“Journaling helps you get in touch with your real self.
And since no one’s looking over your shoulder,
you know you’re being honest.”- Steve Arterburn
Can one habit help with depression, reduce stress, and manage anxiety? Yes! Journaling can help to improve all these and more. Seems too simple, yet many people have found journaling to be a great tool for life.
Keeping a journal is a great way to unwind after a stressful day. When hard-to-understand emotions and situations are written down, the brain is better able to process them. This can help to stabilize emotions in a short period and provide some space to be able to let out the negative emotions.
By keeping a record of personal thoughts, feelings, events, and insights, anyone can journal to improve their mental health. Putting recurring thoughts down on paper can help calm the mind of obsessive thoughts. Keeping a journal can improve self-awareness, as well as provide direction and inspiration for personal goals.
Journaling can help encourage authenticity, honesty, and transparency with every thought and feeling experienced. Once someone starts being real with themselves, it’ll be easier for them to be honest with others. It may provide confidence to seek counseling, connect in a group or share with a close friend or loved one.
Writing in a journal helps measure progress with emotional, spiritual, and relational goals. Studies show most people don’t even write down goals—writing goals down increases the likelihood of accomplishing them.
One of the challenges of journaling, however, is that it’s not always easy to get started. For some people, it may feel like it’s work. So, writing every day may not always be realistic for everyone. Instead, set a goal to journal a couple of days every week. Even if it’s not done daily, there are benefits to journaling a few times a week.
Not sure where to start? Set aside a few minutes each day to write. It could be simply writing three things that went well during the day. This can be done before going to sleep at night—or, journal at whatever time works best. Writing helps to establish the feeling of gratitude in the brain; it can help someone feel happier almost instantly.
One of King David’s prayers, found in Psalms 139:23-24, reads, “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Journaling is a way to search and know the thoughts that get in the way of personal growth and healing. It’s easily done, and it can be as personalized as the individual doing the writing.
Need a journal? Look no further than The New Life Journal. It has writing prompts to inspire daily writing! While keeping a journal isn’t going to solve all of life’s problems, it’s a valuable tool to use to learn how to process challenging emotions and situations.
By Kimberlee Bousman