Life throws new hurdles your way every day.
That’s a fact.
Every legitimate spiritual leader – regardless of religion, philosophy, or approach – will tell you that the secret to resilience isn’t chasing positivity and brushing off negative stuff.
Negative emotions and situations are inevitable. Ignoring them does no good for your mental health or spiritual growth.
The real secret is to find balanced contentment. But how?
Getting noisy thoughts out of your head so you can figure out which aspects you can control and which you can’t.
And one of the best ways to do that? Journaling!
How Does Journaling Help Spiritually?
Journaling for spiritual benefits doesn’t have to only be about digging deep into your psyche and confronting repressed thoughts or emotions. In most cases, the real spiritual benefits of journaling come from just organizing the mental clutter so you can prioritize, understand, manage, and take action.
That said, journaling has been proven to improve anxiety and stress – two things that have a tremendous impact on the rest of your mind, body, and soul.
8 Spiritual Benefits of Journaling
If you’re not convinced, just look over these spiritual benefits of journaling and try it out for a week. Simply log your feelings and thoughts at the end of each day. Include notes about your current emotions and what you’re struggling with. At the end of the week, look over your progress and note how you feel. You might be surprised to realize how small some problems really are and how empowered you feel to grow.
1. Journaling Helps You Put Thoughts and Emotions into Words
Do you often feel like your brain is filled with jumbled noise and you can’t decide what thoughts or emotions to prioritize?
Journaling offers clarity.
Research shows journaling can improve cognitive function, likely because it adds organization and structure to everything going on in the mind.
2. Journaling Supports Faith in the Unknown
As you see your thoughts and stress on paper, you’ll have a better perspective of what’s in your control and what’s not.
It won’t happen overnight but working through your emotions this way can help you gain a sense of peace over what you can’t control. You’ll build faith. Whether you’re preparing for a bar mitzvah, deepening your roots in Christianity, or honing your thoughts on Islam – journaling builds faith.
3. Journaling Lets You Track Your Spiritual Insight Progress
The longer you write, the more spiritual benefits of journaling you’ll appreciate. After a few weeks or months, you can reread your earlier writing to see how far you’ve come and how you’ve grown as a person.
Things might not be perfect but you’ll feel more content.
4. Journaling Helps You Manage Stress and Tackle Problems
Research also shows that journaling for spiritual or mental benefits can improve certain mental health symptoms like anxiety.
Once you have a better grasp of your thoughts and emotions – along with what you can control and can’t – you’ll be able to map a path forward to tackle problems.
5. Journaling Can Help Keep Your Thoughts and Emotions Controlled
Everyone overreacts sometimes. However, regular journaling helps you understand the difference between thoughts and emotions.
Over time, you’ll find yourself developing better control over your emotions and actions even in stressful moments – much like meditation.
6. Journaling for Spiritual Growth Can Build Gratitude
Anger, sadness, fear, pain – negative emotions often take over when you don’t remind yourself of all the things you’re grateful for.
Of course, negative emotions are normal! But gratitude journaling for the spiritual benefits helps you know which negative emotions are worth your energy and which to brush off.
7. Regular Journaling Encourages Other Habits
Everyone knows it’s impossible to set a dozen new positive habits at once. You’re more likely to keep up each habit when you focus on one at a time. Brains are wired to follow your status quo.
Journaling itself is a positive habit. Not only will you have a better idea of other habits you’d like to build, but you’ll also have the positive reinforcement from the journaling habit to propel you forward.
8. Journaling Helps You Confront Pain and Fear
Your brain also wants to avoid bad things like pain and fear. Unfortunately, confronting pain and fear is a key part of spiritual growth.
Journaling helps you put words to your biggest fears and identify them. With journaling, you’ll be more prepared to manage some of life’s most frightening moments if you work through them before they happen.
How to Start Journaling for Spiritual Benefits
Don’t overthink things. We tend to get caught up in our own thoughts and ego when we overanalyze our emotions and problems.
You’ll realize more spiritual benefits of journaling when you just spit out the first things that come to mind. Once the big obvious stuff is out of the way, you can move a little deeper into details.
Just Let Your Thoughts Flow
Stream of consciousness journaling is exactly what it sounds like – just put pen to paper and let your thoughts flow. Don’t hold back! Just see where your thoughts and emotions take you. You can always use other types of journaling for key points later.
Find Key Spiritual or Emotional Areas to Work On
Once you get rid of some of the noise through stream of consciousness journaling, take a night to sleep on it and read over your thoughts the next evening. Pinpoint a few key roadblocks to focus on for gratitude journaling, organization, or productivity.
Don’t Focus Only on the Negative Stuff
While overly positive thinking can limit your spiritual growth, focusing on nothing but the negative stuff in life doesn’t help either. Sure, you want to map out the negative stuff within your control so you can manage it, but don’t forget to use gratitude journaling as well to find a new appreciation for what you have.
Choose a Few Journals for a Range of Spiritual Benefits
It’s smart to keep a blank journal for stream of consciousness journaling, a bullet journal or planner for organizing/productivity, and a journal with prompts for gratitude. This way, you can stay focused on each different journaling needs.
Go Easy on Yourself: The Spiritual Benefits of Journaling aren’t Linear
Spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional growth are never linear. They’re normal. You’re human.
You can approach setbacks one of two ways – learning from them to improve tomorrow and acknowledging your limits, or giving up and telling yourself you’re incapable of change.
Hint: The right answer is the first one!