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Why we journal 
24th-Mar-2010 02:09 pm
Studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) show that keeping a journal has a positive influence on one's mental and physical health. The British Columbia People With Aids Society recommends journal writing as one of the key ways to reduce stress in life, along with meditation, exercise and prayer. Journalling, these sources say, "enables you to listen to yourself, to honour and open to your thoughts and feelings. Learning to love ourselves involves observing and remembering. Our being created, our unfoldings story is worth writing down. In this spirit of openness, our lives can be revealed through keeping a journal. A deeper relationship with yourself unfolds, the part of you connected to the soul that some call Godm the Tao, Higher Self, or the Creator."

Okay, whether or not you agree with any of that or think it's all a bunch of psychobabble and B.S., I'm curious to know if you actually keep a journal (using your own definition of that term), where and why.

Poll #1542577 Why we journal

Although you have a Livejournal account, do you actually do what you consider to be "keeping a journal" (either here or elsewhere)?

I'm not sure
Something else (what?)

If you keep a journal, where do you keep one? (Select as many as apply)

I just told you, I don't keep a journal
Open Diary
I keep a journal or diary in a book or other written form
Something else (what?)

Why do you keep a journal? (Select all that apply)

How many times do I have to tell you, I don't keep a journal
It's good therapy
It helps me relieve stress
It helps me manage my anger
It helps me deal with some form of past abuse
It helps me cope with a phyiscal ailment
It stimulates my creativity
It helps me keep in touch with family and/or friends
It helps me in my business or profession
It is an aid in my spirituality
It helps me to address an addiction
It helps me in identifying, setting and meeting goals
It helps me to meet people
It enhances my education
Some other reason (what?)
24th-Mar-2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
I do it to appease my future self, who I know will be curious about what I was doing at a particular time in the past. Future Self is really nosy but she likes reminiscing and LJ helps her do that. :)
24th-Mar-2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
This, too! I like having it around for posterity.
24th-Mar-2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
This! Present Self also really likes remembering about Past Self quite a bit and reads back entries ALL THE DAMN TIME.
24th-Mar-2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Present and future self think this is an adorable answer! :)
25th-Mar-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Exactly this. I'm also keeping one (technically two) while I'm going through with planning my wedding. I think my future self will be amused with the stuff I'm dealing with now, and what I think is an issue now.
25th-Mar-2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Same here, this is the main reason why I journal.
24th-Mar-2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
My answers are going to look weird, so I shall explain here.

Yes, I have a LiveJournal account... actually, several of them for various purposes (mostly for fictional writing and testing, aside from my primary one). However, I don't use any of my accounts for the purpose of "journaling," in the purest meaning of the term.

My personal journal account is mostly used for communication and to share information with others. Because of the inherent privacy risk with even having a journal hosted online, I would not use it for the most private of thoughts and feelings, even if I wanted to keep a journal for that purpose. If I did, I would keep it completely offline (i.e. Notepad or somesuch). Besides, what's the point of keeping a journal online if it's to be viewed by no one?
25th-Mar-2010 05:26 am (UTC)
I don't really use my LJ for journaling either, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.
24th-Mar-2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
It's a chronology of my life. Something I can look back on to get an idea of how I've become the person I am today.
24th-Mar-2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
25th-Mar-2010 11:46 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly.
24th-Mar-2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
I started keeping a (handwritten) journal 13 years ago and I've been keeping one ever since. I find it therapeutic, but I also like to remember little events that may or may not be significant.
24th-Mar-2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Besides LJ, I also have account on Insanejournal and Deadjournal. I've kept a book-journal too, for a long (since 1984 *ha* with only one year gap in there).

24th-Mar-2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
I've been keeping a journal in some form or another since I was around seven or eight. Now that there's a way for me to do it online, it's easier. It's always been a good way to vent about things going on in my life and when my health took a turn for the worse, I was able to get out of my head for a little while.
25th-Mar-2010 05:15 am (UTC)
The mental process involved in thinking and the mental process involved in writing are not identical. I've used it for creativity or therapy, but it's also backfired on me in those regards. It's as often a pile of paper as an actual journal, and there are tracks or specific purposes at specific times, but it's never anything specific. It's just a lot of writing that I don't seem to throw out.

I guess I just like to think with a pen.
25th-Mar-2010 07:59 am (UTC)
my livejournal account, these days, is used to read others' ljs and comment (and answer polls!), while i use dreamwidth for my own journalling.
25th-Mar-2010 08:47 am (UTC)
These days my lj is my stress relief/rant space.

It never used to be :(

Then life got more complicated.
25th-Mar-2010 11:44 am (UTC)
I've kept a written diary in some form or other since my late teens. Unfortunately, I threw away the early one (which was in one huge book and spanned about ten years) after a trauma, and my memory of those days is so lacking that I frequently wish I hadn't. But the main reasons I still write a diary are to aid my memory, to write to my 'future self' so that when I get stuff going on in my life in the future that I think I haven't experienced before and come through, I can see I have and that helps. And also because I am just in the habit of writing it, though I rarely write it absolutely every day.

Is it therapeutic? Yes, it is but only up to a point. I can think of other things that would be more therapeutic than writing a journal or diary - such as having good friends who listen and having family who don't judge, neither of which I can claim to have. Have you? Has anyone?
25th-Mar-2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I had a journal as a kid but I only wrote in it every half a year xD.
25th-Mar-2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I don't really think of LJ as a "journal"--I use it to keep in touch with friends and meet people and have conversations, but it's not what I think of as a journal.

I do keep a journal but it's not in any public place. I keep them as Word documents on my computer, and write there, for myself with the intent that no one else ever will see it. It's just for me to write out how I'm feeling or things I'm thinking about.
30th-Mar-2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Largely I journal to vent and/or to get my thoughts in order. Quite often it's like I'm arguing with myself. Also I sometimes do it for motivation, as if I can convince myself to commit to something by putting it down in writing.
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