Why is journaling important?
“A journal is a place where we give expression to the fountain of our heart, where we can unreservedly pour out our passion before the Lord.” – Donald S Whitney, from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
Journaling has many benefits, many of which make for a healthy mind and soul. You could use journaling to help with a number of life situations, but I’m specifically speaking to the benefits when dealing with depression and anxiety.
The act of literally writing out thoughts and feelings allow us to process and better understand them. This can help resolve difficult situations and conflicts we encounter in life, as well as help when faced with a difficult decision to make. When writing we are often able to get out the why, how, who, what, of a thought or problem. It let’s us get the thoughts and feelings out of our minds and out on a page, a page that will not judge us. Once the manic thoughts are written down, our brains can think more clearly about a situation. It is very similar to the idea of writing an emotional letter to someone and not sending it. The act of writing allows us to express that emotion and help cleanse our minds and souls of it.
Many people are intimidated to journal because they don’t know where to start or are afraid of someone finding it.
- There is no right or wrong place to start when it comes to journaling. Where ever you decide to start, IS the right place.
- In the beginning, if you are very fearful of someone finding it, keep it in a secret spot or simply shred the writing afterwards. It’s the action of writing and getting the thoughts out that is helpful.
I will suggest that it is very helpful to keep the written pages, as I’ve found it very helpful to reflect on where I have been and how far I have come. It can be very therapeutic to be able to read back over old entries, seeing the growth made, the goals reached and experiences had (good and bad).
Take journaling in small steps, at a pace and manner that works for you. In the Jess+ section of this site I will be posting weekly journal entries on ways to destress, tips and resources for fighting depression and anxiety, as well as things that I just find all around happy. I hope this site helps inspire you and get your journal on!