Let’s be real. How many times have you gone to a general store or even target and just admired the journal section? The array of designs and potential-holding blank pages always is enticing. But it’s usually not alluring enough to drop $20 not knowing what the heck you’d actually use the journal for.
A scared freshman in college, I remember picking up a blank notebook my first morning in a new reality. I wrote down a raw prayer and ever since I have filled up journals of other thoughts, feelings and ideas. Coming from someone literally writing about writing, you may be thinking “of course she likes to journal, she has a blog for fun”, but here are three reasons I think everyone should at least attempt to mark up one of those beautiful bounded sets of paper.
Stress Relief : Venting all your emotion to an inanimate object is for some reason insanely therapeutic. No filter needed here. There is full freedom to word vomit without consequences. In times when speaking isn’t beneficial to a situation, I’ll journal. Another way writing can be a means of stress relief is by writing down prayers. I spend my mornings writing out some of them; physically putting those requests down and leaving them to God ushers in a sense of peace to start my day.
Reflection: One of my favorite things about a classic pen and paper situation is that it’s concrete. No accidental touch of the trash can on your phone is going to delete it or new update going to make your journaling app history. Sometimes when I need a reminder of God’s faithfulness, I’ll flip through one of my older journals and see how God provided. His response was often different that I imagined, but it’s always so much more perfect. Even in the prayers I forgot about, it’s beautiful to be able to reflect on how God’s hand in our lives is personal and intimate.
Future: Your future self will thank you for the time you spent reflecting; reflecting can be a lunching pad as a reminder to yourself of who you want to be. I read this article about goal setting. It explained how writing your aspirations and dreams down statistically leads to achieving those desires at a much higher rate than those who don’t. How much more simple can it get in increasing your success? I think we can all sacrifice this little effort for the eventual payoff.
Furthermore, I have been writing for my future husband. I can’t wait to see his reaction on our wedding night giving him a notebook of entries about my college thoughts on marriage from his now wife. (But shh don’t spoil the surprise!)
There are both personal and professional benefits to taking a portion of time out of a day to concretely write. Not only will your writing skills improve, but putting things like prayers, memories or goals on paper has its benefits. So, how are your going to fill your blank pages?