Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Are You Losing Sleep?

One third of Americans are losing sleep over the economy. Eighty percent of health care is spent on stress-related disorders. Reducing stress sounds like a good idea and perhaps it would be good advice for Lent. It can be more difficult to pray when you're stressed and worried. There are many proven ways to reduce stress, one of them is journaling. Journaling is easy to do and inexpensive. All you need is some quiet time, a pen and a notebook. You don't have to be a good writer or worry about spelling or grammar. Just write on......Saints and spiritual seekers throughout the centuries, have used journaling as a way to reflect on their relationship with God and their struggles on the journey of faith. But journaling has other benefits too. It reduces stress, it can promote personal growth and help with problem-solving skills. It also helps to increase creativity. And this amazes me. Apparently, according to people who study creativity, just by writing down your thoughts everyday, (from the most mundane activities to your inspirational thoughts), your creativity increases over time. I find that fascinating. I often use favorite Scripture quotes in my journaling to reflect upon and think through. 
I found an article I saved on journaling from 2002 and it quoted Joan Migton, an academic specialist with Kean University, We don't listen to ourselves. We turn on the TV, the radio, anything so we don't have to listen to us. Writing in a journal may be the only time of the day when you listen to yourself.  Jonathan Progoff, an expert on journaling is quoted in the same article which is titled, Listening to What's Inside by Lisa Ann Williamson as saying, There is more research that writing is therapeutic to reduce tension, gain awareness...the journaling process can be particularly helpful during a life change, illness, job change or traumatic event. Sounds like good advice to me. 

Quotes I like on creativity-
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has beauty, power and magic in it.--  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am still learning--Michelangelo