In The Diary of Anne Frank, young Anne’s mind is colored with doubts regarding her act of recording her daily life. Will the musings of a thirteen-year old mean anything at all in the future? Unbeknownst to her, her tiny thoughts and reflections were going to grasp many a reader’s sentiments for decades to come. Regardless, young Anne used her diary as a source of relief and companionship, during the troubled two years when her family was attempting to evade capture by the Nazis. Today, journal writers around the world draw their inspiration from her and numerous other famous individuals in history, to keep a daily record of their lives. Why do people turn to journaling when in doubt, distress or delight? This paper briefly discusses what makes a daily journal, and how it benefits an individual.
In its simplest form, a daily journal is a private record of a person’s daily activities. There is no hard and fast rule to write a daily entry in a journal; anything from having a favorite cake to making an important scientific discovery can go into a journal. Pouring out a completely personal and unbiased account of a day’s events and emotions can release locked up stress. Unlike modern therapy, journaling does not need to be expensive. A mere pen and paper can take the writer to a calm and contemplative world.
Not many succeed in maintaining a daily journal, however, as it is often tempting to give up the whole act, and simply live through life’s moments and recollect them later. But, it is unwise to rely on the power of memory alone if one wants to relive a moment that had shaped their lives. As Delistraty illustrates with the example of the narrator in Swann’s Way, it is the ordinary moments in life that define one’s identity, rather than the extraordinary moments that occur once in a while. In its essence, journaling allows the writer to immortalize these moments.
While for some daily journaling allows reprieve from various difficulties they face in daily life, many others simply find it to be a therapeutic exercise. Yet others base their decision–making on their reflections from journaling. The benefits of daily journals are, hence, countless, and differ from person to person depending on their purpose of journaling.
In conclusion, journaling is an act of cleaning the mind. By unloading the burden of daily activities on the mind, clarity can be achieved in thoughts and future actions. Ultimately, what’s most appealing about keeping a daily journal is that documenting thoughts and emotions does not require a degree, excellent writing skills, or sophisticated equipment. Be it reflective, or simply a record to present to future generations, anyone can do it anywhere.
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