Key Benefits to Journaling
by Joanne Troppello
I guess you can say that I love journaling. Even my column here at Mustard Seed Sentinel is called Jo’s Journal. I started journaling in an actual journal book when I was in junior high school. I have journaled since then throughout the years. In some journals sharing my feelings. Others sharing what I’ve learned during my personal Bible reading times.
According to an article in Psyche Central, Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP shared that “Journaling (or keeping letters or diaries) is an ancient tradition, one that dates back to at least 10th century Japan. Successful people throughout history like Oscar Wilde, 19th century playwright have kept journals.”
Reasons to Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be helpful. Consider the following reasons why it may be beneficial for your total body health and wellness.
1. Constructive Venting Technique
Life is hard. We all have daily stresses. If not properly vented, we can react poorly to situations and stressors in our lives. An emotionally stable adult responds to stresses and negative behaviors from others. An unemotionally stable adult reacts to these stressors—usually in a negative way by yelling or getting frustrated and upset.
Journaling can be an important venue for you to share your feelings in a private format while venting about the daily stresses in your life. Journaling is constructive because it provides you a positive way to relieve your stress.
2. Sparking Your Creativity
As a writer, I am all for finding ways to spark my creativity. Maybe you don’t necessarily need to spark your creativity as much if you’re not a writer. However, journaling can be effective in helping you tap into the creative side of your brain.
Maybe you are dealing with an issue at work or at home. Your brain might be too focused on the issue that you cannot see clearly through to a solution for the problem.
Journaling about the issue can lead toward brainstorming about how to resolve the issue. Start writing from a stream of consciousness mindset and write whatever comes to mind. This can help you stop focusing on the problem. Taking a break from the critical thinking side of your brain can actually help you to see things in a new light.
3. Memorializing Important Events
There may be times in your life that you want to remember, but simply trying to keep all the important facets of the event in your memory won’t be enough. Sure, you can take photographs or video footage of the day.
However, journaling about the event can imprint this special day in your mind more deeply. You can capture important details that won’t show up in photos or videos like what you were thinking during that important day.
Maybe you want to journal about the day you rededicated your life to Christ and got baptized for the first time or a second time. The photos and video footage will be precious to your children. Yet, your written words about that day and your faith journey toward rededication to the Lord will have a greater impact on your children, nieces and nephews, and other family members and friends—that you choose to share your journal with, in the future.
How to Get Started Journaling
Maybe you have been journaling for a long time.
You might be a beginner.
Whatever stage you’re in, consider the following tips to get started journaling.
Timeline – I have found that dating each entry is a good idea since it allows you to see how far you’ve come when you pick up an old journal and read entries again. You can identify behavioral patterns and understand why you’ve behaved the way you did and whether or not that has changed.
Simplicity – Don’t think that you need to write the world’s longest novel when you start journaling. Keep things simple. It’s okay if you cannot think of paragraphs and paragraphs to write. You don’t need to fill entire pages with each entry. Focus on sharing what’s on your mind and heart that day.
Perspective – Dig deep or there’s really no reason why you should start journaling. Without digging deep, you’ll likely be wasting your time. Focus on identifying your current mindset and how you can change things if necessary.
Limits – You don’t need to journal every day. You can if you want to, but it’s not necessary. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when journaling.
Privacy – Make sure you keep your journal hidden and protected from prying eyes. Some journals have locks. Of course, they can be easily broken into. Consider keeping your journal hidden in a secure place. Consider journaling on your laptop or using the notepad feature on your tablet for password protection.
Start Journaling Today
Journaling can be beneficial to your overall health and well-being. I can attest to how keeping a journal has helped me handle stress better and grow in my faith in the Lord. Have you journaled? Have you benefited from it?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.