Do You Write in a Journal?

Updated on March 29, 2012
C.R. asks from Olathe, KS
8 answers

If you write in a journal do you write daily? What type of things do you journal about? I've never been a writer, but I was thinking it may help me with some depression issues. Any ideas how to start journaling??

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answers from Austin on

It will definitely help you with depression but find a shorthand that only you will be able to translate in case someone reads it--then you will really be depressed.

I write in my daily. I look forward to doing that at the end of the day.

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answers from Atlanta on

I've kept a journal for years but I don't write in it every day. Sometimes months go by before I write again, other times I write every day or a few times a week, which usually goes on for months and then I stop for a while. I write all kinds of things in it. Sometimes just my thoughts about myself or life or what's going on with my relationships. I write about the children and my joys with them. I write about the things I'm working on changing in myself and my progress or lack of. I write about what I receive in meditation what I pray for. A lot of times thoughts will come to me that are sort of like a running theme for my day or week or weeks that I contemplate upon and I write a summation of this. Sometimes I write just a phrase or a word. Journals can be a good way of showing you where you're at especially when kept for years, they can used as a gauge. And sometimes you just need to express anything you're feeling. From time to time I also write letters to my adult children and grandchildren in them too.
To start, just do it. Get something you like writing in whether it's fancy lined or unlined or just a spiral notebook, I've done all but find a flexible lined journal book most comfortable for me. I don't like doing it on the PC because sometimes I like to get comfy in bed or have it in my purse when going somewhere I know I'll have to wait. And there is a lot to be said for writing with pen in hand. The thing is just do it. Make up your mind and just write. Stick with it, because you won't really know whether you like it or not till you do it for at least 3 mos. I have a friend that only writes positive stuff in hers and refuses to write anything else, she believes it works for her. I personally don't always write the happy stuff, but I do try to stay positive. Journals help you search yourself.
Hope this helps somewhat

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answers from Amarillo on

I have tried to journal many years ago and it has taken me to about 4 years ago to keep one going for longer than 4 months. When my husband got sick I had so many feelings good and bad that I had to get out of me that I took to writing. Some of the paragraphs are good thoughts and others would think that the axe murderer's sister was loss but it helped me move from point a to point b and beyond.

I had used small 9x5 sprial bound notebooks. One a year for the first two years and one for the last two years so things have improved. Writing is a way of getting out of your system and to keep it from being bottled up and causing you more physical or emotional damage.

Just go for it.

The other S.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I journaled daily through HIgh school and college. I wish I still did but in the hectic life of a working mom something's gotta give you know! I kind of switched over to occasionally working on my kids baby journals and scrapbooks, which are for me sort of a chronological journal of special events.

Anyway, when I got started I used a journal that only had very small space to write for each day, and I just wrote down the daily happenings, like, what I did that day. No pressure. Slowly I started including my own feelings and reflections and by the end of the year I had to transfer over to a journal with a lot more room. I feel journaling really helped my self-awareness and growth during those years (teens and twenties). I even had a boyfriend during that time tell me "wow, you really know yourself". I think it was because of the constant journaling. Go for it!

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answers from Miami on

Yes, I keep a journal and I began journaling when I became pregnant with my first child 12 years ago. I documented my pregnancies (4 in total) throughout the years, how I felt, what I felt, the ins and outs of life, dealings with my husband, family and children, my feelings, etc. I am a writer and I do love to express myself in written form. I think keeping a journal is a great idea. You forget things in life and when you document it and go back to read it years later sometimes it brings healing, insight, and even laughter. I start my entry with the date, how old I am at that time, and I just write how I am feeling and take it from there. You don't have to be a writer to keep a journal. Ross Dress for Less has pretty and inexpensive journal books.

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answers from Portland on

I do write in a journal when I'm struggling with feelings and issues. I went to a journaling workshop where I learned to write as if I were writing to a dear friend who loved me unconditionally. I pictured that friend as myself.

I write about how I'm feeling and what is happening that is causing these feelings. Sometimes I describe a dream and by putting it on paper I gain an understanding of some issues. At the workshop, we learned to first just describe the dream without analyzing it. Once it's written down then go back and try to make sense of it in a loose kind of way. Pay attention to how you feel at each point and describe that. See if there is a connection between what is happening in your waking life and your dream life.

Other than dreams I just start writing, usually by describing how I'm feeling at the moment and then I just write without censoring it. It's surprising sometimes what comes out.

Another way to journal is to write down a question and then just start writing down what comes to mind when you think about the question.

Journaling has helped me a great deal. It's like having my very own built in therapist.

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answers from Champaign on

I don't journal often, but when I do I just write. It doesn't matter if everything I say has a clear beginning or ending, just start writing. Once you begin, just go with it. Let your thoughts just take you wherever. There doesn't have to be any intentional message. Write whatever you are feeling. As you write, you will (hopefully) feel a little better, maybe a little clearer. You might even feel a little bit more free knowing that you've said whatever you're thinking. Maybe it was something painful or scary and you didn't want to or were afraid to say it out loud. Sometimes writing that will help you face it. You might even be able to say it out loud.

Try not to be afraid of what you're going to write. Just write. It really can help!

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answers from Providence on

Yes, I journal every day. I have since I was a teenager. I love to write. First, find a nice quiet area of your house or a place outside, and just write about how you are feeling, and what is going on inside your head. Sometimes words just come on the paper, and you can run with it. Other times, it takes awhile. For me, I have to be in the right mood to write. I write about my anxieties and feelings I am having,fears,etc. Having them on paper helps to clear them out of your mind. Same with depression.

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