When looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety, it could be worth considering journaling. This involves recording your daily feelings and thoughts into a journal. While this is a popular form of stress management for kids and teenagers, it can also be equally effective for adults who may be battling stress. Here are just some of the ways in which journaling can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Release negative emotions
Keeping a journal is a great way of releasing negative emotions. As psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow states, ‘keeping a journal helps us off-load mental/cognitive information that is taking up space in our brain’. Just like crying it out or sweating it out, there’s a feeling that you’re expelling something from your body. You may even be able to create a detachment from these negative feelings by putting them on paper.
Share information without judgement
Sharing concerns with others is a great way to beat stress and anxiety. However, there are some thoughts that you may not feel comfortable sharing with others due to the fear of being judged. Writing a journal can feel as if you’re talking to a counsellor. By keeping your journal private and not sharing it with others, you can use it as a tool for sharing your deepest and darkest thoughts surrounding your fears and anxieties.
Encourage positive thought
A journal can teach you how to be more positive. On top of using a journal to get out your negative thoughts, you can use bullet journaling to list positive qualities about yourself or improvements that you want to make. Before entering stressful situations, you may be able to list the benefits of these situations and the reasons why you’re capable of overcoming them.
Tap into creativity
Numerous studies have found that creative activities are great stressbusters. Journaling is itself a creative expression of ideas – you spill out your thoughts on paper in any way you see fit. While many people use simple bullet journaling to easily get out ideas, there’s nothing to stop you from integrating drawings or spilling your thoughts out into a paragraph if you feel that benefits you more.
Record your progress
Another way in which journaling can help you beat anxiety is by helping you to track your progress. You can look back at the things that used to make you anxious or stressed and realise how far you’ve come. This could encourage you to not return to your old ways and to keep facing your demons. You may also be able to make a note of coping mechanisms and positive thoughts that you can return to when you feel you’re going backwards. Just like using revision notes before an exam, a journal can help you to record tips for overcoming stressful situations that you can go back and remind yourself of.