer with the help of a top websites page who can turn your written pages into a story that will become a memory of your life path.
Journaling for the Millennials
Maybe you have already tried journaling and you really want to commit to it, but all you end up with is ten different empty notebooks with writings on the first few pages.
The problem can be that you just don’t have the time to sit down and write or you simply always forget to bring the notebook with you and with the busy college schedule that is completely understandable.
This is still not a reason to give up on journaling. Thanks to the tech world you can keep your journal on the one thing that all Millennials are inseparable with – your phone.
You can find and download a journaling app which will help you to keep your focus on the process.
For example, there is an IOS app called Perspective that serves great as a daily journal. Besides capturing your thoughts and feelings, you can also rate your days and upload pictures to serve as a reminder of certain events. You can also track your “interests” to see if you’re doing what makes you happy each day.
Some Final Thoughts
I honestly hope that my experience and advice will motivate you to overcome your reservations about keeping a journal and finally commit to it.
Ultimately, don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself and see if you’ll get inspired.
Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer and blogger. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is travel and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experience.