There are many benefits of technology that I’ve come to appreciate. My tablet lets me easily go online to google information and I like my iPod because I can listen to my favorite music without disturbing everyone else in the house. But for the most part, that’s about it for me.
I’m kind of old-fashioned in many ways and while technology has proven useful, I’m not eager to let it take over my life. Some of my friends have gone to the other extreme though — they use their smartphone for everything and every time we speak, they tell me about some new app they’ve downloaded. They seem to have an app for every facet of their life! They have apps for their daily calendar, game apps, WhatsApp, Snapchat, apps that send them a positive quote daily, an app that reminds them of upcoming anniversaries and birthdays…they’re app mad if you ask me.
I however, love notepads, desk calendars, address books, pens and pencils…like I said, I’m old-fashioned. But one carry over from yesteryear that I really love and rely on, are journals. Journals offer a wonderful escape for them stresses of life and I’m sad to say, many of my friends are missing out on the time honored tradition of jotting down their thoughts, hopes and dreams. No offense, but an app simply can’t compare to journaling the old fashioned way.
Journaling has enjoyed a resurgence over the last several years and more people are coming around to the idea every day. What some might think of as ‘dear diary,’ journaling is actually a bit different than the notion of keeping a diary. Journaling has many proven benefits and here are just a few:
Reduces stress: keeping a journal is an excellent way to reduce stress because by writing about how we feel, we’re actively writing about the things that stress us out or about any feelings of anger we may have. Journaling is a form of venting if you will and the nice thing is, once we’re done, we can read it over and over until we have control over the negative thoughts and emotions that stress us out.
It helps to clarify thoughts: a lot of times when we’re stressed or mulling something over, we dwell on it, but are often too busy to really be in the moment to understand those thoughts and feelings. A journal helps us to jot down those thoughts and when we have more time, we can take a deeper look at them and that provides more clarity.
Helps us achieve goals and track progress. A journal doesn’t have to be like a diary if we don’t want it to. I use my journal to not only write down ideas and things I want to look into, but also to set goals and jot down notes about those goals. As I accomplish one, I cross it off. Journaling is a good way to take all those swirling thoughts and get them down on paper, where its easier to organize and understand them better.
It can be a source of positivity and inspiration: a good friend of mine uses her journal to write down positive thoughts — if she reads a positive quote or passage that is particularly inspiring, she writes it down in her journal. She also writes her own words of inspiration and with a journal, can open it up and read them anytime she feels the urge. Journaling can help us on the road to long-lasing positivity and I have a strong feeling that most people who decide they want to improve their life, do in fact use a journal to help them.
Technology is cool, for sure. And apps do have their place. But, if we look at the overall happiness factor in our world, we see that people are increasingly reporting that they’re now less happy than they had once been. Is technology to blame? To be frank, it is to some degree — apps, iPods, tablets, smartphones, social media — since these things came into being, people are less happy, less content. Journaling may sound old fashioned and the fact is, it is a bit old fashioned. But, weren’t people happier years ago? Yep.
Give journaling a try and in my experience, the best way to start is to just do it. Don’t over think it or try to make it a rigid, planned action, but instead, let it flow naturally. You’ll jounral the way you’re meant to and the way that works best for you. Good luck and enjoy your journal!