I started journaling as early as 8years old, and it was majorly inspired by TV shows where I had seen characters my age write in their journals. I had also observed how my Father took some time daily to document his thoughts in several notebooks that laid across the house. I came across one that he had kept since the ’90s. I was blown away! Things he had written as prayer points and goals had manifested years later.
Journaling is best learnt by experience. No one taught me how to journal. I just found freedom in expressing my thoughts using my pen and paper. I continued to write until I found my style, and now it is part of me. It is a practice recommended by several Spiritual Leaders and Mental Health Professionals. It’s a tool that aids your personal growth. A Biblical example of someone who journaled is King David. The book of Psalms is filled with the expression of his innermost feelings and prayers to God. He is an excellent example to follow!
Here are a few things I have benefitted from journaling:
Mindfulness: I have been able to engage my thoughts and not just be passive about happenings in and around my life. For example, I write exactly how I feel. I do not need to sugarcoat anything because my journal is a safe place to express myself. Doing this helps me to track my triggers, understand myself better and helps me offload a whole lot! Most times, I find myself feeling much better by just being mindful of what’s going on inside, and I don’t feel the need to go further by acting on those feelings.
Accountability: Journaling keeps me in check. I was not always accountable to myself, but recently, I chose to be responsible for my life. I write my visions, goals & resolutions in my journals. Whenever I open my journal, I get reminded of what I had written, and I have an obligation to myself that I have to keep. If you can’t lead yourself by being accountable to yourself, then you may as well forget about leading others.
Communication skills: Through journaling, I have been able to articulate my thoughts better. Because I am already mindful of what is going on within, I do not struggle to communicate clearly with the people in my life.
Visualising the future: I have a very imaginative mind; I know I am not alone! Journaling helps me express my vision. A few years ago, while I was still in Secondary School, I wrote in one of my journals, describing how I saw my brother and I living together in a particular country. The type of residence, the location, everything was in detail, no stone unturned. At the time, there were no plans in place for my relocation to that place, but deep within it was a desire. Not too long ago, I was going through my journal of that period. I realised that EVERY single detail of that vision had manifested and was already in the past. I was even scared when I realised that what I had written down had come to pass. It made me reverence God more and believe in the power of vision. Remember, Habakkuk 2:2-3?
“Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”.
This scripture is the full summary of my experience!
Aids strategic praying: I cannot emphasise the importance of praying strategically. Journal reduces dilly-dallying and helps you pray intentionally. Being mindful of problems or situations you may be going through is already acquired by journaling; hence you can pour your heart out to God just like King David the Psalmist did!
The benefits of journaling are numerous, and I urge you to do your research. It is a helpful habit to adopt, and I hope you see reasons to start today. You do not have to wait to buy a fancy journal before you start. Find a notebook lying around somewhere in your room and begin today!