Why Journaling is Good for the Soul + Why You Should Keep A Journal As Well
Happy Friday! Its been a pretty wonderful week in the mountains and as this post goes up, I’ll be on my way to Minnesota for my first marathon, eek!! I’m a whole bundle of nerves right at the moment and truthfully I’m looking forward to seeing the finish line tomorrow.
To be honest, I’ve been a while bundle of nerves for weeks now, kind of on edge, and quite worried about this race. I’m not sure what it holds and I pray for an injury-less run. My nerves have eaten me up, and it’s been tough to find my balance or stay calm in general. Through conversations with a dear friend this week, she and I talked about the importance of journaling and using journaling as a time of reflection and a time to sort through our emotions, nerves and all, instead of manifesting those emotions in to something else which could have negative impact on those around us!
Our conversation definitely had me thinking. As an avid journaler (real phrase?) I’m definitely a huge proponent of this, and our conversation inspired me to really get back in to journaling.
Theres a good many reasons to journal, but for now, here are some of the reasons I’ve stuck with journaling for many years, which may be some reasons you should journal too.
1 // You Can Sort Through Emotions
There have been many times when I’m reacting to a situation in life and I’m not sure what to feel. Usually it’s a mix of confusion and frustration when I’m journaling, or it’s the total opposite where I’m thrilled and happy and also nervous. Anyone else feel this way at times? Through Journaling, I’ve learned to sort through each of those emotions in order to determine why I’m feeling that way. When we sit down and process through what we’re feeling, we’re more likely to better understand why we are feeling what we’re feeling and how to best handle a situation. Also, by getting our emotions down on paper, we’re saving others around us from feeling those emotions as well.
2 // Keep Track of What’s Going on Around You Chronologically
I recently found one of my journals from Elementary School in which I called the journal, “Ina” (no clue why), but I remember wanting to name it because Anne Frank named her journal to make it seem like she was talking to another human being. In my elementary and middle school journal I talked about what was going on in my life, in the world, and I detailed our lovely middle-school drama (which gives me a good chuckle now). It was the coolest thing going back and looking through those journal entries and remembering what was going on. Keeping a journal allows you to keep track of what’s going on each day, or week, or month, or even yearly. It’s a neat memento from time that you can’t pass up on!
3 // Doodle and let your inner creativity come out
To keep a journal doesn’t mean it has to solely be full of words spilling forth, but also doodles and pictures! You could doodle or draw a picture representing your day, something that will jog your memory when you look back on it. When I worked at camp, I would press wildflowers in my journal from the campsite we were at when I was writing. A journal could hold anything, especially since it’s a really wonderful representation of your life at the time!
4 // Reflect
A journal is a pretty cool way to reflect on life. I personally really love to sit outside and listen to what’s going on with the birds, the wind whispering through the trees, etc., while also contemplating life. (Sounding too Thoreau? My bad.) But really, it gives us an opportunity to take in to stock the many blessings in our lives.
5 // Prayer and Devotional Time
In recent years, I’ve turned my journals in to prayer journals, detailing each entry as a prayer and writing down things and people I’m grateful for and praying for. I’ve loved doing this because I use it as devotional time whenever I can. Taking time to stop and pause and prayer has made a significant impact on my day. It’s given me an opportunity to re-center myself if I’m feeling thrown by a situation or overwhelmed. It’s a big relief to be able to give what I’m worried about or grateful for, to God.
Keeping a journal has a great many number of benefits. Whether journaling to you means writing down in a spiral notebook or leather journal, or it’s writing out thoughts on a keyboard, letting your fingers and keys take charge, journaling can mean something different to everyone.
I’m curious, do you journal? If you do, what keeps you going?