Lower Stress And Improve Your Life Through Journaling
We all know that reducing stress brings big benefits in our health and lives. However, for people whose lives are busy and their stress levels are up, just the idea of needing to reduce their stress may be overwhelming!
They are already overwhelmed and now they have to figure out how to not be bothered by all the pressure and demands on their lives. If that sounds familiar this is good news for you.
Writing in a journal about the things that are bothering you, the concerns you have or the things you hope to change or accomplish can do much more than just give you something to read. Just the act of getting those issues out of your mind and onto paper can actually reduce your stress and improve your health and your outlook.
Take a look at what studies have found about this simple stress reducing habit.
Keeping a journal or diary is more than just a way to document your experiences and record your thoughts. Recent research shows that journaling is an effective stress relief exercise, and people who write in a diary or other notebook reap both physical and emotional benefits, potentially increasing their longevity.
One recent study published in Psychotherapy Research found that psychotherapy patients who were told to let out their emotions through expressive writing experienced greater reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms and better progress in psychotherapy when compared to a control group.
Journaling may help you reduce the amount of worrying you do, too. Another study, published in Behavior Modification, showed that expressive writing was associated with significant decreases in generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, including worry and depression. – Everyday Health
What To Write About
If the idea of facing a blank page with a pen does not sound like a bucket of laughs to you, keep reading. Remember you are writing to help your brain process through everything that is happening in your life. You are not writing for a grade and no one ever needs to read what you have written unless you decide to share it.
For some of us the difficulty is in knowing where to start. If that is what you face here are some helpful ideas for journaling that can bring you more peace and calm in your life so your stress levels go down.
You can write about literally anything and for just a few minutes a day. Even 15 minutes a day can bring real benefits when it comes to lowering stress. Here’s a tip: At the end of every journaling session write down something you are grateful for or something good that you can see came from your day. Bringing in gratitude and positive thoughts into the end of your journaling session is a great way to transition to the next part of your day or night.
Clarify your thoughts and feelings
Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
Know yourself better
By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.
Solve problems more effectively
Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Resolve disagreements with others
Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict. – Psychcentral
Do you practice journaling now?