Journaling is an exercise in self-reflection. It’s a great way to get a grasp on who you are and what God is calling you to do. The more you know about your true identity in Christ, the better you can give yourself in love to God and the people around you. Here are five ways journaling can improve your life and your relationships.
Our brains move faster than our pens. Journaling is a way you can push the brakes on your thoughts and analyze them before they get buried or forgotten or before they lead you to act too quickly.
Here’s an example: You fall in love, which means you’re experiencing a rush of thoughts and emotions. You write these experiences down and analyze them, letting your head lead your heart.
#2 Journaling creates order out of chaos
Controlling your thoughts can feel like herding cats. Once you capture individual thoughts through writing, you can start to put them in order. Journaling helps you see connections between thoughts that you otherwise would have overlooked.
Here’s an example: You’re a student trying to decide on a career, but have no idea what you want to do. You journal your daily activities and future dreams and begin to see patterns that point you in the right direction.
#3 Journaling brings light into the darkness
This is the scary side of journaling. It risks bringing out negative thoughts, sins, and feelings you may have suppressed. Just as you can’t always cure a physical disease without revealing it to a doctor, you can’t overcome your negative thoughts without bringing them to light and examining them objectively.
Here’s an example: You were abused as a child. As hard as it is to bring up this memory, writing your thoughts in a journal can help you see how it may be controlling your behavior in negative ways. This puts you in a better position to lay your hurt before God and a human counselor to find healing.
#4 Journaling helps you grow in gratitude
Anxiety has a way of masking our blessings. When you take the time to examine your day and write down your blessings, you become aware of all that God has done for you. Gratitude is a virtue you have to exercise daily. A journal is like a spiritual gym to help you grow in gratitude.
Here’s an example: You have a rocky relationship with your father. By journaling your experiences, you become more aware of the reality of the situation and where God is in the midst of it and can be thankful for it. Gratitude can provide the foundation for knowing how to move forward.
#5 Journaling helps you hear God’s voice in prayer
This is the most important part! Journaling should be a prayer, a personal dialogue between you and God. God is always there and ready to talk to you. By journaling your conversations with our Heavenly Father, you may be surprised at what insights you uncover!
Here’s an example: You want to practice more charity in your life. By including God in your journaling, you are allowing Him to highlight the specific gifts He has given you. Then you can share them with others.