Journaling: the Benefits and my top 5 tips!

Hello friends! And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and our heavenly Father! Fun fact you might not know about me, I’m an introvert. After years of being feeling ashamed and hating being called shy, I’ve learned to embrace my quiet thoughtfulness.  One downside of being an introvert, I have an obsession with Youtube that embraces my anti-social tendencies. I can spend hours watching cooking, makeup and curly hair tutorial videos; occasionally I happen upon a meaningful one. Recently, I watched Lucie Fink from Refinery29 document her experience doing a daily journaling challenge:

 

Watching her journal reminded me of my childhood. I wrote diary entries to myself (anyone else remember “Dear Diary?”) almost everyday. Each page captures a memory.  My elementary school days legit sound like scenes out of a soap opera. Really I cared too much about everything, especially boys, but that’s besides the point. As I was saying: Anyone who’s an introvert who’s reading this knows the feeling of being tortured by your own thoughts. Sometimes being an introvert feels like you are trapped in your brain with a megaphone on full volume. From my childhood to today, I have so many thoughts about everything, most I don’t want to share. Journaling is a way for me to get thoughts off my mind. Journaling encourages self-honesty. A lot of times I will reveal inner-anxieties I did know I felt.

In terms of my spiritual life, journaling is essential. As a writer, I feel most connected to God while journaling. In those moments, I feel the Holy Spirit flowing through my hands. Sudden epiphanies come to mind. Scripture takes on new meanings. That being said, journaling is not just important for people gifted in writing. Voices have more authenticity and honesty in writing than in speech. Journaling can have greater intimacy as you focus on your thoughts and not any recipient of your words. When you can’t sing the church songs earnestly or you don’t know what to pray, try writing down your stress and pain. Write your prayers as letters. God hears your cries even when you don’t speak.  Find security in knowing these words are between you and God.

Now it’s time for me to be honest: In starting my first full-time office job that past month, I have not been consistent with my devotionals. Normally, I read a couple of verses and pray in the morning; then on Friday nights, I do one longer, two-plus hour devotional. Lately, I’ve struggled to fit devotionals into my new adult schedule. Now, I want to follow Lucie’s example and try journaling daily this week as a way to gain greater intimacy with God on a daily basis. I challenge you to try journaling every day for a week. To help you get started, here are some tips:

My Top 5 Journaling tips:

  1. Keep a pocket journal so you can write anywhere (from the office to the bathroom to your bedside) at anytime (especially when anxiety and stress hits)
  2. Block out 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of your day to reflect
  3. When you don’t know what to write, simply write what’s on your mind even if its trivial like a grocery list. Take that thought, and let your mind travel to the source of your current feelings.
  4. Don’t feel pressured to write a lot. The fewest words can pack so much meaning.
  5. Read your old journal entries. See how much you’ve become in tuned to your feelings and how much you’ve grown closer to God

Good luck and happy journaling,

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