The practice of keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts is experiencing a resurgence of sorts, much like polaroids and vinyl records. The more digital our world becomes, the more the analog appeals to us.
Maintaining and regularly updating a journal may sound like a waste of time and energy, but it’s a practice that’s been proven to have therapeutic effects by helping people organize their thoughts and feelings and providing a fresh perspective on their problems.
Sex and relationship expert Julia Pugachevsky tells Cosmopolitan that journaling has had a positive effect on her romantic relationship, helping her treasure the good things about her partner and giving her the chance to let go of her insecurities. Taking a minute to think and write down a sentence or two about your relationship can deepen your connection with your significant other. “Not only can having some undivided ‘you time’ to journal be a great way to do something nice for yourself, it can also help you gradually learn what really matters to you. And this can be especially effective when it comes to your love life,” she explains.
Journaling will help you get to know yourself and become more aware of the qualities that you’re looking for in a partner, providing a lot of benefits whether you’re single or in a relationship. It’s a helpful tool for dating, especially now that apps like Tinder and Bumble facilitate many unsuccessful first encounters. “Even taking just five minutes to journal after a date–during which you can honestly reflect on whether it was great or “meh”–can help you stop wasting your time on people who just aren’t right for you,” says Pugachevsky.
Reading your journal entries will allow you to notice harmful patterns in your behavior, unhelpful attitudes and recurring insecure thoughts. The more you practice the habit, the more benefits it’ll provide for you and the more you’ll see how much your behavior changes and improves over time.