How to Use Journaling as a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Journaling includes keeping a record of your thoughts, feelings, experiences, understanding and insights. It is a powerful tool to express yourself, gain mental clarity, release your emotions, cope with anxiety and stress, develop self-awareness, find peace and improve mental health. What are the real benefits of journaling? Why is journaling good for the brain? How can it improve your life? How to use journaling to achieve spiritual growth? Let’s find out.

Journaling for Spiritual Growth

spiritual journaling

Enhances Self-Awareness

Writing down your feelings and insights, helps you gain a better understanding of them, and thereby you get a clarity of thought. Wording what you think or feel, and writing it down gives a structure to your thinking, thus increasing the awareness about your own emotions, which in turn helps enhance self-awareness.

Helps Manage Your Feelings

Journaling can help you gain better control over your emotions, as it gives you a way to process your feelings in a safe place (which is your diary/journal). While writing, you name the emotions, explain what you are feeling or experiencing and narrate the incident and your learning from the same. This allows you to control how you feel and how to react, and you can manage your feelings better that way. Thus, journaling helps in increasing your mental strength.

Helps Release Emotions

When you are feeling overwhelmed or excessively stressed due to a certain incident, writing about it helps in releasing the pent-up emotions. Anger, distress or any other negative emotion that has built up over days or years and has been bothering you mentally, find a vent, and is released through the practice of journaling.

Gives Clarity

According to Sabrina Romanoff, a clinical psychologist in New York City, jotting down your thoughts creates space and distance to consider them more objectively. While journaling, when you write about your wishes, dreams, ambitions and goals, reading them later, lets you see and understand them with greater clarity. So, journaling helps you know what you exactly require or wish to have, and can give you a way to take correct action.

Lets you Learn from the Past to Act Better in the Present

Your journal, over a period of some years, serves as a record of what happened to you or around you, how it affected you, how you felt at each of those times and how you responded. Reading about your past experience years later, may give you a better insight into how you can cope with a similar feeling if it is to occur in the present. At times, the way you reacted back then, may surprise you and serve as a guide on how to act in the present scenario. Each time when you journal your experience, if you keep the practice of writing about your emotion and how you coped with it, your writings may help you cope with a similar scenario in the future.

Increases Feelings of Well-being

Spending just 10-15 minutes each day in journaling about your feelings is known to reduce stress and symptoms of depression. The practice of journaling, over time, increases feelings of well-being. Can journaling help with overthinking? Yes, because instead of continuously thinking about an event that troubles you, if write about it and express your feelings in your journal, it can help you stop thinking too much about the event. However, it is said that you should not journal a stressful or traumatic event immediately after it has happened, but rather wait for some time before you write about the same. While journaling, you get some time with yourself. This me-time works wonders in stress relief, anxiety reduction and self-discovery.

Helps You Recover from Sorrow

Journaling is a highly effective way in recovering from trauma. Writing helps in organizing your thoughts about the traumatic incident, it helps you get clarity about the challenges posed by the event, helps you build strategies to cope with the trauma and lets you grieve in a healthy way.

Increases Feeling of Self-Worth

In your journal, if you write about what gives you joy, what you are grateful for, the memories you would cherish forever, your strengths, and your achievements, reading about them later, can give you immense happiness and increase your sense of self-worth. Journaling about good things in your life is a great way to help you realize that life has not been that bad after all, and that there is so much around you to be happy about and feel grateful for, that you ought to bounce back and smile again.

Prayer Journaling to Enhance Positivity

There is a method called prayer journaling, in which you write down your prayers, your desires or your feelings towards God, and how your prayers were answered or your wishes fulfilled. This method helps increase your faith in God and your gratitude quotient increases on reading about answered prayers. Prayer journaling also helps you stay focused on your prayers.

spiritual prayer Journaling prompts

Letter Journaling for Self-reflection

Letter journaling is another type of journaling where you write letters to yourself or other people, in your diary. This helps you reflect on your life and relationships and promotes mindfulness.

Gratitude Journaling to Feel Blessed

A gratitude journal is for enlisting things/people you are grateful for, and it enhances positive feelings. On the other hand, a personal-junk journal is where you write about your frustrations and bad moods and it has a cathartic effect and helps you cope with negative emotions.

Morning Pages to Communicate with Your Higher Self

Morning pages is a form of journaling in which you practice longhand stream of consciousness writing. Every morning, you have to write 3-5 pages; the writing can include your morning thoughts about any and everything around and within you. Morning pages help you heal from mental trauma, boost self-confidence, help you gain clarity of thought, and gradually help you be the person you always wanted to be.

Thus, journaling is a powerful way to evaluate your thoughts and actions, analyse yourself and your life and realize your self-worth. The practice of journaling helps you remove self-doubt, reduce stress and elevate positive feelings and gratitude. It helps you assess your goals and aspirations, access your innermost thoughts and feelings and increase your awareness of the self. What else is spiritual growth? It is the process of developing self-identity, establishing communication with your higher self (or with God, divine or the universe), and trusting that you are being guided in life. Journaling indeed catalyses this process, and thus proves to be a very effective tool for spiritual growth.

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