The Value Of Writing A Daily Journal

How writing a daily journal (or journaling) can be used for self direction and recovery. How to keep a journal and keep it away from prying eyes.

For as long as people have lived, they have written things down. In caves, on scrolls, in books such as the Bible. Man's longing to write is as old as his thoughts, and it has been used as a form of communication for centuries. Possibly one of the most potent forms of communication is a person communicating to his or herself, and to the world, in the form of a Diary or Journal. Diaries are not just pretty teenage books with locks on them hid under pillows. They are helpful for anyone to understand themselves and the world better. Here are a few benefits of journal writing.

Journal writing, or journaling, is a way to document events in life, which can be looked back upon to find patterns of mood, health and environment. In our busy life, one day seems to blend into the next and many a thought evaporates and is no longer clearly remembered unless written down. If one tries to recall where one was at or what happened at a particular moment, a short journal entry will help bring it back to life. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a few words added to the picture complete the story.

Journaling can also be a cathartic tool. The letter that is never sent (don't leave it out, someone might mail it), the things better left unsaid, the secret crush; these are all things that can be set down on paper to work through. Many therapists and self help groups recommend journaling as a recovery tool.



Carry the journal everywhere. Writing ideas as they occur prevent missed opportunities later when the brilliant idea is just out of your mental grasp. Keep your writing with you everywhere, for a couple of reasons. First, you want the convenience of being able to jot down a thought, anytime anywhere. Second, you don't want to be at work and have your unemployed roommate reading your journal while watching the daytime soaps. Temptation is hard to resist, even nice people snoop, so be aware. If you journal on a computer, have a password that only you know. I would not recommend journaling anything private on your work computer, as anything on an employer's computer is considered their property and an idea can be stolen or your privacy can be invaded anytime. No one wants the company Techno geek to hack into their journal because he can and the voyeur in the next cubicle could be spying as you type your password. However, a discreet pocket or purse size notebook can take a person back to the days of playing "spy" and no one has to know what you are scribbling during that boring board meeting. If you know shorthand or can make up a code language, all the better. Just keep writing.

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