In this blog post, you will learn the basics of how to write a diary entry expressing your feelings.
Whether you want to explore how to write a diary entry expressing your feelings, how to write a diary entry for school, or just as a way to record your daily life, you’ll find it all here.
Topics we will cover in this post:
- What is a diary entry?
- Reasons to keep a diary
- Write a diary entry expressing your feelings
- How to write a diary entry
- How to write a diary entry format?
- Helpful tips for diary writing
- How to stay motivated for daily diary entries
Like a best friend, diary entry is where you can share your innermost secrets. It’s a place where you can be honest with your thoughts and feelings and reflect on them. A diary entry can be written in any way that you choose, there are no concrete rules. So write freely and liberally, expressing yourself in a relaxed and personal place.
From Julius Cesar to Anne Frank, many famous people throughout history keep a daily diary. We have amazing insight into their personal lives, with access to how they felt during huge historical events.
How beneficial and insightful their diaries are to our understanding of major events throughout history, learning of their perspective and role within it. Making their diaries fascinating tales where we gain a direct understanding of their thoughts, feelings and actions, helping us understand them as people.
Each of your diary entries is chapters in your overall life story. That’s why it is important to record each day, you’ll never know how useful and interesting it may be in the future.
There are many reasons to write in a diary. From daily reflection to recording special events, we have listed many popular reasons to keep a diary below:
- For self-reflection or an outlet for your frustrations and emotions.
- Record daily events what happened and when.
- For fact-checking back over the past as a way to remember events and how you truly felt about them.
- A way to record thoughts and feelings, in a safe private space.
- Expressing creativity.
- To record dreams.
- Record hopes for the future.
- To be thankful and to keep a reflection on the positive things in their life.
- To spark new ideas.
- To improve your memory. May sufferers of dementia write in a diary as memory improving tasks. You can find out more about diary writing for dementia here.
- For mental health and staying emotionally healthy. Writing in a diary can help us process current and past experiences.
- For self-improvement, writing in a diary to stay on track and follow through with goals and habit changes.
There are many psychological and physiological benefits of expressing your feelings in a diary.
Diary writing is a form of self-expression, revealing to us our innermost complex thoughts and feelings. Writing about these can help us deal with our inner conflictions and understanding.
Write your thoughts and feelings:
Recording your thoughts and feelings about your life has tremendous advantages to yourself. It will help you process internal struggles and confusion and help be able to deal with future scenarios.
Unscrambling all your thoughts from your head in a written concise manner is linked to enhanced mental and physical health.
There have been many studies linked to writing about fearful, stressful or traumatic life events and higher physical health and a decrease in anxiety and depression.
Future hopes and expectations:
Writing about who you want to be and what you want to achieve increases your psychological well-being. Thus improving personal happiness and life satisfaction. The study concluded by Pennebaker also noticed that people who wrote about their ideal future visited healthcare professionals less often.
The image below is a typical representation of a diary entry. It’s a great example to use for how to write a diary entry for school.
There are no strict rules when it comes to writing in your diary, you can write however you want. But if you are looking at how to write a diary entry for school, or how to write a diary entry example then you’ll find this section very useful.
You can start with using this as a template, but as you develop your own writing style, you can morph and discover your own ways of diary entries.
We have subdivided the format of diary entry into 4 sections to get started.
- The layout
- Your language
- Your style
- Where to record
Let’s look at each in close detail.
As we’ve mentioned a diary entry is informal and you can write it however you want. But as a guide, we can help get you started with some standard tips to cover the basics.
Date your entry:
Dating your entry is rather important. It will help you in many ways when looking back on your diary. From specific dates of when you did things to revisiting your age of when you hit certain milestones.
Who to address:
You can address whoever you like when writing in your diary. Traditionally daily entries are addressed as “Dear Diary”, but you can write to your future self, a relative, or come up with your own nickname for your diary like Anne Frank, who refers to her diary as ‘Kitty’.
Sections to include:
Choose your topic:
This can be anything, from just talking about your day as a whole, or focusing on something consistent every day. For the example attached, the topic is starting a new job.
Another example is if you wish to be more positive and thankful. In this case, you will generally write about things you did that make you happy, proud, and grateful to have.
