Keeping a journal or diary can become a very therapeutic practice.

Doctor’s recommend journaling for its many mental and emotional (and even physical) health benefits, especially as a personal “stress management and self-exploration tool.”

Aspects of journaling, including inner reflection and deep contemplation benefits the writer in a variety of ways, aiding the writer to shed insight on life and discover much about themselves.

A journal is also beneficial in that it can function as an outlet of release by way of admitting frustrations or emotions that one feels uncomfortable or embarrassed to discuss with others.

The Journaling Connection to Pain

Because journaling can become such a potent instrument in aiding one’s mental and emotional well being, journals and diaries are often started by men and women during trying times of pain. While keeping a journal can definitely help reverse negative thinking — as doctors recommend — and aid one’s emotional balance, the common plight of journaling arises when the writer begins to unknowingly resort to one’s journal or diary as an exclusive outlet for sadness, loneliness, and general negativity.

In so far as many journals and diaries are started when someone is looking for an outlet to express themselves during trying times, journals can become a bastion of negativity. Journaling should serve riting the emotions and expressing one’s self could help the writer ultimately feel better, retaining the journal is akin to harboring an outlet of exclusive negativity.

The journal then subconsciously becomes a source of negativity, in and of itself — the writer associates the journal with negative thinking and negative emotions and thus they are more likely to be naturally, though subtly, conjured up and written in the journal.

Avoiding the Plight of Journaling

If you begin to notice a trend that your journal or diary becomes consistently negative, explicitly invest effort into occasionally writing about good emotions and positives, such as fun occasions with family and friends, or your general thankfulness in life — however big or small.

One should not be reluctant from admitting negative feelings and emotions when writing in a journal or diary. However, one should be aware of the plight of journaling and understand how journals and diaries can subconsciously become outlets of exclusively negative thoughts and subsequently begin to breed more negativity, rather than provide the writer with a personal outlet for reflection, stress relief and self-improvement.