I am always telling kids in my Early Education Enrichment classes to journal. I give them sentence starters, topic ideas, and pictures/visuals to help get them excited about writing but the truth is I love journaling and I believe the benefits of journaling go far beyond improving a person’s writing.
Journaling makes me a happier person. It helps me sort through feelings, organize thoughts and simply know myself better. Journaling helps me solve problems more effectively and resolve disagreements with greater clarity, compassion and understanding. It relieves the stress I might be feeling in these situations and helps me focus on solutions. I also believe it helps me sleep. I often have trouble sleeping because I have so much on my mind but when I write it all down in my journal it releases me from having to run it through my brain all night.
Sometimes I keep a grateful journal and write 3 things I am grateful for that happened that day. (I got the idea from Oprah years ago.) This strategy helps me see where God is working in my life.
The most common kind of journal I keep is a personal journal or diary. It is similar to writing a note to a best friend where I can reflect on my own experiences. I don’t exactly know who I am writing to, probably God, but it is a safe place to share my thoughts and feelings. This type of journaling is very comforting and really helps me know myself better.
Other times I keep a planning or project journal and write lists or ideas about ways to improve something in my life. This provides focus so I can move my life forward in a positive direction.
Finally, I have kept a dialogue journal with my daughter before and it was a great way to connect with her. I bought a journal called Just Between Us by Meredith & Sofie Jacobs. She shared things with me in the journal that she would not have told me otherwise and I think it helped her see me as a person and not just her mom. Starting this back up with all my kids would be a great New Year’s resolution.
If you do not already journal I highly recommend you give it a try. If you do journal, please share your experience. I would love to know how journaling impacts your life and maybe you can inspire someone else to take up this healthy habit.