Stress relief comes in so many varied forms. Some people turn to physical activity for stress relief and others want something less strenuous. One of the latter kind that I have found really useful in times of stress is Journaling. By putting your thoughts and feelings on paper, you provide yourself with a tremendous opportunity for self-reflection and often can find relief from the constant looping of the lower thinking mind.
Contemplating your problems or concerns is different from giving those issues physical space and thought. Putting the words on to paper in front of you allows you to see how you’re thinking and a handy consequence is that you may look at the problem quite differently through this process.
|Here are a few reasons why you should journal to relieve stress:|
Journaling is a Healthy Escape
With a journal, you can escape from judgment. Your journal is your most trusted confidant. You can tell your journal anything. And many who journal recommend complete honesty with your journal. Don’t put a filter on your feelings. Let them out.
Your mind is much less scary on a piece of paper than it is when thoughts are trapped in your head.
Journaling can provide you with a creative outlet and many people (including me!) find it soothing.
Make it Easier to Evaluate Your Thoughts
Your brain can get caught in a repetitive thought loop. You can replay the same possible scenario over and over, and your brain will deliver the same fears and anxieties each time. When you put your thoughts on paper it breaks this cycle and gives you an opportunity to work the problem in a different way. You may find that something your brain told you to fear is actually a positive. Or you can compare it to other things in your journal that are positive. The end result is a new perspective.
Evidence of Survival
When times get tough, you can look back on your previous journal entries and see that you survived. You can reflect on the feelings you had during a challenging time.
In doing this you may find that the way you handled something in the past is not how you’d like to handle things now, or you may see how amazing you were during that challenge but couldn’t see at the time.
Your brain can only remember and hold so much information. A journal provides your brain with a refresher or resource to recall what your brain has hiding underneath.
For example, if you get into an argument with a loved one, your brain may only remember the strongest emotion. Perhaps you were angry or hurt. But if you wrote about the incident in the journal, your current self can reflect on how your past self-handled the issue. Then you can ask yourself if there was a better way to approach the problem.
Integrate our experiences
One of the greatest benefits of journaling is that it allows our experiences to be fully integrated or processed.
Often we go through life bouncing from one experience to another at a rapid pace and we don’t find time to process. Taking the time to sit and journal can provide a valuable space to process even the most difficult of experiences.
Let Go of the Trapped Energy
Journaling can allow the release of the trapped or stored energy that arises as a result of the fear based thinking.
Our emotions are energy that is supposed to have movement (motion). It rises to communicate to us and is supposed to move through us and out.
However, many of us have never learned how to be with our seemingly powerful emotions and we do what we can to avoid them. Journaling can be a great way to release the pressure built up from denying and suppressing our feelings.
Journaling is a stress relieving exercise that is best when it is made in to a habit through repetition. Get in a routine of journaling each day. If you’re a morning person, journal when you wake up. If you prefer the evening, journal then. Pick up your journal when you’re feeling stressed or emotional. Share your feelings without any strings attached.
And of you really want to transform your stress then before you complete your journaling session be sure to note at least five things you are grateful for.
PS: If you’d like to learn more about why you’re stressed, anxious or depressed be sure to check out the workshop I have coming up in June. Learn more here
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