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Journaling In The Modern Age: Is It Still Relevant Today?

Profile image Jay Michaelson
Jan 13
Mental Wellbeing
Journaling may be even more relevant in today's world than ever before. Find out why this ancient practice is still very relevant and why you should start one.
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To many, journaling sounds like something old fashion, a relic from the past. But, one could argue that journaling now is more relevant and important than ever before. Looking at the benefits and positive impacts journaling can have on one’s life, it’s hard to think otherwise.

The world today is hectic and rapidly changing. From technological advances, to cultural and societal changes, the world is constantly and rapidly changing. These changes impact modern life on an ever-growing scale. The result of this? Stress, anxiety, depression, lack of self-awareness and understanding, and much more.

These are the exact things journaling can help with, especially in the modern age. Let's try to understand why.

Article Contents

What Is Journaling?

Journaling is the practice of putting to paper what ever is in your mind. This could be your thoughts, feelings, emotions, events that have occurred in the past, thoughts about the future, or anything else that is on your mind that you wish to explore. It is a way to reflect on your life, your thoughts, your goals, and on who you are. It is a practice that allows people to better understand themselves.

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Journaling Vs A Diary

The main difference between journaling and keeping a diary is that a diary is used for recording, while a journal is used for reflecting.

In a typical diary, you would record your day, writing down the different events that have occurred during that day. You may also write down how you felt about those events and your thoughts, but they too would just be a recording of those thoughts and feelings, and not a reflection on them.

In journaling, you don’t write down events to record them, you write down events to understand them and to find a deeper meaning behind them. You write down your thoughts to better understand them, to understand why you think the way you do, and how those thoughts may be impacting you.

Why Journaling Is Still Relevant Today

As of this year, much like every year, there have been major changes in the world. Changes in society, cultural changes, technological advances, and many more expected and unexpected changes. This is undoubtedly accompanied by an increase in stress and anxiety, and a lot of uncertainty about the future, and even about present life.

This is where journaling comes in, as journaling can help with exactly that. Journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety, it can help people make sense of things that are unclear, and put things into perspective, giving them a better understanding of themselves, and more meaning behind their actions, thoughts, and their feelings.

With our ever evolving and changing world, people could use a break. Taking a few moments away from everything, being in your own safe space, and just writing down everything that you have in your mind, and reflecting on it, can do wonders for your mental health, and your general well-being.

What Are The Benefits Of Journaling Today?

Journaling slows down your thought process, causing you to focus more on each and every thought, feeling, and emotion that rises while journaling, allowing you to understand them much better.

So why is this useful in today's world? Here are a few reasons:

It’s Personal And Private, It’s Not Social

So much of today is out in the public for everyone to see or read about. People's private lives have become public information. It’s hard to find a website, app, or service that is not sharing your information in some way or another.

Journaling, though, is just you, a pen, and a piece of paper. What ever you write is for you to see, and for you alone. You can hide it, or destroy it, something that is very difficult to do with everything else that is online. The same difficulty applies to digital journals, it may be difficult to know which site or app is sharing your information.

It’s All About You, It’s Not About Others

As time goes by, more and more influencers pop up. The number of new influencers per day is staggering. With this, and with all of the news and private information being so public, it’s getting harder and harder to just focus on yourself.

With journaling, that is what you are doing. You are journaling about yourself, about your life, and about your thoughts. Even if they are related to others, they are your thoughts, feelings, and emotions towards those people, and should not be influenced by them. It is a chance for you to reflect on you and to learn more about yourself.

It Can Be What Ever You Want It To Be

Your journal can be what ever you want it to be. It can be written in any style you want, in what ever language you want, and can be written about what ever you want. It is your personal space and personal thoughts, out on paper, for no one to judge. You do not need to please anyone with your journaling, as it is not for them.

It Reveals Yourself To Yourself, It’s A Window To Your Soul

With so much going on and social media taking over so much of people's everyday lives, it can sometimes be hard to understand and fully realize what your own thoughts and ideals are, compared to what is actually from others. Social media is designed to be so influential and so easy to consume that it hooks you in and makes you addicted, and makes you think that the opinions of others are actually your own. Understanding who you are, what you stand for, and forming your own opinions that are not influenced by others is growing harder by the day for many.

