Journal writing has become very popular nowadays. Again. It is widely promoted via social media, so more and more people rush to stores seeking for fancy notebooks and stationery. But this trend is not as superficial as it may seem to a person who has never tried it.
The point is that the profound research has proven that journal writing is a great tool to reduce stress. Besides, the experience of different people shows that it really works. Wanna know how? Here are five main ways how journal writing helps you be less stressed.
The Best Way to Relieve Stress
#1 Throw Away All the Negative Emotions
This is one of the best-known purposes of journal writing. The research has proven that this type, also called expressive writing, is truly beneficial for our health. It reduces stress and boosts one’s memory. You can put on paper everything bad that is going on in your head. All your anger and fear will seem less important when you write about it.
You can keep writing furiously until these emotions disappear. Of course, you can’t get rid of them forever, but keeping them to yourself is not an option. On the other hand, a lot of people avoid using a journal for such emotional outbursts. Even when they are not going to show their writing to anyone else, they still feel like whining.
This can be irritating, as many of us can’t admit we are weak, afraid, or mad about something. If this is the case with you, all you need to do is to avoid such attitude. You still can write everything that bothers you. But don’t describe yourself as a victim, that’s it.
#2 Be Grateful
The journal of gratitude is one of the most productive ways to boost one’s happiness. When you start enumerating what you are thankful for, you get more mindful and less stressed. We take many things for granted, so we have to remind ourselves that we are glad we have them.
Our parents, partners, children, friends, homes, being more or less healthy, having a job, or not having a full-time job but managing to pay the bills, and so on. You can enumerate those things every day or once in a while. Another way is to write down the Joy of the Day.
It can be someone you spent your day with or something that happened to you. As opposed to putting negative feelings on the paper, a gratitude journal will not just reduce pressure, but also bring you tons of motivation.
#3 Find Out about Your Real Feelings
One of the main reasons for stress is that you get a lot of other people’s opinions. People tell (they always do), people write to you, leave their feedback on your content, give advice, evaluate everything you do and everything you say. Everyone seems to know what is right for you and how you have to live your life.
Plus, there are many controversial issues in today’s reality, and sometimes you fail to draw your own conclusions about them. You just listen to what the majority says or, on the contrary, start contradicting the public opinion in the attempt to prove your individuality.
Such decisions are on the surface. But often you can’t tell what you really feel. Journal writing, in this case, helps you to explore your inner world and find the answers to all the questions.
#4 Praise Yourself
Have you ever felt like you wasted the whole day but could have spent it more productively? You were doing something, but that something was so unimportant! Besides, you have the feeling that you haven’t managed to do everything you planned to do.
This problem can be solved with the help of planning and prioritizing. These things are essential in the life of a contemporary person. However, when you plan and set priorities, you look to the future. But what you do you have to do, if you already feel a bit useless? Look to the past, obviously.
Write down everything you have completed that day. When you are done, you will be very surprised. We don’t often praise ourselves for the most ordinary things and, eventually, we forget about working the whole day, going to the grocery store, cleaning, planning, reading good books, watching a movie with the one we love, etc.
There are some good things you do daily without even noticing it. So, don’t forget to give yourself credit.
#5 Describe Yourself
We often feel stressed because our ideas about who we want to be don’t correspond with who we are, in our opinion. There are different roles we play in our lives. Some people want to be good at each of them. Others try to play a role that doesn’t suit them.
There are also many people who don’t understand what role they are to play in a particular life situation. There is a type of journal writing in which you describe each part you play in your life. You have to find out whether you are good at it and how you can improve your performance.
You can be a spouse or a life partner, a parent, a child, an employee, a boss, a friend, a neighbor, etc. Choose the most important roles and observe the whole picture of your life. This will help you understand yourself and become better in every sphere of life.
Journal writing is a fascinating activity. You can write down everything you want without being judged for your thoughts and feelings. It may seem romantic and even naive to those who are always busy with their duties.
However, a journal has also become a form of a personal ‘therapy’ everybody needs. If you do it right, a lot of problems connected with stress and lack of concentration can be solved. If you think you don’t have the time to write a page or two, where do you get time to deal with everyday pressure?
Why do you reject the simplest tool to deal with it? There is nothing easier and more effective than using journal writing in one or several ways described above to finally calm down and start enjoying your life.
“I am a professional educator with a considerable experience in this area. I also work as a motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and a content writer. Writing is a passion of mine which I combine with the desire to share what I know about motivation.” – Kevin Nelson
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
What I have accepted in my life is the responsibility for my own well-being and happiness. This concerns both what I feel and what I do. Before, just like many other people, I believed that I could just ‘wish’ for happiness, and it will miraculously come true.
People will get kinder, I will feel more confident, the work will go easier, etc. Now, though I still believe in the power of positive thinking, I see that nothing is going to happen to me until I make some effort and ‘push’ myself into happiness.
I’ve accepted that nothing and no one is perfect including me and I can’t wait for perfect people to work with, the perfect time to start doing something, perfect mood to make the next step. This has set my life on a completely new course.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I truly believe that we have to appreciate EVERYTHING about ourselves. If we were different, the world would be different as well. It is true that sometimes we need to work hard on taking and loving ourselves as we are.
I’ve learned to appreciate this attitude to myself. There have been times when I felt such an attitude is only characteristic to those who don’t want to change anything about their behavior or body. Now, it is clear to me that loving and accepting oneself gives one energy to become better.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
I think, one of the greatest achievements in my life is that I chose to do what I really like. I had a lot of other options, and the pressure was overwhelming. However, I’ve decided that I want to help people this way – through motivating and inspiring them. I still dream that my work will be useful to more people. I really think I have something more to share.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
There are some habits that I have, the absence of which could have made me another person. These are not bad habits, but under the other circumstances, they could have been irritating. For example, I always try to find the origins of people’s behavior.
Because of this, I could have made a good psychologist, but I didn’t. Instead, I’ve chosen to teach people how they can change their lives, so this peculiarity of mine has turned out to be valuable.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
That’s easy! I love myself, just the way I am. This is what each person should say every day, and there will be no depressed and unhappy people. I’ve decided to start with myself and convey it to others.