If you have been reading my blog you will have most likely guessed that I am a fan of journaling. I have experienced many benefits from engaging in this activity in my personal life. In addition I have been able to witness the life changing effects journaling has had for some of my past clients.
Journaling can be scary and intimidating for some people when they are beginning the process. There are many different ways a person can go about the process of journaling. I have shared the different types of journals in a previous post – 18 different types of journals to keep. Some of them are for recreation and fun, some of them will be more therapeutic and will help you with your overall health. I have also shared in a post – how to start a journal – and in so doing – enrich your mental health.
Today we are going to explore the benefits of journaling. We are going to look at the reasons that everyone needs to start journaling.
11 Reasons To Start Journaling
Processes Your Emotions
Have you ever been so angry you want to scream? Has sadness ever consumed you with what seems like bucketloads of tears? Have you felt overwhelmed, confused, afraid or hurt and became ‘stuck’ in those emotions? One of the reasons for journaling is to help you process your emotions. When you journal about your feelings and the thoughts that you are having in the midst of the feelings, it can aid you in getting through them and not getting stuck in them. If you find yourself ‘stuck’ in your feelings, journaling is useful in getting you unstuck. By processing our emotions through journaling we are helping ourselves attain greater overall health and wellbeing.
In addition to the benefit of being able to process our feelings, journaling allows us to gain insight into the circumstances and situations we find ourselves in. As we write out our thoughts we are able to reflect back on them. Once we have them written we are able to see if they are rational or irrational. Often times when we are dealing with intense feelings we lose sight of truth. We also get so caught up in our problems that we neglect to try and discover any solutions. Gaining insight is one of the major reasons to begin journaling.
Helps Clear Your Mind
Journaling helps you clear your mind. As we just read earlier – feelings can cloud our judgement. Our thought life can either help us walk in victory in our lives or it can keep us bound in defeat. When we journal we are setting ourselves up to live more victoriously. A lot of us utilize people to vent to and have seen healing in our lives come through that process. Journaling can do the same – it allows us to get out all that is in our heads without having to rely on someone else listening or keeping what we share confidential.
Healing of Emotional Pain
Emotional pain can be a huge barrier when it comes to emotional, mental, physical and even spiritual health. When we don’t work on healing our emotional pain, we can end up in even greater emotional pain. Sadness can lead to depression. Anger and hurt can lead to bitterness and resentment. Another one of the reasons for journaling is to help us not fall in the trap that emotional pain can trip us up in. When we start journaling about our emotional pain we are opening ourselves up to the healing process.
Finding New Meaning And Purpose
Have you ever experienced a set back in your life? How about a curve ball? Has their been a time where you said to yourself, “this is not what it was supposed to be like.”? Life is unpredictable and even though we want to be in control of our entire existence – we aren’t. I have encountered many hiccups in my life. There have been many times where I have asked God, “why?” Or “why me? Or “Now what?”. I have also felt defeated and in that believed that I had no purpose and that there was a lack of meaning to my life. One of the ways that I found truth was through journaling.
The process of journaling had me write about my biggest fears, my disappointments and my hopes and dreams. Through this process I was able to discover new meaning in my life. I was also able to see that although at first it appeared that the hiccups – curveballs – set backs- and disappointments hindered my life (and my purpose), they also propelled me to even greater purpose. The journaling process enabled me to redefine what meaning and purpose meant to me.
Supports Spiritual Growth
Another one of the reasons for journaling is that it will support your spiritual health. There are various ways that you can utilize a journal with the goal of growing spiritually. Often people will write their prayers out or they will simply talk to God through their journaling. When I first started journaling on a consistent basis I kept a “Dear God” journal. In it I shared my hopes and dreams, fears and insecurities and I prayed for guidance. It helped me grow in my faith and it drew me closer to God. I now keep a prayer journal and I also do scripture writing. — Scripture Writing – What Is It? – Ways To Implement It — Both of these journaling practices feed me spiritually.