The time you spend journaling is the time you spend listening and learning about yourself. It’s time that should not be influenced by anyone else. What ever you write comes from you. Your thoughts, ideas, and ideals come from you, regardless of what they are, if others agree with them or not, or if they are not socially accepted. It’s a chance to really get to know yourself.

There Is No Judgment Or Criticism By Others

Journaling is your place to just be yourself, without the fear of someone not liking what you have to say or that someone will judge you. You do not have to worry about if what you are writing is socially acceptable, or if your friends approve or not. It's yours and yours alone.

Telling Untold Stories - The Art Of Journaling

Sometimes we are just dying to say something. Maybe it's a response to something some else did or said, maybe It's something that happened to us, or maybe it's just something that we thought about. Many times, however, we don’t say a word. We keep quiet out of fear of being judged and criticized. So many untold stories are lost to this. So many great ideas, and so many feelings are buried deep inside. All of this out of fear about what others will say or think.

Journaling is a perfect outlet exactly for this. Write down those things that you are dying to say. Write down what happened or what thoughts you had that you were worried people would not accept. It’s your space, your journal, and your freedom to tell the untold stories of your mind.

Reflecting

This is where journaling truly shines. Since journaling slows down our chain of thoughts, it causes us to spend more time on each of them. This allows each thought to really sink in and for us to fully contemplate what they mean to us. It allows us to reflect on things we may have taken for granted or overlooked, and things we thought we understood. It allows us to take a step back and to really understand ourselves better.

How Has Journaling Evolved In The Digital Generation?

Journaling, much like the rest of the world, has evolved in some areas as well. For example, there are numerous apps available for your phone that you can either journal in, or get journaling inspiration from.

Technology and the availability of information are constantly improving and growing, almost anyone can create a new resource for journaling. Be it a website or an app. Meaning, there are always more and more journaling related resources out there.

Though this evolution is inevitable, the good old pen and paper have not been abandoned. More than that, many people are re-adopting this old practice and re-introducing it into their lives, and into the lives of others.

There is no real right or wrong in regard to using technology for journaling, or if you should use paper and pen. It is up to you and what ever works best for you.

How Do I Start Journaling? When And What To Write

To start journaling, all you really need is a pen, a piece of paper, and a few minutes where you can be alone and uninterrupted.

The time at which you choose to journal depends on what works best for you. Some prefer morning journaling as it helps set them up for a better day ahead, while others prefer journaling either before bed to reflect on the day that has ended, or throughout the day when ever they find some time for it.

What you write in your journal will depend on what you have in your mind. You should not force yourself to journal, and you should not journal just for the sake of journaling. If you have nothing to write, that is ok, this is the difference between journaling and keeping a diary.

In a diary, you would write every day about the day that has passed, as a way to record it. Journaling, however, is meant to reflect on your thoughts on the day that has passed, and not to just record it. If you have nothing to write about, don’t force it.

The main idea is to keep journaling a simple practice, and to follow some of the best practices, and to avoid the bad ones.

Related Articles
100 Morning Journaling Prompts: The Morning Habit That Can Set You Up for a Better Day
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How Often Should I Meditate?
The Essential Guide to Journaling: Dos, Don'ts, and Tips for Success
Mindfulness & Journaling: Why the Two Go Hand in Hand

To Summarize: Is There A Place For Journaling In The Modern Age?

There definitely is. One could argue that there is more of a place nowadays than ever before. The world is progressing and changing at an increasingly rapid pace. It’s sometimes hard to keep up with all of the changes. This can very easily cause a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression, and just a general feeling of uncertainty.

It’s very easy to lose one's self in today's world, and journaling can help in that search for self discovery and self understanding.

What are your thoughts on journaling in today's world? How do you feel about journaling on paper vs. on a screen? Let us know in the comments below!

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