Say it Louder: benefits of keeping a journal


Dea-Mallika Divi

Whether it’s something about school, being a student, or a social issue, columnist Emma Cramption tries to make sure her message is heard in her weekly column “Say it Louder”.

Emma Crampton , Opinion Editor

I have kept a journal since I was very young, and have found countless benefits in doing so. For one thing, it’s extremely entertaining and interesting to look back on how you thought years ago. The pages of my journals contain so many little details in my life that I would never remember if I hadn’t written it down. It’s also odd to see the things that were such a big deal to me back then, as obviously with age, we face different problems.

It’s surely fun going down memory lane, but the main benefit of keeping a journal is the emotional stability it provides you. Writing down your thoughts is one of the best ways to get them out, because it doesn’t matter what you say or if it makes any sense. It’s simply a way for you to vent without actually talking to somebody.

Don’t get me wrong, talking to somebody when you’re in a negative emotional state can most definitely help; this is just another approach. I see writing down your thoughts and emotions as therapy with yourself, in a way. Obviously you’re not getting physical therapeutic feedback, but writing is a form of reflection. That being said, as you write what you’re feeling, your mind will naturally reflect on what is being written and you may finding yourself finding a solution as you do this.

There isn’t merely emotional benefits that come with writing. It can actually exercise your brain. A report by the University of Victoria stated that “Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence.”

“Language learning” refers to the expansion of knowledge of the English language you will obtain when writing regularly. You will have a natural urge to expand your vocabulary, as journaling is an exploration of language. Writing for yourself and just for fun will still naturally improve your skills as a writer, which can help you in many areas of life, such as school and during standardized tests.

Another thing that keeping a journal helped me with is achieving goals. You can think about the things you want to accomplish all you want, but writing them down is almost a form of pressure to do it, as it stares right back at you on the paper. It’s also a physical reminder. Everytime you look at that page, you will be reminded of the goals you want to complete. Writing my goals down has helped me complete assignments, work out goals, and much more.

You can even bring out your artistic and creative side in journaling. For instance, I love to tape things into my pages that are from the days/experiences I’m writing about. Anything from pictures to flower petals, putting something in your journal to really remember the time is a really fun touch to writing.

Writing can be anything you want it to be, and that’s the beauty of keeping your own journal. Nobody else has to understand it, because nobody else has to read it. It’s just something special to have between you and yourself, and you naturally aquire benefits from it.