Declutter Your Mind: 7 Advantages of Journaling

Masthead Image
Person Holding Red Pen While Writing in Book
Author Name: Lucas Cook
Date: Wednesday May 1, 2024

Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site. 

Are a stream of endless thoughts and worries making you emotional? Perhaps your to-do list has you feeling overwhelmed. It’s hard to overlook the advantages of journaling for situations like these.

Journaling is a valuable tool for mental clarity and improving your well-being — a road to self-discovery and self-likeness, reflection, concentration and better sleep. It’s little wonder journals often complement traditional therapy.

Whether you keep an online blog or prefer pen to paper, you should begin writing for several reasons. Likewise, these prompts will deliver fresh inspiration and creativity if you’re unsure how to start. 

7 Advantages of Journaling

Journaling is an opportunity to release your emotions and fears. The practice also lets you lay out your desires on paper and create a roadmap to success. Here are seven advantages of journaling to encourage you to start writing. 

1. Increase Self-Awareness

Studies have underscored the importance of connecting with yourself to attain optimal well-being. Journaling promotes awareness of your internal thoughts and values, allowing you to accept them for what they are and create new behaviors around them. 

The more you journal, the more you can develop and apply what you learn about yourself to your everyday life.

White Book Behind Mug

2. Manifest Hopes and Dreams

One of the core facets of the law of attraction is that “thoughts become things.” Yet, you may need help visualizing those thoughts and desires for your life in greater detail. Journaling is an excellent way to boost manifestation. 

Reflect and write down what you want most with as much description as possible. With a journal, you can expand on those wants by clarifying why you want them and the path toward attainment. 

3. Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Therapists “prescribe” journaling to their patients because one of its primary advantages is reducing stress and anxiety. According to one study of college undergraduates, 35% of participants reported feeling relieved after journaling, while 30% and 24% said they felt calmer and had lower stress levels, respectively.

Journaling could benefit you if you’re carrying the world’s weight on your shoulders. It’s a crucial therapeutic tool in many ways. 

4. Boosts Creativity

Your journal is a safe space to brainstorm and experiment with new ideas without judgment and criticism. It’s somewhere you can allow your thoughts to flow naturally.

Many people find journaling helpful in connecting the dots and looking at ideas with a fresh perspective. The more you write and develop a daily journaling practice, the more creatively you train your brain to think.

5. Enhances Goal-Setting

A journal is just the tool you need if you struggle to set and achieve goals. Writing down goals forces you to clearly define the life you want and track your progress toward reaching it. It offers a space to reflect on the challenges you face and identify areas you excel in and need to improve. 

Reading through your list of goals ensures they remain your priority and helps you stay motivated. The more specific you are, the more straightforward your path to greatness will be.

Person With Hand on Notepad Page

6. Improves Focus

Like your closet and drawers, your mind can become cluttered with thoughts. Among all the advantages of journaling, improving concentration is the most important. 

Writing down whatever is on your mind is like throwing out a pile of worn-out clothes. It makes you feel lighter afterward and helps you pinpoint distractions. Once you become aware of them, you can make strides to avoid them and hone in on other areas of your life.

Journaling also helps you plan your day or develop a structure for work and at-home obligations. In the end, you’ll have a much easier time getting through tasks and meeting deadlines.

7. Aids Sleep

Keep a notebook on your nightstand for when you can’t sleep — journaling before bed or when you wake up in the middle of the night quiets racing thoughts and clears your mind. 

Anxiety and stress can keep you awake or hinder quality sleep. You’re already aware of the advantages of journaling for stress relief. Allow writing to help you relax and alleviate concerns for a more restful evening.

How Often Should You Journal?

Some people journal once daily, a few times a week or once every month — but what does the science say? When using journaling as a tool to improve your mental health, one study suggests journaling for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times weekly for the best results. However, while research indicates this is ideal for overall well-being, do what you feel is best for you.

If you experience the advantages of journaling through daily writing, make it habitual. Others may find journaling periodically has the most powerful impact on their lives. 

Journal on White and Gray Bed Sheet

Journaling Prompts to Unlock Your Power

Some people don’t know where to begin with journaling, causing them to miss out on the benefits of “brain dumping” and self-exploration. If this is you, grab your favorite pen and notebook and follow these prompts:

  • Create a list of every thought that pops into your head. You can also make a list of your worries and concerns. It doesn’t matter what order they are in as long as you get them out of your system.
  • Set a timer for five minutes of journaling and write down whatever comes to mind without stopping.
  • Continue the phrase: “What frustrates me the most is…”
  • Describe what emotions or tangible things you want to eliminate from your life.
  • Write a letter to your younger self or your future self. You can also write to yourself today explaining why you’re proud of your accomplishments.
  • Discuss the most important people in your life and why.
  • Write down your top three values.
  • Describe something that made you smile. How can you create more of those moments for yourself?

Journaling isn’t a competition, and there are no right or wrong answers. Writing from the heart and choosing topics near and dear to you are more critical. 

Write Your Way to Better Living

Declutter your mind by writing out your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Journaling is a form of self-expression aimed at helping you discover who you are, what you want, and all you’re capable of. Find a journal that speaks to you and begin composing to reap the rewards. 

Previous ArticleSourdough Discard Recipes: Waste Less and Snack More Next ArticleThe Best Makeup Brushes for Foundation We’ve Tried Yet
Subscribe CTA Image

Subscribers get even more tailored tips & deets delivered directly to their inboxes!