For centuries, mankind has kept records of their thoughts, emotions, and events that affected them one way or another. In ancient days, there was a king named Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces from India to Upper Nile (modern-day South Sudan, Africa). The book of Esther, in the Holy Bible, records this of Xerxes in Chapter 6 and verses 1-2:
“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.”
So as you can see, keeping a record of our life in the form of a diary or journal is very important; and the aforementioned verse reveals an interesting truth on the subject. You see, King Xerxes couldn’t sleep and so he ordered the book of chronicles (his royal journal) to be brought in and read to him. Why did he do that? For the same reason that we read to our children at bedtime. It calms them and helps them to fall asleep. There is a serenity in looking back on what has transpired, or taking a walk down memory lane. Even if we have the most perfect mind in the world, there are often things that we forget.
Before the advent of the internet and social media, there were cameras and photo albums. Every so often, your parents may have brought out those albums, dusted them off, and sat down and proudly showed the pictures within. I’ll bet you they could even tell you the story of when and where each of those photographs were taken as well. Today, we do the same thing on social media. We love to share our memories with friends and family. That’s all a diary/journal is, except that it is in written form. It doesn’t have to be polished and professional, just personal and reflective.
Another reason it is important to keep a diary/journal is its therapeutic value. Psychologists discovered at the early part of the twentieth century that writing about our emotions, our successes, our failures, and our worries actually helps us to overcome them. If you were to write everyday for only a few minutes, preferably at the end of the day, before lying down to sleep, you may find a new peace and calmness that you’ve never experienced before. It isn’t a miracle remedy, mind you, but simply a method to aid in reducing stress and alleviating fears and worries.
In conclusion, I highly suggest beginning a diary/journal today. After all, what have you got to lose? Fifteen minutes a day? You probably spend more time than that sitting through commercials. So go ahead and make a decision that may lead you to a more stress-free lifestyle.