A supporting sentence is usually how something made you feel, or a way of expanding on your first sentence. In our example, the supporting sentence is how you felt about your day, and your inner thoughts and feelings about your topic. In this example, the writer is insecure about being liked.
Future hopes and expectations:
It’s a good habit to record what you may expect from a future scenario. It will help you collect and gather your wishes and hopes for individual situations.
Recording your hopes is also beneficial for reaching goals, you can reflect on this the next day or week to keep on track. It’s a great way to improve as an individual and work towards who you want to be or what you want to achieve.
Sign off in any way you choose to show the end of the entry is complete. Some people sign off with their name or a simple farewell.
Write in the first person:
Writing as you would normally talk will not only give an accurate reflection of who you are and what you’re all about at this point in time, but it will make the process more relaxing too.
Write your thoughts and feelings:
Here is where you can express your thoughts and feelings. As we mentioned above there are tremendous benefits to your well-being for expressing yourself on a daily basis. Our example is simple, but the more detail you can express, the more advantages and benefit to you.
A good tip to remember when writing a diary is not to hold back your honesty. A diary is THE place to express yourself in a safe and private place for only your eyes.
If you’re worried about privacy, we will explore how to keep your diary private later in this post.
You can use your diary as a way to express another side of yourself. For example, you can use your humour and make internal jokes to brighten and make the daily diary recordings fun. Or try and make your future-self laugh when reading back on your entries.
A great acronym to remember when writing your entry is KISS- Keep It Simple Silly. There is no need to put stress on yourself when writing your entry. Write informally and casually, it’s a personal message for no one’s eyes but yours, so forget being grammatically correct with perfect spelling, it is not necessary.
Many people use emoji’s to covey more easily their thoughts and feelings. J
The use of diagrams is a creative and fun way to record your diary entries. Plus, it makes them more appealing to look at!
Use pictures/ receipts/ tickets:
Many people stick pictures, tickets or receipts in their diary entries from events and special occasions (like that romantic first date). This can bring back nostalgia when looking back over your diary.
Some people will use inspirational quotes throughout their diary to inspire and motivate them to achieve goals.
You can use many mediums to record your diary entries. Let’s take a look.
Traditionally these would have taken a notebook form with lined paper.
- The benefits of a notebook are that you can write as much or little as you need without worrying about fitting it all in to an outlined area.
- They allow plenty of space for you to attached pictures, tickets or to do your doodles.
- The base minimum of a notebook can also have disadvantages, one of these is the lack of structure to follow. You need to write in your own date each time.
- If found, these are easily accessed, not leaving much protection for privacy.
Purpose-built diaries/journals with dates:
Purpose-built diaries are easy to find these days. You can be them in many different styles and themes.
- They are designed with a date at the top of each page.
- Some come with time allocation to plan your day as well as a section to reflect on the day. Or add in important reminders.
- Some come with built-in inspirational quotes.
- Some come with goal setting and priority boxes for achieving your goals on a daily basis.
- Some come with structured sections separated for different areas of your life to record each day. E.g emotional wellbeing, appointments and work, family and friends, exercise and diet.
- You don’t have unlimited space to write, you have to try and fit it all into the one page.
- These style diaries don’t leave much room for creativity and free-thinking.
Digital diary Applications
There are many apps you can now download onto your desktop computer, laptop, tablet and phone for recording your daily diary.
- Can easily keep private with passwords and login details that only you have access to.
- Can easily add images and media to support your entries.
- Some apps come with reminders which you can set at certain times so you don’t forget to write in your diary.
- Convenient and easy to record if out and about (with mobile).
- Some apps have emoji’s that you can select for the day, representing your general mood. (Very good for tracking moods and mental health)
- Can keep all recordings of your diary entries together in one place over a lifetime. (Physical books can be easily misplaced or lost, they tend to only run for 1 year before pages run out and you need a new book)
- Some people prefer to write and draw in a diary, apps limit the creative ability slightly
- Can’t attach physical copies of receipt or tickets. (But these days many tickets/ receipts are in the electronic form anyway).
You can include doodles or emoji to as reminders for your emotions on what to write.
