DISCOVERING THE JOY OF JOURNALING
by: Joette Knapp
Journaling can bring great clarity, joy, and healing to your life. It is an effective tool to get your thoughts out of your head and on to the paper where you can see them. However, journaling can be intimidating for a lot of people. You look at that blank page and your mind literally goes blank. I believe that with a few simple changes you can discover the joy of journaling like I have.
A counselor once told me that there is a process that happens in your brain when you take your thoughts and write them down on paper. It is almost like emptying your mind of those thoughts and doing something with them.
Some of our thoughts torment us and those are the thoughts we need to do something about! We all have thoughts that bombard us with negativity. Like: “you’re too fat”, “you’re too thin”, “you’re too short”, “you’re too tall”.
All those negative thoughts tell you, “You’re just not good enough”.
These thoughts are all meant to keep you from living out your full potential When bad things happen to us it often reinforces the negative thoughts that were already taking up too much space in our head.
I used to believe I was ugly. This thought started when I was 13 years old and had a terrible case of acne. That thought never left me! And, as I got older I added “too fat” to the list. When I found myself alone after nearly 19 years of marriage, I just knew that my deep-down belief – I was too ugly (and too fat) – was true.
My counselor encouraged me to start journaling and to put all my thoughts and pain on paper. It was daunting at first; and, I was often shocked at what I had written down. But, I was also amazed at how journaling took those negative thoughts and helped me work through them!
My counselor pointed out that most of the things I had written down simply weren’t true.
Writing revealed the lies I had believed for decades. Journaling helped me see those words and realize I was too hard on myself and that I needed to forgive myself and extend grace.
Sitting down to start writing what’s in your head can be a terrifying prospect. Especially if you have never done it before. A guided journal might be a great resource for you! A guided journal is a great concept that helps a person to journal by asking a question to get you started. No blank pages to stare at!
I recently completed one of the Guided Journals we have available through the Steady ON coaching program.
“Come unto Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28
One of the days had Matthew 11:28 and the question, “How does it make you feel to know that you can bring your emotions to God and He will give you rest?” My answer? It’s a tremendous relief to know that I can bring ALL of my hurts to God and know I won’t offend Him. I can rest because I know I am not in control – He is.
God is the only one who doesn’t get tired of me!!
I never hear Him say, “Oh, it’s you again. When are you going to get this right?” Nope, He says, “Come unto Me ALL you (that’s every one of us) who are weary (aren’t you tired of being weary?) and burdened (those burdens are so heavy) and I will give you rest.” There are no strings attached. You don’t have to fix everything before you come to Him. He’s already there waiting for you.
So, I wrote down the things that are making me weary and burdened and together, God and I worked through the list. Some things were easy to deal with, some took longer. But, the great thing about journaling is that I always end up with peace in my soul. Journaling helps me process those negative thoughts by revealing to me what I am thinking and believing. I take them to God in prayer and He dispels the negative and gives me hope. He reminds me how much He loves me and that I am beautiful.
If you want to discover the joy of journaling, but you just don’t know where to start, find yourself a guided journal. Or if you know you really want to try creative writing techniques to help yourself heal, but it seems too hard, let me encourage you to join me, Mandy & Raychel in the Steady On coaching program. It’s a monthly life coaching program for women that helps you build a strong foundation of characteristics that can weather the ups and downs of whatever life throws your way… its also a great way to help you to get started on a lifetime of journaling fun!