Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Five Ways Journaling Helps You Solve Your Super-Sized Problems

Tell me where did you hide the treats
Got a Super-Sized Problem?

Sandy told me I should keep a journal about this super-sized problem I’m walking through,” I told my friend Rachel, “but it’s just too painful to write about.”
Rachel agreed with Sandy. “Even if you just write one sentence a day, it will help you get a grip on your feelings, and that’ll be a start. You don’t have to write a book, just a sentence.”

When I finally took their advice, I was amazed at how much healing I experienced because of this simple yet powerful exercise. It’s become a soothing friend in my anguish, a haven to run to when I’m overwhelmed. And since no else sees it, it’s safe from anyone who might be offended by my candor.

What factors about journaling help us when we’re in the midst of a horrible mess?
Hmmmmm... let me think about it.
In the midst of a horrible mess?

1.      It’s Cathartic

Getting our feelings and impressions down on paper allows us to analyze our situation objectively. As long as our emotions stay locked away in our souls, we can’t find answers for what hurts us. When we allow ourselves to say, “I’m mad at Mom when she embarrasses me in public,” or “My kid’s choices scare me,” we can begin to seek the healing we need.

2.      It’s Empowering

When we share what’s been stuck inside, even if it’s ugly, we’re allowing God to get involved in our lives on a deeper level. We’re opening our hearts to His voice, thus His wisdom and love. We might even chose to write down what we feel He’s saying to us in answer to our cries. That’s when we start to heal.
I love to see how God works!
3.      It’s faith-building

Weeks, months and years from now we have a record to look back on. We see how the Lord brought us out of calamity or gave us wisdom in a sticky situation. That builds our faith to expect Him to move again, when another mountain stands in our way.

4.      It’s enlightening.

Journaling helps us gain fresh ideas and insights. As we write, we prime the pump of creativity and ingenuity. We leave behind yesterday’s thoughts and the stale, unoriginal ideas of the negative people who surround us. We open our minds to the bottomless well of God’s mind and heart, so He can show us how to think and behave like He does. Wow.
giggles help lift you up
Everyone needs a cheap antidepressant
5.      It’s cheap.

My friend and fellow-writer, Jim Watkins reminded me of this fun benefit: “JournalingMy journal always listens to me and never judges me even if my ramblings could be used as possible evidence in a sanity hearing. is cheaper than a therapist. My journal always listens to me and never judges me, even if my ramblings could be used as possible evidence in a sanity hearing.” So . . . if you can’t afford a therapist, write your problems down, and let the healing begin!

 Do you journal? What benefits do you derive from it?


  1. Amen, totally agree. I have several different journals, great therapy.

  2. I think people should turn to the thing they enjoy most when going through a tough time--for artists, that might mean painting or sculpting, but for writers, that thing is writing. Plus, research has found that there are actual benefits to writing things down that go beyond what we're aware of. It helps the brain operate better in a variety of ways.

  3. I haven't done this much in the past. Sounds like I need to, though. Sometimes my thoughts and emotions are so jumbled and scattered and I can see where this could help. One similar thing I like to do is to write out scriptures. As I come across ones I want to remember and meditate on, I write them out in my scripture journal. It helps me slow down and process it better. Good post, Jen. Thank you! :)

  4. Yes, I journal although I've slowed down in the last couple of years. Somehow problems don't look as daunting when I see them written on a page. During my husband's last year of life, journaling was a safe way to decompress.

  5. This is a great look at journaling. I've done it different ways over the years and am really excited about how God's led me to journal right now. Very powerful.

  6. I don't practice what I preach because I use to teach journaling, although I don't do it myself. Great post~

  7. Hi Jeanette! I read a book on journaling, and the author called it her 79 cent therapist! I used to journal a lot when my kids hit middle school, and on to high school. It wasn't painful to write, but it is painful to read, I'll tell you that. What our kids put us through...how did I survive?
    I keep saying I'll do it again, but I'm very 'on and off' about it. Maybe your post is the little kick I need to get back at it.
    Thanks! Ceil

  8. I agree that the benefits certainly outweigh the costs. I used to journal, but then transitioned to blogging--which allows me to incorporate some of the things that I used to write about. My fav is your #3--we can look back and build forward.

  9. I don't really enjoy journaling but when I have done it, it has proven itself enlightening. Should give it a go again!

  10. Journaling is how I started writing. I was in a dark place and wanted to get over the achiness. God listens to us when we sit down, calm ourselves and write about what is bothering us. It gives me perspective,


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