As parents. we all find ourselves stressed from time to time but finding the easiest way to relieve that stress may be easier than you think. Journaling has been proven by scientists as an effective treatment for many mental health issues. But how exactly does is journaling useful for stress relief? In this post, we will take a look at some of the benefits of writing your thoughts in a journal as well as what are the best ways to go about doing this. You never know what you may actually gain from starting a journal.
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Benefits of Journaling
Journaling, in an essence, involves the process of using a diary or journal to keep a record of ones thoughts and or feelings that occur from daily events in one’s life. However journaling, when done on a consistent manner can be a very effective way to achieve several benefits including the following;
- Memory boost
- Thought organization
- On the go record
- Goal setting and achieving
- Improved writing skills
- Inspired creativity
- Relieved stress
Journaling for Stress Relief
Some of you us may have a bit of experience with journaling from childhood and understand how well journaling can serve as a means of escape or an emotional release to help you clear your mind. It is also a vert effective tool for helping people get in touch with their inner most thoughts and feelings by writing down exactly what they are thinking and feeling which brings you to a type of awareness that helps you focus on those feelings.
This new type of awareness is what allows you to be able to put things in a better perspective and thus process your emotions giving you the clarity needed to reduce stress.
Journaling also helps you reduce stress by allowing you to get rid of any negative thoughts that may be lingering. A study done in 2011 in a Psychology Science journal noted that if you wanted to get rid of negative thoughts then you should write them down.
Writing down your thoughts makes it easier to talk about them because you know have something to see. This in return makes the feelings more real allowing you to find better ways to cope with them.
Journaling is a great way to track your symptoms to help you put together coping methods that works. With a journal you can keep a track of what your triggers are can keep a track of your progress day to day to learn better ways to control your stress.
How to Start a Journal
Buy a Journal
The most important step when journaling is choosing the right type of journal to purchase. There are different types of journals you can purchase from blanks books with different designs to books that are more functional. You can even find journals apps to use on your phone, tablet, or computer.
If you decide to use a blank journal then there are lined or blank pages and different pens you can choose from. You can choose a design that reflects your own personality or style. Me personally, I like butterflies and the color purple so I tend to choose something along those lines of this:
But you should choose whatever you will feel the most happy with.
As a mom, I already struggle to find the time to do everything I need to do in the day which includes, doing household chores, taking care of my blogging business, spending time with my family, amd making time for myself, so making time for journaling seems like an extra headaches. However it is important to work this into your schedule.
Even if you can find five or ten minutes to spend in your journal you will get the benefits needed to relieve the stress from the day. It will make all the difference and you will be glad that you made the time for it.
Whether you choose to do it at soon as you get up (that is when I sneak in some reading myself) or whether it is the last thing you do before bed (that is when my house it most peaceful) it is up to you. Find whatever time works for you!
Just do it!
Start writing! You aren’t writing a blog post or a fancy school essay so you don’t have to worry about the topic just write and the words will come to you.
If you have trouble starting then try these Journal prompts:
- Finish these sentences – “Right now I am… ” then “I want to be…”
- Pick a single positive word to focus on like “gratitude”
- Do a word purge and write down every word you can think of churning in your mind
- Write about a habit or mood that improves your stress
- Talk about a story in which you made a positive change in someone’s life
- Talk about a day in which you would do the things you enjoy doing
Write about Your Thoughts and Feelings
Since journaling is a great way to vent and express your emotions, then it is only natural that you should be writing about your emotions. But you shouldn’t only write down your negative thoughts or use journaling as a way to keep a track of your daily events.
Studies show that you can gain the most benefit from journaling if you use it as a way to relive the events emotionally as a way to learn from them and find a solution. This way you can process the event and find a solution to keep the situations from recurring.
Journaling Tips for Stress Relief
- Try to write each day. It is through consistency that journaling provides the most benefit.
- Try to get in at least 5 minutes a day although 20 minutes a day would be ideal.
- If you can’t write don’t feel discouraged, just write when you can. It is better to write some than to stop completely.
- Don’t worry about how it looks, just worry about getting your thoughts down. It is not about grammar or handwriting it is about you getting the emotional benefit.
- Try to keep your journal in a safe and private place, that way you will not worry about the content of your journal and self-censor. You should be free to write what you feel without worrying about what others will see.
Last Things to Know About Journaling for Stress Relief
Journaling is a great activity, when done consistently, it can provide many benefits mentally. Just imagine all the stress you could be relieving by jotting down a few thoughts each day!
By simply investing in your own journal and taking a few moments each day, you will not only be doing something to relieve your stress but you will be improving your mental function and writing skills at the same time.
The great thing about journaling for stress relief is, there are no set rules. You just have to decide what works best for you. However, it important to find a routine and stick to it!
Do you use journaling as a way to pass time? What tip would you give to someone purchasing a journal for the first time?