Time to Reflect

Beata Abramek, Staff Writer

When was the last time you have reflected on your life? For some, that may have been as recently as today, but for others, it may have been years. One common way to reflect on situations is through journaling. I am writing here now to express the benefits of journaling, and why you too should start journaling, if you are not already.

It is simply human nature to reflect and record the monumentous, or just everyday moments in your life.  Since ancient times, people have recorded stories as drawings in caves. Today, people use numerous avenues and artforms to reflect.  It is my hope that this article can assist you in your decision to journal.

Some people may associate journaling with keeping a diary as a child, but journaling is far from childlike. Famous visionaries such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Mark Twain, and others have all kept journals (Estries, 2016). Further, you do not even have to tell others if you are journaling. It is a personal process for a personal audience, which means nobody is there to judge you in your reflection.

Journaling has numerous benefits. It is a way to sort out thoughts and learn lessons. It can help you become more aware of the present, help you think more clearly, and help you realize what you need help with. Additionally, it improves memory, since it prompts individuals to think about what they learn (Goodwin, 2018). Writing memories and jotting down notes can help retrieve events or emotions that would otherwise be forgotten.

Whether it consists of just one sentence in a notebook, or consists of pages of words, journaling is personal and does not have to be complicated. People often are hindered from journaling because they set a pressure or expectation on themselves in terms of how it should look like. However, there is no correct way to journal, no matter what people may have said.

Writing in bullets, drawing pictures, or writing elaborate paragraphs can all be considered journaling. Freedom from expectations during journaling can provide a comfort that is not commonly felt while writing school assignments.

The semester may currently be so stressful and busy that you might feel you don’t want to start journaling or continue journaling, but you may be surprised at how much journaling can help you. Even using one notebook page once in a while can help you organize thoughts, reduce stress, and find solutions you did not know you had.  I challenge you, then, to help yourself, and begin journaling if you are new to the idea, or maybe even pick up and reboot that old discontinued journal you started long ago.