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The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management

Kenneth Rice

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Journaling is a fantastic way of reducing stress, removing yourself from your day to day life and, well, just understanding yourself better. It’s definitely not the first activity we usually think of when approaching stress reduction. Our ideas of calming are usually all action, exercising, walking, yoga, retreats and meditating. Sometimes, instead of always being on the go, you just need to take a few minutes out of your day to jot down your thought and feelings. Journaling is all about confronting and connecting with yourself, without any real distractions, so it’s actually the perfect form of stress management. You don’t have to get up and go anywhere, have the right gear or know the right people. All you need is a pen and dairy or paper, and a few honest, open minutes spare. Here are a few types of journaling and their stress management benefits…

Gratitude

A daily gratitude journal is all about recognising the positive aspects of your day to day life. When we’re always stuck in the routine of commuting, working or learning, followed by dinner, TV and bed, it’s easy to feel a little disconnected to the nuances and gifts that just being alive has to offer. For most of us, your immediate environment is full of kind hearts, interesting conversations, natural beauty and moments of laughter. A gratitude journal encourages you to note down three things in your day that you are thankful for. This will lift your mood by pushing you to reflect on all the aspects that bring light to your life, getting you out of a sustained or negative mindset.

Emotional

This is kind of the opposite of a gratitude journal, but valuable and important all the same! Emotional journals allow you to seriously connect with the ins and outs of your mental space. You will be able to express every feeling, thought and event that has occurred in your day without judgment or explanation. This is a great tool for understanding your emotions and working through them in a healthy and facilitating fashion. An emotional journal that is completed each day with a daily gratitude note is the perfect combination of positive and self-expression.

Organisational

Feeling unorganised and overwhelmed is a one-way ticket to being stressed. When your life is out of sorts, you feel out of sorts, so bringing some organisation in is always going to reduce your stress levels. Bullet journals or dated diaries can keep track of your meetings, work tasks, social life and any other commitments. Move away from your phone and note down what you’re doing when, it’s going to make you feel calm and in control, which is perfect for stress reduction.

Diet and Exercise

A healthy diet and active lifestyle are incredibly important for your stress, happiness and energy levels. Negating to take care of your health doesn’t only have significantly poor impacts on your body, it’s bad for your mental state too. Writing down meal plans, exercise routines and daily calorie intake are proven to help the weight loss process, so if you want to feel calmer and happier, you should absolutely consider keeping a diet and exercise journal.

Dream, Artistic and Creative

A dream journal helps you to write down anything significant or interesting that’s happening in your dreams to enables you to understand your own subconscious. An artistic or creative journal is great if you like to express yourself through sketches, doodles, patterns or colours. You’ll feel connected with your artistic side, happy and relaxed whilst using a graphic journal.

Just thinking about the benefits helps to reduce stress levels! Unlock your happiness with the simple and nourishing act of writing today, you’ll thank yourself down the line. A calmer future awaits!

Kenneth is a veteran journalist who started his career back in 1987 when journalists used ballpoint pens, notepads, and good old fashioned legwork to track down stories. He’s since embraced the digital tools his younger colleagues favor, but he refuses to move on from the core principles of journalism: fact-checking, protecting sources, and journalistic integrity.

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