Friday, December 31, 2010
Journaling ~ The Benefits & How To's
Journaling is an ancient tradition dating back to at least 10th century Japan and has been a tool for many successful people throughout history.
There has been scientific evidence showing that journaling can provide many unexpected benefits such as:
*Growing in your spirituality by using it as a prayer journal/study journal
*Strengthening your immune system
*Decreasing symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
*Clarifying your thoughts and feelings
*Knowing yourself better
*Reducing Stress and negative effects thereof
*Solving problems more effectively
*Resolving dissagreements with others
*Tracking patterns and trends over time
*Tracking your improvement and growth over time.
The act of writing accessess your left brain, which is analytical and rational. This leaves your right brain free to create and feel. Writing removes the mental blocks and allows you to use your full brain to better understand yourself, others and the world around you.
How to Start:
1. Buy A Journal. I use a simple composition book.
2. Set Aside Time. I usually journal with my morning devotions and then again at bedtime.
3. Start Writing. There are no rules. No guidelines that you have to follow. Each journal entry can be completely different from the last.
4. Write About Thoughts and Feelings. Again, you don't just want to log the daily events. Although some nights, if I'm really tired, that is about all I can manage for that day.
5. Keep Your Journal Private. You don't want to have to worry about someone reading your journal because this will probably make you censor what you write. You want to be able to write honestly and about any situation without the fear of repercussions.
1. Try to write each day.
2. Writing for 20 minutes is ideal but if you only have 5 minutes, write for 5 minutes.
3. If you skip a day or 2 or 3, don't quit. Just pick back up when you can.
4. Don't worry about neatness or grammar.
5. Don't self-censor. Just write what comes and not what you think you "should".
A Few Things I Do:
1. I do my devotions or read scripture first and then note a specific verse at the top of my journal entry with any thoughts I might feel about the verse/topic.
2. Ask for quiet. Sometimes I have to actually kick family members out of my bedroom so I can be alone.
3. Have a good pen. I can't stand it when my pen skips.
4. I journal in the morning with my morning thoughts for the day and then again at night to empty my brain for a good night's sleep.
5. I also use my journal as a prayer journal. Some days I just write to God.
6. I use it as a memory journal also. I can staple/glue in any special pictures from the kids, cards, sermon notes, bulletins, programs, ticket stubs etc.
7. I set aside one composition book per month and start a new book on the 1st of the month even if there is space left. This keeps me from feeling like I have to condense my thoughts so that one day will fit on one page. I'm anal like that! lol
This has turned out to be a much longer post than I had originally planned but I wanted to share all the information with you today so that you can start your journal on January 1st if you so choose. Although, it doesn't really matter. You can start anytime. Again, anal! lol
It really does help and I'm finding that I really enjoy it. I actually look forward to getting up in the morning to do my devotions and journal. At night I make sure I have a set time to get ready for bed so that I can have my quiet time to journal.
Do you journal? Would you like to start? Now would be the perfect time.