Journaling – Is It Really That Important?

I used to journal all the time. In fact, this website was created because of my journaling when I was going through a divorce. That was a long time ago, and I have come a long way. But for the past year, I have stopped journaling. I’ve been telling myself that I am a bad writer and can’t write. Obviously, I’m no John Grisham or but I don’t need to be to journal – neither do you.

I find it baffling how quickly things can change in my life. The last person I remember being was this happy, positive, semi-loving, and sensitive kind of guy. But now I am filled with resentment, fear, selfishness, cold-heartedness…and I think I better stop there or risk passing the point of no return. As I look back over the past year, I find it difficult to see many of the positive points. How can that be? I have a lot of challenges, but my life has never been better.

So why is the negative drowning out the positive things in my life? Well, there are a couple of explanations for this and “no,” being crazy isn’t one of them.
Studies have shown that many people deal with negative information and events differently than positive ones. According to Professor Nass, co-author of “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships,” negative emotions involve more thinking and are processed more thoroughly than positive ones. I know I have found this true in my life. Heck, I had a great day yesterday except for about 15 minutes where my wife and I disagreed. Do I remember the day as great or do I remember the spat? I remember the spat. I have to remind myself that the day was a pretty darn good day! Cause it was.

Why Journal

  • Track your prayers
  • Track answers to your prayers
  • Track the positive things in your life
  • Benchmark growth
  • Helps you focus on more important things
  • List future goals and dreams
  • Release and manage emotions

Journaling forces you to slow your mind and focus. It can help reduce the overwhelming feelings you have when are going through a tough time. Writing down the good things or highlights of your day is one way to keep the negative from beating out the positive. Remember that little things matter so it could be something as simple as someone offering you a helping hand or it could be as grand as getting a bonus at work. This will help you to get your mind off the trials and tribulations, so you aren’t overlooking the good things that happen to you simply because you are going through a rough patch.

The ultimate purpose of journaling for me is to track life’s events and encounters with God. When you look back at your journal and see God working in your life, you are going to feel closer to Him than ever before. It is important to notice the ways that God works for your good and sometimes you can only do that by viewing your life in the rearview mirror. What you can gain from journaling is that you don’t ignore the struggles, we all struggle, but pain helps us to grow and build character. Journaling helps us to realize how events that we thought were bad at the time turned out to be just what we needed in the end.

So start today and begin putting your life down on paper. I can promise you that if you stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.