Many of us aren’t in the habit of keeping a diary, especially as the ‘Dear Diary’ memories of our childhood can sometimes make us inwardly cringe. The idea of keeping a diary now also seems a little time-consuming; with a million other things that need to be done before bed why on earth would we put time aside to write about what we did that day? However keeping a journal is an encouraged practice and apparently comes with a whole range of benefits, including keeping our hands away from our electronics just before bedtime . . .

Journal for stress release

One of the main reasons many people don’t carry their diary habits through to adulthood is because they simply don’t have the time. With jobs, children, a home and all the other hundreds of tasks to take care of in a typical day, there’s barely any time to catch your breath. Attached to all these things that must be done comes a fair amount of stress, too, which is bad not only for ourselves, but also for those around us. Studies have shown that the emotional release that comes from keeping a journal helps to lower anxiety and stress, and even helps you achieve a better night’s sleep. This is especially the case if you use your diary time to reflect on good things that happened in the day that you’re grateful for.

Image of writing in a journal

Related: How To Unwind From Work In The Evening

Increase your creativity

Getting better at writing is often simply a matter of persisting in doing it on a regular basis, and if one of your aims is to get better at writing, or to increase the amount you write, then this alone is a good reason to start a journal. However, the benefits are even greater than simply getting you in the writing mindset. Writing regularly can help you to learn ways in which to process complex thoughts, as well as helping you to communicate them more effectively. This means that you can review things you’ve been struggling with, make note of them and are able to return to them later as well as seeing them in a new light.

Keeping a journal helps you to deal with problems in a detached way and writing them down means you can think it through from a different perspective. This way your initial feelings and the first hand problem is preserved, waiting for you to have time to deal with it. Jotting down your problems and feelings in this way means you are less likely to stay awake at night, running events through your head into the early hours.

Woman writing in journal

Increase your vocabulary

As you continue your habit of keeping a journal, you’ll likely have the natural urge to try out new words and phrases. A study on the relationship between language and intelligence stated that ‘Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence’. As you write more, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to word what it is you’re trying to say, and how to get your point across in a concise manner.

Read more: How To Use Yoga To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Evoke mindfulness

Achieving a calm mindset before bed is key for having a good night’s sleep. There are many ways you can do this, including meditation, breathing techniques and so on, but actively keeping a journal can also help you to achieve mindfulness before bed. By releasing any anxieties you have into your journal before bed, you’re much more likely to get some quality rest.

Improve your sleep

Image of woman stressed in bed

Though adding another task to your day may seem like the last thing you want to do, writing in a journal every evening before you go to bed can benefit the quality and length of the sleep you have. Many people who suffer from lack of sleep or an inability to drift off do so because they spend a good portion of their time in bed worrying.

By writing these worries down you help to structure your feelings in a more legible way, which can help you address the problem at hand. Doing this, and avoiding the typical tossing and turning you usually endure means you’re more likely to see a return in energy, after achieving a night of solid rest.

Do you keep a nightly journal? Let us know the effect it has had on you in the comments section.