Writing a diary not only promotes your physical and mental health, but also your overall personality development. Why you should definitely (again) do it, plus have helpful tips on writing.
Many only know it from their youth or have never even written a diary. It can be so liberating and make you happier on the spot than before. Sorting and verbalizing your thoughts and feelings has many advantages. We have seven reasons why it pays off to write a journal and eight tips for writing.
Your memoirs, your diary
A diary, also diarium (Latin diarium) or memoire (French mémoire), is a mostly written, autobiographical record in chronological order. Usually, diaries are not written to be published. Nevertheless, there are some popular diaries, such as the diary of Anne Frank or the diaries of Max Frisch. They are historically important and give a realistic picture of the time.
Diaries can record every day what moves you. This can be your daily routine, special events, to general thoughts about the world. Your transcripts are always highly subjective, describing individual impressions, longings and feelings. Writing down can serve as an outlet for problems, grief and aggression. For this reason, most diaries are more of a private nature and not intended for the eyes of others.
Difference to the autobiography
The difference of a diary to the autobiography is that in the diary – as the title reveals – each day is reflected and illuminated. The autobiography, on the other hand, selects drastic events that are supposed to represent life in chronological order.
The diary, on the other hand, has more abundance, stores things that you would not otherwise have remembered, contains both positives and negatives. It’s not as easy to steer in one direction as an autobiography. In addition, autobiographies today are usually intended for a reader, therefore contain no private details that do not want to be shared.
Write a diary: 7 reasons to start
Many people who do not write a diary think that they will never again look at their memoirs and that the whole effort is not worth it. But diaries have much more important functions than just recording your thoughts. We’ll tell you below why you should definitely start writing Diary.
Memories are preserved
Our memories are often saved differently than they happened. Guilt on the one hand is the subjective perception of a situation that can not be avoided, on the other hand, emotionality. Strong emotions focus on a specific trigger in our memories; we lose sight of the big picture. In addition, when we consciously remember something or a sensory stimulus triggers this memory, it always changes a little bit. We forget some parts, re-model them or emphasize them if they were particularly important to us.
Positive personality development
The diary is like self-therapy. You can talk to him about anything that troubles you. It’s the best listener in the world, helping you develop personally and grow beyond yourself. Why am I good as I am? What have I done today and done for others? By writing a diary, you are always dealing with yourself, with your feelings, desires, dreams and fears. You are in a daily routine of self-reflection.
You can watch your progress, progress and progress by reading through old diary entries. If you are in a bad mood, you can put yourself in beautiful moments by leafing through your diary and consciously embarking on a beautiful event. Make yourself aware that you actually have a good life and learn so satisfaction.
Self-knowledge and self-confidence
As you reflect on your day, try to organize and articulate your feelings, you gain self-knowledge. Especially in confusing situations where you are torn, writing can give you clarity. This can help you make important decisions in life and make sure you can handle stress more effectively.
By writing a diary you can find out who you really are and why you are what you are. You bring your way to think and perceive things to paper and thereby get to know yourself much better than before. You practically mirror yourself in your journal and can look at yourself. This makes you a person with a heightened self-esteem and heightened awareness.
Increased motivation: achieve goals faster
When you write down your ideas, goals, and dreams, that motivates you tremendously. What do you expect from life? What are small and big goals in the long run? Once you’ve written down your visions, they’re much more tangible to you. They do not whine around somewhere in your head half forgotten. They were worded. This causes you to take your own ideas more seriously yourself and get them through rather than being left unspoken. Find out how to increase your motivation even more.
Your rhetorical skills improve
When writing a diary you are in a permanent process of word search. What do you want to say and how do you express it correctly? So you improve your rhetorical skills, and train your creativity, learn to formulate more thoughtful and think about what you want to say in advance. Your communication skills improve and your writing skills are also trained. You may also be looking at words from time to time or searching for synonyms to express yourself correctly. So you learn a lot and can use your improved skills in everyday life.
Diary writing makes you happy
When you write a journal, you mention everything that moved you that day. These include both the negative and the positive events. You can let go of your frustration by skipping the bad side of the day, but enjoy the things that have made you happy. So, your diary is not just an outlet, it’s also a mood lift, making you aware of what’s going on in your life. You become more grateful for what you have and train your brain to focus on the positive and become more optimistic.
Study: Expressive writing is healthy
Psychologist James Pennebaker of the University of Texas found out as early as the 1980s that writing diaries helps strengthen the immune system, process grief, and even manage trauma. Since then, the phenomenon of “expressive writing” has been taken up again and again in studies and its positive effect continues to be confirmed.
The student volunteers who wrote about traumatic experiences went to the doctor less frequently after completing the daily writing intervention within the experiment, generally did not get sick as quickly and had improved lung and liver function. They performed better and had fewer days off. Their resilience improved: they emerged stronger from a crisis situation.
8 tips to write a journal
The following tips will help you to write the journal. They help you with a writer’s block, save time and some important decisions at the beginning of the writing process. If you follow these tips, you can fully enjoy your new self-therapeutic routine.
