The benefits of keeping a journal

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Have you ever had a really good day and thought to yourself, “Wow, I hope to remember this years from now?” Maybe you’ve just had an intense discussion in philosophy class and would like to truly understand what was being discussed?

 

Either way, keeping a journal can have many benefits for your everyday life, whether you use it as your own personal form of therapy or to brush up on your writing skills.

 

Associate professor and writing center coordinator Kevin Dvorak practiced journaling for seven to eight years during his college life. He said that journaling helped him reflect on all the ideas and conversations that were brought up while he was in graduate school. Journaling helped him reflect on all of the new discussions being presented in class, but at his own pace.

 

“When we talk, those things leave us, but when we write them, we see them, and we’re better able to keep working off of them to develop longer intellectual conversations with ourselves and with other people,” Dvorak said.

 

According to Dvorak, journals can act as stress relievers. He said that a journal lets you talk to yourself to work through the different frustrations you might be feeling to truly understand the root of the problem.

 

Jacqueline Gomez, a licensed mental health counselor at Henderson Behavioral Health Center, said that when a person has taken on multiple responsibilities, he or she can get lost in the everyday madness. This madness can cause stress management issues, which, if suppressed for too long, can cause emotional breakdowns.

 

Gomez said that individuals who do keep journals may have fewer stress management issues and an overall more positive attitude towards life. Journaling is a way to deal with your emotions in a healthy way.

 

According to Gomez, keeping a journal is a form of expression. She said that sometimes it’s difficult to let your emotions out, so instead a person might let their emotions build up, resulting in increased anxiety.

 

“Journaling can de-escalate anxiety, because once you read over what’s coming out, you realize how distorted something can be,” she said.

 

Journaling may not only help improve your overall attitude but your academic capabilities as well. If you’re going through writer’s block or maybe having trouble understanding a certain class discussion, keep a journal for a couple of days and see if it gets your creative juices flowing.

 

“Journaling does help us become better writers because we become more aware of how much we need to write to communicate an idea,” Dvorak said.

 

If you already have a go-to stress reliever like yoga or a night out downtown, consider pairing it with a journal. Writing in your new journal might help you manage stress, express yourself and understand everything you’re learning at NSU. Whatever your situation may be, give journaling a try.

 

 

Unlikely Famous Journal-ers

Winston Churchill

Emma Watson

Ryan Gosling

Barack Obama

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