My friend Becky journals every day. Dana journals when she has something she needs to sort out in her head. Lilly journals her prayers each night and includes any answered prayers in a different section of her notebook.
For me, the frequency of my journaling depends on what I’m trying to accomplish. If I just need a place to dump some feelings then I might journal until I feel sufficiently cleared of everything that’s been on my mind. If I’m journaling to solve an issue I’m having either within myself or with others, I might journal regularly for a week or two until I know what my next steps will be. For prayer and Scripture journaling, I like to write at least two or three times a week.
Often people fret over what is the “best” or “right” amount of time to spend writing in your journal. There really is no right or wrong answer here. If you’re not writing because you feel you don’t have enough to say or think it would require too much time and effort, I urge you to let go of that thought. The benefits of keeping a journal are tremendous whether you journal every day or only when you have something you want to sort out.
Here’s a suggestion. Get an inexpensive notebook and take 5 or 10 minutes to write about something that happened during your day. First, describe what happened. Then write about how it made you feel. And finally, what, if anything would you change about it. There you go! Your first journal entry. You can write again tomorrow or not for another month or another year. It’s totally up to you.
Journaling can be addictive! So don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for your journal and writing something down again and again and again!
Kathy Bornarth, MA, LPC
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