Why Journal in Your Quiet Time?

Journaling is a writing or creative practice, which involves documenting reflections, ideas and feelings; often in relation to specific occurrences in that person’s life.

The Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the most commonly reported benefits of journaling is that it helps to refine thoughts. In fact, experts say it is also a very effective problem solving tool—as oftentimes we can find solutions to certain problems just from writing them on paper.

Now, one of the noted drawbacks of journaling, is that sometimes individuals tend to focus too much on negative experiences, which could end up causing more stress in that person’s life. However, once it is used in a positive way, experts say journaling can be a very beneficial practice—it is often used as a tool in coaching and psychologists say journaling is still a very useful and effective exercise for self-reflection and discovery.

Some Basic Tips for Journaling:

1. Purchase an actual journal. Depending on our needs, you can get one that is durable or that will inspire you everyday; maybe one with your favorite scripture. Also, reserve a pen that you’ll use specifically for journaling.

2. Decide on a time where you’ll journal each day. You may decide to journal in the morning or during an afternoon coffee break. Another good time is at night as you wind down to retire for bed. Yet, you may also choose to keep a small journal with you all the time to jot down ideas as they come.

3. Journal following meditation. Since meditation is one way in which we elicit the relaxation response, journaling can be effective in clarifying your thoughts following meditation and/or after your daily devotion.

4. Clearly jot down what you are inspired to write. This may be a revelation, a thought, a unique occurrence or something learned in quiet study.

5. Read your journal entries every now and then. Being reminded of how far you’ve come may provide some motivation. It may even encourage you to step out on faith regarding something you have always envisioned to do.

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