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Stress comes in many forms —
Some people turn to physical activity for stress relief. Others want something less strenuous. Journaling is a great way to relieve stress at any time. By putting your thoughts and feelings on paper, you provide yourself with a tremendous opportunity for self-reflection. Thinking about your problems or concerns is different from giving those issues physical space. When you see how you’re thinking, you may look at the problem differently. This may make the holiday season a little more pleasant.
Here are a few reasons why you should journal to relieve stress:
Escape from Stress Provided by Journaling
With a journal, you can escape from judgment. This is particularly important during the holidays if your family gatherings are really stressful based on difficult relationships. Rather than unleashing your emotions during a hopefully peaceful dinner, you can write it down.
Your journal is your most trusted confidant. You can tell your journal anything. And many who journal recommend complete honesty with your journal. Don’t put a filter on your feelings. Let them out. Your mind is much less scary on a piece of paper than it is when thoughts are trapped in your head. Journaling can provide you with a creative outlet. Many people find it soothing. It may also keep you from blurting out something that you can’t take back.
Easier to Evaluate Your Thoughts
Sometimes, your brain can get caught in a loop. You can replay the same possible scenario in your head over and over, and your brain will deliver the same fears and anxieties. When you put your thoughts on paper, it gives you an opportunity to work the problem out in a different way. You may find that something your brain told you to fear may actually be important. Or you can compare it to other things in your journal that are positive.
A clear head makes it easier to face your family. A clearer head may also reduce stress eating with all the tasty treats that are available during the holidays. Also, it may keep you from spree spending during your holiday shopping!
Reminders of Past Behavior
When times get tough, you can look back on your previous journal entries and see that you survived. You can reflect on the feelings you had during a challenging time. You may find that the way you handled something in the past is not how you’d like to handle things now.
Your brain can only remember and hold so much information. A journal provides your brain with a resource to recall what is hiding underneath.
For example, if you get into an argument with a loved one, your brain may only remember the strongest emotion. Perhaps you were angry or hurt. But if you wrote about the incident in the journal, your current self can reflect on how you handled the issue in the past. Then you can ask yourself if there was a better way to approach the problem, like a better way to deal with your relatives during the holidays.s
Setting Up Your Stress Journal
Your stress relief journal can be set-up in several different ways, but there is one way that seems to work well for most people. This method uses a mix of visual aids, journaling, and routine reflection. You don’t need dates for this type of journal. You simply write in it as you need to and as you feel a stress issue coming on.
You can then use visuals that represent your mood. These can be pictures, smiley faces, or emoticons if you are using a virtual option for your journal. After expressing your mood for the moment, you can then begin to journal what is causing that mood and the stress that you are experiencing. You may find that your journal becomes a hybrid of stress and mood journaling, which is fine and just as beneficial.
There are other reasons to journal as well. But since the family gatherings have already begun for the holidays, it’s good to find ways to make those interactions healthier.
I have several journals in my KDP store that you can as stress journals. Take a look and order if you see one you like!
Have a great weekend!
Loving Life–The Reboot!