Staying motivated to continue to write in a diary will improve over time as you develop it into a healthy lifestyle habit. Otherwise, like your smoothie making phase it will easily fall out of your life when you get bored of it. Try these helpful tips below to develop your daily diary writing into a lifestyle habit:
Set the same time each day to write. A helpful way to encourage this is to set an alarm on your phone as a reminder at the same time. A good time to write is before bed, rather than waiting until the next day. All of the day’s events are over and still fresh in your mind and emotions to record.
Many people use inspirational quotes to keep them motivated.
Keeping on track of your goals and expectations is a great way to stay motivated. It gives you something to focus on and allows you to set clear daily goals that help gear towards the bigger picture.
Take some time at the end of the week to summarise your daily entries over the week. This will allow you to see patterns, things you’ve achieved that you feel proud of, things you don’t feel proud of, and what you can change to improve. The best day to schedule this is a Sunday. Then you can head into a new week ahead of you with new goals, mindset and motivation to keep recording your daily activity.
There are many ways to keep your diary secure. Let’s take a look.
Use a digital app
The most secure way to keep your diary private is to have a digital diary. Using an app will allow you to set a password that only you have access to.
Get a lock and key
But if you prefer to write in a book or notebook, you can buy diaries and notebooks that come with a lock and key. These can be broken into if someone was so desperate to read your entries, but at least you’ll know about it with a broken lock.
Store it away in a locked place
You can use a mini safe with a lock and key and store your diary away. But don’t make it too difficult to access, this could cause you to be put off writing in it on a daily basis.
Talk about respecting privacy boundaries with your family
If you’re concerned about needing to hide our diary, you could talk to your family, partner or roommate about respecting personal privacy and explain that your diary is a personal place for you to reflect honestly and privately. Hopefully, they will understand and respect your privacy.
The reliving app specialises in daily diary and journal entry. Making it easy to access and record your daily events, thoughts, memories and emotions. Especially with how to write a diary entry expressing your feelings.
Who the app is useful to?
- Daily diary writing for recording memories and events
- Daily dream recording
- For self-reflection or an outlet for your frustrations and emotions
- To spark ideas and creative thinking
- Students writing a diary entry for school
- Academic diaries for teachers
- Career tracking
- Setting personal goals
- Recording and tracking your emotional and mental wellbeing and health
The Reliving app is designed with the user in mind. All of the features designed in the app allow you to explore many different ways of daily diary writing. Whether that’s uploading pictures, videos and recordings to writing your deepest thoughts and feelings in a secure and private space. Let’s take a look at what you can access through the app:
Daily diary with unlimited space to write. The app allows creativity and organisation with flexibility on fonts including headings, bold, italic, underline, quotes, bullet points, paragraph placement, and much more.
Start your diary here!
You can upload daily pictures, videos or recordings to accompany and build the picture of your day. These media uploads attach to the specific day you’re writing about.
The app has a selection of emotions that you can select each day to accurately and easily describe your feelings that day. This is an especially important feature for people tracking their mental health and using their dairy entries as a way to improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
An interesting feature of the daily journal is the automatic smart feature of the weather recording. Along with your daily entries, the app captures the daily weather. Making it easy to plan ahead for events. But also interesting to look back on and know what the weather was like when you attended a certain event.
The app also shows a monthly calendar, so you can easily see up and coming events and plan ahead for them. All of your monthly goals, events and activities are easily recording in one easy-to-view place.
With the emotion recording and weather capturing features you may be able to see patterns emerging. How interesting would it be to discover that your mood correlates directly with the weather? Finding out this information can be vital to your mental health, and allow you to put procedures in place to help you through the day if you know it’s likely to be a bad one.
- You’ll be able to record your bucket list of things you want to achieve in life.
- You’ll be able to set daily, weekly and monthly tasks to achieve your larger life goals.
- You will be able to set daily reminders to achieve tasks. Whether that is setting a time each night to write in your diary, or for small ad hoc reminders throughout the day. Some could be inspirational quotes which motivate you and brighten your spirits.
The image below is what the app looks like on a desktop.
The app is in the process of having more features added. Soon to come:
There is so much more to the Reliving app, including a personal biography recorder, and family, which allows you to create a media-based family tree and life stories. For more information on what you can get from the Reliving app, contact us here.