Dear Diary – 7 Reasons for Keeping a Diary

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Have you ever heard of the “Zeigarnik-Effect” ? Pending tasks stay in our memories even longer than the ones concluded. And this is why we remain tense and do not enter into tranquility.

The solution couldn’t be any simpler: keep a diary! It sorts your thoughts, leads to self-awareness and can even replace a therapist. We’ve discovered seven wonderful reasons proving that a diary is a true power source.

1. Clarity

A day filled with anger and stress? And as it wasn’t enough, a broken dishwasher, the ruined sweater because washed with overly-hot water and an argument with the colleague? At one point the chaos turns perfect and you get overwhelmed. The diary provides enough room to sort your thoughts and to reflect on the priorities. Simply write the anger off your chest, step by step – and all-of-a- sudden, the inner peace returns and the view of things becomes more optimistic again. Conclusion: for the broken dishwasher we call the customer service, the sweater was not our favourite anyway and the colleague was just nervous because it’s been her first day.

2. Organization

Checking emails, mobile & co. all day long? Those who twitter and post the whole blessed day are evidentially more stressed than social media resisters. Nevertheless: even those who need to stay on the ball for job reasons should pull the plug at least once a day, and lay back to dedicate some time to the diary. Just the appearance of a beautiful book, the feel of paper and pen are total relaxation. Thus, put smartphone and computer aside and create a cosy and sensual atmosphere with some candles, incense sticks and a hot cup of tea. By the way, many studies indicate that keeping a diary releases cognitive resources, since our thinking can relax. Nice side effect: we become more efficient.

3. Relaxation

An important presentation or audit in the pipeline which do not allow your tension to calm down? Escape the obsessional rumination, grab your diary and put down the most important points that are still pending in your thoughts, one by one. Period! Now, you’ve written the burden off our chest – and you can be assured that nothing gets lost and can be eventually checked the next day. Maybe your stress is caused by these many small details that you don’t want to annoy your best friend with. Thus, simply put these on paper before you go to bed, and after that the diary disappears in the tray of your bedside table. Now, your mind can finally switch to the relax mode.

4. Personality

The interview went not as we would have wished, a few pounds too many on the scale again … it must be all our own fault, because we did not prepare ourselves, did not suck it up. Especially self-critical people turn on themselves and deal too much with their inadequacies – without a positive result, of course. A diary, however, is like a good old friend who just listens to the problems without a recap on what we’ve done wrong. And once the head is free, it becomes obvious that at bottom you’re on a good way and there’s just some finetuning to be done here and there.

5. Consolation

A problem shared is a problem halved? Whenever we’re overwhelmed by the gigantic Weltschmerz, a shoulder to cry on helps for sure but sometimes it’s just not available. Possibly we’ve just been abandoned by the one we love and have already excessively strained our best friend’s nerves. Some wounds simply take much longer to heal. This is when our diary might come into play – psychologists confirm that someone who verbalizes emotions regarding a specific topic time and again, eventually gets used to the bad experience and can handle it more easily. Thus, express yourself and put the darkness into words. Suddenly the diffuse feeling turns into something concrete and some day there’s even light at the end of the tunnel.

6. Self-aid

To keep a diary is like Detox for your brain and can evidently relief depressive symptoms. We detoxify intellectually somehow, since there’s a place where we can unload the waste that tortures us. Someone who bottles up his anger and therefore knots mentally will sooner or later not only suffer mentally but will certainly be bothered with a tense neck, chronic headaches or even something worse. Thus, let’s prevent our psychosomatic gouts by noting down our dark thoughts. After that, they’re more than welcome to disappear in a sinister tray again until we get them out consciously. Or not. But bad experiences will no longer make our life miserable.

7. Memories

One who rediscovers the past days’ diaries in old boxes and reads the outpourings of long gone teenage times, about the extraordinary 18th birthday for example or the birth of the first child, knows it all. There are so many little things in the course of our lives that bring happiness but misery too, and which are often forgotten. The one who can review the one or the other event will experience some surprises. Like realizing, for example, that contrary to expectation the separation of the first big love did not lead to Armageddon, or that the grumpy teenager at the dinner table used to be a happy sweet thing – and might get back its joyful nature one day. This is how the diary guards us against our further life, it’s a wonderful reflector that brings time and again a smile to our face for sure.

Foto: Pexels

Translation: Danielle De Bie