When women or men talk about what stresses them, it gives them an opportunity to put things into perspective when life's challenges get overwhelming. But Journaling has proven to be even more useful than talking when it comes to controlling thoughts and making sound decisions every day.
Despite what people think, journaling is not always about writing elaborate stories about what you experience on a day-to-day basis, which usually turns people off to journaling. It is the simple act of jotting down what is happening in your life and how it makes you feel on a regular basis. You can jot these things down in a leather journal or computer (laptop or desktop).
Whatever you use, journaling is an effective and consistent way to improve your living skills as you go about life one day at a time. Every experience/event you write down in your journal is a chance to reflect and grow personally (or maybe even professionally as well).
If you are dealing with personal stress that you don't feel like sharing with anyone else, journaling can be your best friend (the type of best friend who is guaranteed to keep your secret). According to studies conducted by stress psychologists, you can boost your immune system as well as improve chronic conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis by journaling.
If you are finding it difficult to get started writing in your journal, follow these tips:
Subject: Concentrate on what is stressing you at the moment. When you write about what is stressing you, you are able to take a step back and weigh all your options.
Technique: If you are journaling to minimize stress and improve your overall well-being, you should first write down all the facts. The second thing you must do is write about how it made you feel and why it made you feel that way.
Content: Don’t censor yourself! For 15 minutes, write down everything no matter how ugly it is or how bad it makes you feel.
Tone: Tone does not matter. Just concentrate on getting it all out. Ignore any grammar or spelling mistakes. Just let the words flow and enjoy the art of journaling to the fullest.
When?: Whenever the need arises, start journaling right away. If you are keeping a food diary, you can also combine it with journaling.
How long? Aim to journal 15 minutes every day.
Can I share? Sharing your journal is not advised. When you know your journal will be shared, you start writing for an audience rather than yourself and your well-being, which can be counterproductive.
Don’t like writing? A tape recorder is a good alternative, although it is not as convenient as, say, a leather journal.
- How will it make me feel? Everyone is different. You might feel relief or you might even get depressed a little while after writing. But as you get better at gathering your thoughts and putting them into perspective, the feeling might disappear.
Keep in mind that a journal, while therapeutic, is not a therapist. If you think depression is the problem (if you get overwhelmed by negative feelings like sadness that won’t seem to go away and/or if they make you unable to function), or if you have experienced trauma or suffering from any other mental condition, you need the services of a mental health professional.
Journaling is just another tool you can use to overcome stress, something to help you get a handle on stress before it has the chance to overwhelm you. So what are you waiting for? Buy a leather journal today and start writing!