Journaling in 2021: 5 Reasons it's More Important NOW Than Ever Before!

Last night I had some incredible young women at my home for a Dia de Los Muertos themed youth group activity. My ancestors on my mother's side all have roots in Mexico, so I was excited to share a little bit of my culture sprinkled in with some lessons about the importance of family history. Repeatedly, my mind was drawn to telling our stories rather than reading about the stories of our ancestors.


Over the summer I applied to be a volunteer at the Americans and the Holocaust Exhibit, which is currently on display at my local library. What does this have to do with Dia de Los Muertos and journaling? Stay with me...


Last week I arrived for my volunteer shift and ran into a man who I will call Jim (name has been changed for privacy). I had heard his name from my son's 8th grade ELA teacher and recognized it right away when I showed up to be his replacement volunteer. He has spoken to classes in the past about his experience as a Hidden Child during the Holocaust. I didn't know anything about Jim's story when I met him, but he was gracious enough to share it with me before he left. I was moved to tears as he told me of his life as a little Jewish boy in Holland when Nazi Germany invaded. He has led an incredible life since then! He became very emotional when he told me about his adoptive mother and father. I asked him if he had ever thought about writing a memoir. He said he had, but that it was so much work and there were "already so many books." I was overcome with a sense of urgency and excitement as I realized that I needed to help this man write his story. If not to publish, at least to pass down to his family after he is gone!


The idea of telling our story has been intensely on my heart ever since.


I gave each of my youth group girls a small journal with a prompt on the front cover that said this:

You are only your age once. Take some time to think about your life at this age. What do you enjoy and why? Answering questions like these may help your future family understand what you were like.

  • My favorite thing to do is...

  • My favorite thing to learn about is...

  • My favorite food is...

  • When I grow up, I want to be...

  • My favorite song is...

  • My favorite movie is...

  • My best friends are...

  • Something I'm really good at is...

  • One unique talent that I have is...


If you're still with me, we've come to the reason I'm writing this morning.


Journaling!


There has never been a better time to start journaling than now. We are living through very challenging times. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the life-altering effects of this pandemic. We need to be writing not only for ourselves, but for our children and our children's children! Whether that means journaling daily, three times per week, or even weekly, we can improve our quality of life and document the things we are going through that children will be reading about in history books decades from now.


Still don't believe me?




Here are 5 reasons why journaling in 2021 is more important now than ever before:


1. Journaling can help you reduce stress and manage anxiety.

"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." - Anne Frank

Journaling can help us deal with overwhelming emotions as we express ourselves through the written word. We can take the struggles and the emotions inside of us and place them on paper to relieve some of the pressure in our minds. Journaling can also help us identify the things in our lives that are causing stress. Once you identify the stressors or triggers, you can brainstorm ways to reduce the stress by solving problems or making changes in your life.


2. Journaling helps to improve your mood.

When you journal, you can prioritize your problems, fears, and concerns through your writing. Journaling is also an excellent opportunity to practice positive self-talk and identify negative thoughts and behaviors that could be affecting your life.


3. Journaling strengthens memory.

Writing your thoughts down can improve working memory. Writing something down lets your brain know you want to remember it, which is why note-taking is such an effective study habit. Research has shown that writing your thoughts down can also reduce intrusive thoughts!


4. Journaling can help you achieve goals, track progress, and track growth.

Most successful people keep a journal. Brian Buffini, founder of the largest business coaching and training company in North America, said "Nothing has been more powerful in my journey to success than keeping a journal. When you journal, you have the opportunity to write your goals, reflect on the challenges and setbacks you have encountered and chart the progress you made."


5. Journals can help you gain perspective and clarity in your life.

Writing in a journal can help you quiet the noise in your head and see things in your life from a wider perspective. Perspective helps you get a clear vision of where you want to go in life. When you're clear, you can take action. Taking action leads to success!



Starting to journal might feel overwhelming, but if you just take 5 minutes a day and write down your thoughts... I'm confident that you will see some positive changes in your life. Writing is powerful. I know I am a little biased -- writing is something I love deeply -- but journaling is most definitely a habit that can change your life for the better. I hope you will give it a chance!

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Hello, there! Thanks for stopping by.

I'm a freelance editor and writer living in New Mexico. This blog space is not only a place for me to offer my writing and editing services, but it is a place for me to keep thoughts and share what is close to my heart.

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