“De-cluttering” your mind with journaling is a very effective way to organize your thought life. I imagine my heart/mind being much like my home. There are areas that are well organized and put together. But there’s also a few dark corners and closets that I know need work. When I begin journaling, those dark corners and closets get light, revealing the chaos that needs some work. It’s through journaling the work begins and the chaos comes to order.
Many people are in either the “do journal” or “don’t journal” camp. I’ve come to realize more people are somewhere in the middle. The amount of journaling seems to depend on the season of life. During seasons of transformation I write the most. I think it’s because I wrestle with God as He faithfully works in me.
Journaling translates thoughts into language. Once thoughts are down on paper they are easier to organize. Recall a time when your mind just looped on the same emotion or event. Once on paper we can get past the emotion and get to the deeper stuff causing the emotion. We begin healing from the inside out as we gain deeper self-awareness.
One of my favorite parts of journaling is…it’s just for me. It’s the place I go where there’s no spelling or grammar concerns. No worry about what others might think. Just me and God sifting through those dark corners and closets.
There are many ways to journal. I’m only focusing on a few and highlighting some of the benefits.
Types of Journaling
Gratitude journaling helps us remember our blessings. We look back and see the things that God has done in our life. It removes the focus on the things that are going wrong and places it on the things that are going right. The practice of “remembering” brings more joy into our lives.
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” ~Psalm 77:10-12
Do you have a handful of prayers that have been played so many times they’re memorized? Sometimes my prayers begin to sound mundane and stagnant. Journaling my prayer requests and taking the time to identify the answers received encourage me in my prayer life. It builds my faith when I look back and see how God’s hand moved in specific areas. And as I “remember”, my heart is full.
Personal journaling can simply be a chronicling of days of. When I write in my personal journal I identify the things that I’m struggling with, as well as the things that I’m learning. I journal the moments that I don’t want to forget with the people I love. Events I most definitely want to recall. I identify my disappointments and my goals.
A process journal is the place (past or present) stressful events are identified. There’s a great deal of research that points out how powerful it is to translate our thoughts into language through journaling. As we identify our emotions we gain deeper self-awareness. Process journaling helps us identify why we’re feeling the way we’re feeling. It moves us to a place of healing through journaling. Sign up for my email list to receive a complete guide on how to journal past pain. The guide outlines how to effectively journal based on research.
Whatever type of journaling you decide to do-enjoy it! I guarantee that you will be encouraged as you look back and see your growth.