Stress is a stranger to nobody, as much as everybody would like for that to be the case. But while totally eliminating stress or preventing the rise of stress altogether isn’t something that’s likely to happen, there are ways to at least get rid of stress in the moment, or minimize stress when it does rear its ugly head. One of our top methods? Keeping a journal. And while writing your thoughts down in a notebook every night before hitting the hay may feel more like the stuff of pre-teen girls and less like an effective stress relief method for adults, the fact is that journaling on a regular basis could help you keep your stress in check. Here, four of the most notable ways that journaling helps get rid of stress, each of which is well worth picking up a pen and paper before bed!
It helps you feel more grateful.
Journaling about the trials and triumphs of your life, however big or small, makes for a pretty effective way to put, or keep, things in perspective. And when you start to develop a deeper perspective on your life and your experiences, you’re more likely to start feeling relaxed by feelings of gratitude over the things that are going right for you. No to mention, you start to become better at processing your experiences and pulling lessons from them, which only further helps you cut down stress by taking a proactive approach to taking positive steps forward.
It makes you step away from tech and other common distractions.
Let’s be honest – as much as smartphones and laptops may have made certain aspects of our lives easier (we can’t even begin to imagine what our workdays would look like without them), they’ve simultaneously added a whole new layer of stress to our lives that isn’t always easy to escape. Whether it’s from Instagram-induced FOMO, information overload, or just the reality of being less in-the-moment as we become more “plugged in,” so to speak, it’s easy to lose yourself to tech and find your stress levels peaking in the process. Journaling, though, makes for a great break from the devices and gives you a second to slow down for a bit.
It helps you solve problems more effectively.
When you write things down, you have an easier time processing and sorting through your thoughts than you would if you just mulled over them in your head all day. That means that if you’ve got troubles on your plate that are stressing you out, journaling could be a way to work through your thoughts on paper and might trigger more effective problem solving than you’d be able to do if you were to just try to deal with everything mentally.
It’s kind of like meditation.
While not all journaling is akin to meditating, if you take the “stream of consciousness” writing approach, you best believe the writing process is going to be pretty meditative. Basically, when you journal this way, you give your mind a total break from thinking, let alone stressing, as it instead focuses all of its (literal) brain power on keeping the words flowing. In a sense, this kind of journaling allows you to get lost in the words.