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Pro's and Con's of Journalling



So, I've done journal writing in the past and did not feel therapeutic at all, instead I felt like I was winging and complaining. Plus, I am someone who puts way too much pressure on themselves to make things perfect etc. Yes, yes, I am a perfectionist. 


What do others feel about journal writing? What are some of the pro's and con's? 


Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

Hi @Hopefullyhopeful


I can relate to what you are saying about how you do not feel journalling is therapeutic because you feel like you are complaining about life. I remember starting to journal when I was in high school and I think my 'journal prompt' was kind of like 'talk to me about your day'. And sometimes if you are having a bad day, you kind of just focus on all the elements that make up the bad day but do not give yourself that time to see another perspective - which is what sometimes talking to a friend or a psychologist might do.


I recently got back into journalling and one of the pros I see about journalling is how it has given me that perspective to help me understand my negativity and re-frame it in a different way. And the only way I can do that is by identifying the negativity and QUESTION IT. I think if you do not question the negativity or try to understand where it is coming from, it might be a reason why journalling might not feel as therapeutic.


I believe some journal prompts may help you write in a way where you feel like it is a bit more therapeutic. If you're interested, I think there might be some prompts in this forum topic here:


Let us know what your thoughts are after hearing other people's posts. I'm sure it will be an interesting discussion about the good and bad about journalling. 


Thank you for starting the discussion Smiley Happy

Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

Hi @Hopefullyhopeful!
I think that journal writing is very useful to further understand yourself, as @ryvb3 has said they have used it as a way to help understand what they've written (thank you for sharing that @ryvb3 I think I can use this for myself when I am journalling too!).
I am also a perfectionist so sometimes I find that I am writing in my journal as if someone would read it so I would be 'blocked' from fully writing how I feel. I've started to become aware of this though so I've started trying to write down how I really feel.

Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

Thanks @ryvb3

I loved some of these prompts in the other post! 

I’ve done a little researching about bullet journals. As I said earlier, being a perfectionist, I love order. So I thought maybe a bullet journal would be amazing to not only write down thoughts, ideas, what I’m greatful for, goals and positive quotes but to get the creative juices flowing! even though, I suck at drawing etc. have you or know anyone who keeps a bullet journal? 

I also love the idea of a mood tracker. I’ll be interested to know if anyone has tried one before? Was it helpful?

Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

Interesting thread @Hopefullyhopeful! I tend to use journaling a fair bit, but I'm careful about when I use it. If I'm in a headspace that's reached a certain level of negativity, I know that journaling will only lead me to write down negative thoughts. In that case, I might try to go for a walk or do something else to distract myself and then come back to journaling when I'm thinking more clearly.


Otherwise, journal prompts, as you guys have mentioned, help me. In particular, if I'm really stuck and need to pull myself together asap, I'll write a list of things for which I am grateful.

This post has reminded me that I haven't written in my journal for a few days - will do that when I get off the forums! Smiley Happy

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

@Hopefullyhopeful: That is great that you have done some research and identified a type of journalling method. Sounds like you have got a clear idea about what you would like in this journal. I'm so excited that you mentioned bullet journalling as I am very familiar with the system! Smiley Happy 


Although I haven't done the traditional mood tracker where people colour-in boxes or something, I have kept a mood log for a couple of months in the past as a way to check-in with how I was feeling as I was heading to and from work (or whenever I was catching public transport). The reason I started a mood log was because I noticed that I was feeling stressed from work or still thinking about it; so I wasn't able to disconnect from it completely. My 'writing prompt' for these are just "how am I feeling and why am I feeling this way?"


I found keeping this mood log helped me:

  • identify my emotions (I'm generally not good at naming them);
  • validate how I am feeling (e.g., if I felt angry, I wrote a few words about it and reading it back now I can see that the feeling was justified - like it wasn't an abnormal reaction. Sure I might have hated reacting in that way, but it helped me understand where it was coming from); and
  • see patterns in how I am feeling and change it, if necessary (e.g., I can see entries where I wrote that I felt tired and followed it up with some problem-solving about what to do about it.)


Not sure if you have seen this website during your research; it shows some of the traditional mood trackers that people have used in their bullet journal. Maybe something might inspire you: 


My mood log was something basic; I just wrote on a lined notebook, used coloured pens to draw an emoticon and wrote with a biro my thoughts. 


Finally, not being a good drawer is okay, you can make up for it by making it colourful Smiley Happy

Let me know what you think!

Re: Pro's and Con's of Journalling

@ryvb3 ohhhhhhh I like it a lot! 


I haven't set up a journal yet as work has been completely hectic but I plan on scheduling some time over the weekend so I can. 


I love colour! Colour always fixes bad drawings Smiley Happy



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