Try to form pictures from words
When you try to express your inner self, words sometimes seem too simplistic and inadequate. What can help here: metaphors and linguistic images. These are not just rhetorical remedies you’ve encountered at school, they can really help you better express your thoughts and feelings. Make comparisons and try to describe what you think with unconventional means.
Maybe you felt ‘pink’ somehow today, or as if you would crawl under the earth and reappear alternately. Maybe you felt the same way you did when you built a sandcastle in kindergarten and somebody just destroyed it. Remember different life situations or try to abstract your emotional state. Be creative and let your imagination run wild.
Morning, lunch or evening routine: which type are you?
To motivate you, you should first decide for yourself at what time of the day you would like to write in your diary. Are you ready for the morning and ready to report from yesterday, is the lunch break suitable for you or do you have more energy and speech needs in the evening?
The benefit of a morning diary routine is that you can even talk about your dreams. The downside: you could have forgotten some of yesterday’s day. However, it also raises the question of whether it really was so important if it does not concern you the next day. Another aspect you should keep in mind is that you start the day with yesterday’s events. So if you have experienced something upsetting, it could pull you down in the morning. On the other hand, if something good has happened to you, you’ll be in a good mood the next day.
Depending on what your daily routine looks like, you should decide for yourself when you want to write. Maybe it will do you good to skip your soul at bedtime so you can sleep better. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Decide on the time when it is most likely that you write a journal on a regular basis without being annoyed.
Personalization of your diary
Personalizing your journal can help you open up and let your emotions out. For example, if you give it a name, or you just imagine it’s a person, you can probably trust it better. You may even think of some personal characteristics for your book, such as a certain age, traits or even appearance. So you can write in your journal as if you were talking to a friend with whom all your secrets are safe.
Save time with keyword lists
If you’re worried about losing too much time writing a diary and often miss out on days, you can also start to take bullet points. It does not always have to be long, well-formed sentences that capture your thoughts. Just pick and choose what was good and what was bad in your day; who has done you good and who you have done something good for. Depending on how much time you have, you can always sway between keywords and body text – after all, it’s your diary, you decide content and layout.
Hand-written book or online diary?
If you want to save time and still write down a lot of your day, it’s probably worth using common writing tools to perpetuate your memoirs. If you are worried that your private thoughts will eventually end up on the net, you should not use online tools. Here is more suitable Microsoft Office, Open Office or Libre Office.
In addition, the deliberate writing by hand has something meditative. You can think longer about what you are writing and choose your words more consciously because you can not quickly delete them like on the computer. Even if handwritten diaries mean a little more work, they are something special. They are your lifeblood and they are less likely to be lost.
The right writing tool
Write your handwritten diary best with a pen or pen. Fibes and markers fade faster and there is a risk that you will not be able to read what you once wrote later. But first and foremost, it’s important that you write with a pen that sits comfortably in your hand, so you can write comfortably and as fast as you want.
Your handwriting should not be in the first place, since you only write for yourself anyway. If you pay too much attention to writing properly, you may lose sight of what matters most: verbalizing your thoughts and feelings.
Take off perfectionism
Perfectionists tend to write everything down neatly and sorted. But thoughts and feelings can not be sorted so easily. Perfectionism inhibits you in writing. It must also be allowed to make small mistakes, without the text then again ‘clean’ write off.
It is important for you to allow spontaneous and uninhibited writing. You write your diary anyway only for you and nobody learns, if you have not written perfect. Underline, cross out, fill out with asterisks, make up new words, write all in capital letters or paint a few ‘talentless’ pictures on the edge; Just try it if you enjoy it.
Buy Diary: Which is right for me?
As a diary theoretically everything you can write about is suitable: individual notes, exercise books, small notepads, college blocks and so on – but not everything makes sense for you. What priorities do you set in a journal and how much do you want to spend?
Your journal is an item that you use regularly. So think carefully what you need before. Surely you plan for more money for things that you do not use every day. If it makes you happy and you can enjoy it every day, you should treat yourself to a journal that you find really beautiful and that suits your needs. We’ll let you know what options you have.
Unobtrusive and cheap
You want to save money right now and just get rid of your thoughts? Besides, should not it stand out in your bookshelf? Then a simple A4 hardcover notebook is the right thing for you. It usually costs between one and five euros, can not easily be damaged and has enough space for your thoughts and creative design, similar to a Bullet Journal.
If you plan a page for every day, you should pay attention to the page numbers. Cheaper models usually have only about 100 pages, so only enough for three to four months. A trick to save pages is to halve the pages. Simply draw a line with pencil in the middle of the page and use the upper side for one day, the lower one for another.
Handy and oldschool
If you want a classic model, you can buy a leather diary. The format is usually a bit smaller here. Depending on whether you want to take your diary often or not, you should consider this in your selection. Also make sure that the number of pages is sufficient. Diaries made of leather or with leather look, the prices vary greatly. Between five and twenty euros, most are on average. However, prices are open depending on design and manufacturing.
Pre-structured, stylish and time-saving
There are some diaries that already pick up on important life issues or have pre-printed lines to fill in and a modern design. If you love order and want to save time writing diaries, such a journal is perfect for you. You just pick an appealing design, read through the ready-made questions and start writing. There are even diaries specifically designed to spend just a few minutes a day with them.