Write Your Way To Better Physical Health
Did you know that journaling can be a way to improve your physical health? When we are carrying stress in our lives – we are putting a strain on our bodies. This strain causes all sorts of physical ailments. Heart disease, asthma, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and pre-mature death can all be health probelms related to stress. — 10 Health Problems Related To Stress — One of the reasons that journaling is beneficial is that it helps us work through our stress. When we hold things in we cause greater stress in our lives. By journaling our thoughts and feelings we are allowing this stress to be shaken off of us. It we don’t do anything with it – we are likely to explode — (which then causes even more stress in our lives).
Journaling can also impact our physical health, if we keep a healthy living journal. A healthy living journal is where we can write about our goals, how to attain the goals and how we are doing on a daily basis in regards to achieving our goals. This form of journaling allows us to see what is working and more importantly what is not working. When we have a clear picture we are better equipped to attain all of our healthy living goals.
Helps To Get Rid Of Negative Thoughts
More often than not — we live in our heads. Living in our heads is when we allow our thoughts to steer the way we are going to live. Your thoughts influence your life. They guide you in your relationships, career, and in the choices that you make everyday. Sometimes your thoughts aren’t always being truthful to you and they will tell you lies or will exaggerate the issue that you may be faced with. Humans tend to do what I call “awfulize” their circumstances. “Awfulizing” means to make things out to be worse than they really are. When you journal about the things that you are thinking about you are setting yourself up to get a clearer picture of your circumstances. When you get clearer perspective, you are more likely to make healthier choices.
Makes Connections Between Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours
As I shared previously journaling helps you process your feelings and it helps you to process your negative thoughts. Once you start processing your feelings you may begin to see how your thoughts are impacting what you feel. You can then see how your thoughts and your feelings are guiding your behaviours. Once you start making these connections you are more equipped to handle what I call “life on life’s terms” and not be hindered by your thoughts, feelings, and even behaviours. You will be able to recognize why you are behaving in the way that you are and you are more equipped to work on changes in your life. This helps you achieve greater emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual health. In addition it will help you to experience healthier relationships.
One of my most favourite reasons to start journalling is — it helps to produce gratitude in a persons life. One of the habits that I have gotten into is making sure that I right down 5 things that I am grateful for each and every day. Now, not everyday is a great day and sometimes it can be downright hard to even get through. However when I am focused on looking for things to be grateful for – even in the hardest days I am able to find gratitude. I used to add it too the bottom of my daily journal entries, now I keep a separate journal where I write about what I am daily grateful for.
I challenge you to start looking for the gratitude in your own life. Whether you add it to your regular journal or create one that focuses on daily gratitude, once you get into the habit you will find much healing in your life and things will change for the better.
Improves Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, and Relational Health
All of the reasons that I have shared about why a person needs to start journaling can be summed up be this word ~ ~ HEALING. As you have gone though all 11 reasons there is one common thread that binds them together – that is healing. Whether you need healing emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually – journaling can aid you in this. Journaling can also help you to experience healthier relationships with those around you.
I am all for improving my well being. How about you? Are you willing to give journalling a try and experience the ways that that it will improve your overall wellbeing?
Where To Start
Start where you are. Get yourself a journal and a pen — a notebook will work too. Then start writing. If that is too intimidating or makes you feel overwhelmed start with engaging in journal prompts. Journal prompts are questions and/or statements that you can respond to. I have created many monthly journal prompts and a few can be found in the following links: August Journal Prompts, July Journal Prompts and June Journal Prompts.
The important thing is to take that initial step and begin. Remember no one has to see your journal but you. Take 10 – 20 minutes a day and invest in your over all well being. You are worth it!
Do you currently journal? What are some of the reasons that you have chosen to journal? Do you have any tips to help others with the process of journaling? If you don’t currently journal, are you willing to give it a try?
Please let me know in the comments. I love hearing from my readers and giving encouragement as well as prayer.
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