Why Journal?

By Akosua Frempong, Ph.D

by Danielle Dolin

You may have considered journaling or not, but it’s worth using journaling to greatly benefit you—whether for a season or long term.

Journaling is putting your thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper: in a journal or a diary. Journaling enhances our health on the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Let’s consider how so.

Why Journal?

Aids Reflection: Journaling allows for reflection. Reflection involves thinking back on something that happened to make better decisions in the future. It enables us to see our raw emotions and know ourselves better. It can even help us understand where we are in our spiritual walk. Reflection allows us to make sense of events and can aid in the healing process. Through journaling, we can understand how we feel, why we reacted the way we did to a situation, and how to better respond to a similar situation in the future, where necessary.

Helps with Clarity: Journaling also provides clarity for those who do so. It forces us to think, and by thinking, we can process things properly in a way that clarifies even human behavior. We can understand others better, too, as through journaling, we, in a way, study or analyze people to comprehend them. Journaling can also bring clarity to situations that were not apparent before we began to write.

Brings Perspective: Journaling allows us to process things to gain perspective. When we put things in perspective, it helps us relax and see situations for what they are: as “molehills” instead of “mountains.” In that sense, journaling is like talking to God, a trusted friend, or simply thinking aloud but in a book.

Reduces Stress: Research shows journaling reduces stress and helps people effectively deal with depressive thoughts or challenging situations. As you put things into perspective through journaling, you inevitably reduce stress. Many of the challenges we face are due to how we perceive things. You can realize you can handle the situation by writing things down in a journal. Just that feeling of being able to tackle whatever situation it is can help you reduce your stress level and anxiety.

Helps to Handle Emotions: Through journaling, you can express anger, delight, sadness, faith—whatever you may feel at a particular moment. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what we’re feeling. However, through journaling, we can understand our emotions with more certainty. We can begin to process our thoughts and feelings as we write. Because of that, we can more easily identify what emotion we are experiencing—positive or negative—and take the right course of action: Pray.

Helps to Remember God’s Goodness: When you pray, you can write the answers to your prayers in your journal. You can use your journal to recount the good things God has done for you. By remembering those good things, you develop an attitude of gratitude.

So, no more waiting around! Simply start journaling to draw closer to God today.

Akosua Frempong, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist with the Evangelical Press Association. She has worked in journalism on three continents. As part of her journalism experience, she has worked as a broadcast journalist, anchor, and producer. Dr. Frempong is an adjunct journalism professor at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Moreover, she is the founder of Listening Ear Communications, a company that provides excellent, professional journalism to various news media organizations and publications.

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