The Benefits Of Journaling For Stress Management

The literate catJournaling involves the practice of keeping a journal or diary in which to explore the thoughts and feelings associated with the events of your life. You can use several methods. Journaling for stress management or self-exploration works best when you do it consistently.

However, even occasional journaling can give stress relief when you focus on gratitude or emotional processing.

A very effective way to reduce stress through journaling is to write the details about feelings and thoughts that are related to stressful events.

There are several ways to practice journaling. The method you choose can depend on your needs at the time and your personality.

The Benefits of Journaling

Through journaling you can clarify your thoughts and feelings. This clarification helps you gain valuable self-knowledge. It is also useful for problem-solving. Very often you can hash out a problem on paper to come up with a solution

If you journal about traumatic events it will help you process them. In the safety of the journal, you can fully explore the situation and release the emotions involved. By involving both hemispheres of the brain in this process, you allow the experience to become fully integrated within your mind.

Journaling will also help you focus on areas of your life that you feel you have been neglecting, and that you would like to think about more often, such as with gratitude journaling or coincidence journaling.

Scientific research shows that there are several health benefits to journaling. For example, journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health problems. The practice improves cognitive functioning. It strengthens the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses. It counteracts many negative effects caused by stress.

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What Are Drawbacks Of Journaling?

If you have a learning disability that causes you difficulty in dealing with doing the writing, this technique may not be for you. Don’t try to be a perfectionist when you journal. This journal is for your benefit — not for anyone else. If you journal about negative feelings, include thoughts or plans for potential solutions, or the process may actually cause more stress.

It is a good idea to end your journaling sessions with a few words about potential solutions to your problems. You can also include things that you appreciate in your life, or things that give you hope.

How Does Journaling Compare As A Stress Management Tool?

Physical stress management includes such techniques as yoga or exercise. Journaling becomes a viable option for those who cannot participate in such activities.

It requires only a pen and paper, so is not expensive like it might be for a technique that requires the aid of a class or teacher. Though journaling does not release tension from your body like progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, other physical techniques, or meditation, it is a great practice for overall stress reduction, self-knowledge, and emotional healing.

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Journaling Strategies To Try

There are several forms of journaling that you can try. If you have a favorite journaling technique, go for it. If you would like to try something new, here are some suggestions:

Gratitude Journal

Try keeping a daily gratitude journal where you list three or more things from each day for which you are grateful. This strategy is highly effective for stress relief because it helps you focus on the good that is already in your life. It will create a more positive mood, which in turn will help build long-term stress resistance.

An extra benefit of this technique is that you end up with a record of the nice things that happen in your life. If there is a time in the future when you are feeling down, these positive reminders will help cheer you up.

Emotional Release

In this journal, you write about your emotional responses to the events of your day. Writing them out helps release the stress and can also give you a chance to process what you are feeling. Perhaps you can also explore some more positive ways to look at the situation.

If you write about positive experiences, it will allow you to maximize and savor your positive feelings. Dwelling on these positive feelings also helps deflect some negativity. Increasing the amount of time and focus on the positive is an important part of stress management.

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Bullet Journal Or Personal Planning Journal

This one is kind of like my Day-Timer. It is a place to track what you need to do each day. You can also add goals you have, memories you have created, and other things you want to remember.

Because writing things down can help keep your mind uncluttered as well as helping you remember the things that are important to you, this type of journal can also relieve stress. If you are more organized and balanced, you will feel less stressed.

If you forget your journal now and then, you can always resume your writing at any time. Even if you don’t journal every day, a few times a week is still very helpful. You can even journal on an as-needed basis.

Remember — if you stop because life gets in the way, journaling is a habit you can start again any day.

Information for this article came from

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Here’s your chance — select a cute cat journal and start your stress management process.  Buy one or two for yourself or get them for gifts for friends.  You will have a gift that can be useful for many ways, not just for journaling.  Collect artwork or do original drawings, write down recipes, make a list of birthdays — your only limitation is with your own imagination, so choose your own way to enjoy these journals.

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