what is journaling? Your questions answered

Have you been asking yourself what is journaling? Where did this concept come from? What is the difference between journal writing and diary keeping? Or, even how to journal? You might be surprised to know that you're probably already journal writing on a daily basis.

If you've been working through any of the self help and self development activities throughout this site, you'll be well aware that the emphasis has consistently been on you keeping a journal record of your activities. But by far, journaling is more than just journal writing your activities and goals. As you will see from the 'what is journaling' faqs below, journaling is a multi-faceted activity which is perhaps the most powerful of your self help tools.

what is journaling? Faq's

This, - what is journaling faq, is designed to answer all your questions as to what is journaling and how personal journaling can help you.

what is a journal?

A diary or journal is a means of keeping a log or record of activities and/or events, whether these are for formal business record keeping or for personal records. The use of such diaries are varied and have historically been used as ledgers, business books, to log events and activities in government, in businesses, in the weather etc.,

what is journaling?

Journaling is a term derived from journal and is increasingly being used today, to refer to the practice of recording one's personal experiences, events and emotions. It is a technique used for reducing stress and/or to develop your self awareness/insights into yourself. It works on the premise that by writing about stressful events or experiences in your life, you self-heal, as well as finding solutions. However, this is by no means the only purpose of engaging in the practice of journaling.

what is journaling's origin?

As you have gathered, journaling originates out of, and has its roots in diary keeping. The word diary comes from the Latin diarium "(daily allowance)". The word 'journal' comes from the same root (diurnus = of the day).

what is journaling in its historical context?

Journaling or personal writing takes many forms. Its history is rooted as far back as the 10th Century in Japan when "Pillow Books" were used to record daily lives and thoughts. Today, the term journaling is usually used for personal writing that explores the inner world of the Self.

what is journaling's development in the 19th Century?

Psychologist Ira Progoff, is generally credited with being the father of modern journaling. As a student of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Progoff's work provided a way for individuals to explore ideas, thoughts, and dreams. Many of his work focus on using the journal or diary for self-awareness, finding your true self and healing from any number of personal troubles, including physical illness and trauma.

what is journaling as it is known today?

If you're currently diary keeping, you're practically journaling.

Although the terms "journal" and "journaling" are used interchangably, today, journaling has in the past been more commonly associated with, and is often used to describe the practice of hobby writing or 'scrapbooking'. That is, using photographs, imagery etc., while the more formal definition of journal writing or keeping a journal, is more to do with the practice of recording - similar to diary keeping. Which ever term you choose to use, journal keeping or journaling, is the practice of writing or recording personal entries about your experiences, feelings and thoughts on events.

what is journaling's appeal?

One of the main appeal of journaling is that it is readily accessible to anyone and cost nothing, other than the cost of a pen and a diary/journal. For some people, journal writing is something to which they are driven, as a means of self help and to get a clearer perspective. The beauty of journaling is you can record exactly what you want, no holds barred. For example, stating how and what you're feeling about particular individuals, something you might ordinarily not be inclined to do in a face to face situation or confrontation for example.

The private nature of your journal writing means no one else will see or read your entries so you don't have to worry about things such as grammar, mis-spellings etc.,. A further appeal of journaling is that it has helped to quash the common stereotype that diary keeping is an activity predominantly engaged in by teenage girls. As a consequence, the term journal holds more esteem and is a preferred term, since for many people diary keeping or journal keeping is more than just a mere logging of day to day events.

how can journal writing help me?

Now that you've had your question answered as to what is journaling, how can journaling help you! For some people, their diary or journal is a special tool that also provide a special place and much need space for them to visit in total privacy. There is also the strong psychological effect of having an audience for your self-expression, or a 'listener.

what is journaling timescale?

Just as in diary keeping, you can use a diary or journal to record daily (or otherwise) entries in date order and your account of your experiences over a course of a day or a period of time.

what is journal writing techniques?

In the 1960s Ira Progoff, pioneered the use of diaries in psychotherapy. He created the Intensive Journal Method in 1975. Using his technique, he found that patients in psychotherapy who recorded their fears and worries were able to better manage their personal and difficult issues more efficiently than patients who did not. His work focus on how to use journaling or diaries for the purpose of self-awareness, finding your true self, and healing from personal troubles, including physical illness and trauma. Journaling as we know it today, springs from Dr Progoff's earlier work

There are numerous simple, yet powerful writing styles and techniques to help you express yourself. For example, your perspective on a given event or situation; your pain, fear or anger; and what/how you're experiencing and feeling.

what is journaling in the Internet Diaries context?

Internet diaries provide a further medium for some people to log events and their personal experiences. While this practice undoubtedly provide an interactive audience, it nevertheless negates the private, confidential and non-judgmental nature of personal journal writing or diary keeping.

what is journaling in comparison to a blog?

With the advent of more easily accessible web services, online personal storytelling have taken the form of weblogs or blogs. The emergence of more sophisticated weblog tools, the creation of web journals consisting of short entries have rocketed, creating thriving online communites.

Some weblog services offer a way to publish people's writing, while others have become true communities offering opportunities for feedback and communication with fellow diarists.

what is journaling in the goalsetting context?

Journaling provides for recording your short-term, medium-term and long- term goals and what you want to achieve in your life. You can journal your progress toward your goals, as well as any concerns, fears, frustrations, barriers or blocks you encounter. This activity helps bring insights and clarity to the goalsetting process.

what is journaling's benefit?

There are as many benefits to journalling as there are uses. The practice of journal writing is known to improve emotional emotional health. As well as being a self help technique which can help you to reduce stress by writing about stressful events in your life; journaling affords you a safe and secure forum for doing so; enabling developing self awareness through inner exploration, as well as a place to express your deepest self, without fear of criticism or ridicule.

what is journaling's effectiveness as a self-help strategy?

Along with improving your emotional health, it has now been proven that personal writing is a direct contributor to your physical health as well. A number of independent studies conducted in the 1980's, found that people who wrote thoughtfully and emotionally about traumatic experiences achieved results such as a reduction in visits to their physician; fewer absenteeism; and generally improved physical health. The studies point to personal writing about your feelings being a powerful self-help tool.

what is journaling: Self-help

Without doubt, journal writing is a powerful self help tool that can help improve your mind, body health. If you're curious and want to learn more about how to journal, click here.

"Each forward step we take we leave some phanthom of ourselves behind". (John Lancaster)

Recommended Reading List

The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself by Lucia Capacchione

The Creative Journal for Teens: Making Friends With Yourself by Lucia Capacchione

Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin


Personal Journaling Magazine http://www.writersdigest.com/journaling/ Writer’s Digest http://www.writersdigest.com/

The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

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