Journaling for Stress / Anxiety Relief

During these governmental driven times, our feelings and emotions have been surprised with many unexpected changes. Even when we know change is apparent it can still cause a person positive or negative experiences.

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When change happens, there are so many emotions that come along with it. Change can be exciting and happy for many people, while for many others find it overwhelming and frightening. Emphatic/sensitive/anxiety driven individuals, adult's/children with special needs/mental disabilities can especially have a hard time managing change's in their daily lives. The stress and anxiety that can come with change can present itself in different ways, depending on the person.

Some symptoms of stress or anxiety may include:

  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom.

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

  • Changes in sleeping habits

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense.

  • Appetite loss/gain

  • Having an increased heart rate

  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Feeling weak or tired

  • Mood swings

  • Headaches

  • Stomach aches

One of the most effective ways to reduce stress/anxiety is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events which is called journaling. Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge.

It’s also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Journaling about traumatic events helps one process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved, and by engaging both hemispheres of the brain in the process, allowing the experience to become fully integrated within one’s mind.

Step One: Buy a Journal

What kind of a journal you purchase is important. You can choose from the most beautiful blank books you can find, to a functional notebook, sketch book or computer. If you go with the blank book option, you can decide between lined or blank pages, with a variety of styles and pens. Use your book to reflect your creativity, or go with functionality first.

Step Two: Begin Writing

Many people prefer to write in the morning as a way to start their day, or before bed as a way to reflect upon and process the day’s events. However, if your lunch break or some other time is the only window you have, take the time whenever you can get it! It’s important to block off about twenty minutes each day to write, but if you find it difficult to set aside that much time, especially in the beginning, even taking five minutes to jot down a few ideas is better than waiting until you have the full twenty — that could make the difference between forming a habit and merely the memory of when you wanted to create with this new habit.

Step One: Type of Journaling

There are several practices to try. See what works best for you.

  • Bullet Journal or Personal Planning Journal: Some people keep journals to track what they need to do/or have done each day, goals, memories, ideas, mood bubbles and other things they don't want to forget. Writing things down can help keep your mind uncluttered and help you to remember what's important to you which can assist in the relief of stress. Being more organized and balanced is a great way to feel less stressed.

  • Gratitude Journal : Some people keep a daily gratitude journal where they compile a list five or more aspects of each day for which they are grateful. This is a highly effective strategy for relieving stress because it helps you to focus on the resources you have in your life already and create a more positive mood in the present moment, both of which have been shown to build long-term resilience. A bonus benefit is that you are left with a record of the many nice things that have happened throughout your days, so if you're feeling down in the future, you can cheer yourself up with a few pages of reminders for the things you have to appreciate in life.

  • Emotional Release: You may also write about your emotional responses to events that have happened throughout the day as a way of coping with the stress. This can help you to process what you are feeling and perhaps even explore more positive re framing options. When writing about positive experiences, this allows you the ability to maximize and savor the positive feelings you may have for the good things that have happened in your day. This is also a great way to expand on the positive and manage the negative things that happen in your life, increasing your positivity ratio, which is an important aspect of stress management.

And remember, if you find yourself not keeping a regular schedule with journaling, it's a habit you can resume at any time: You don't have to journal every day in order for it to work for you—a few times a week is still highly beneficial, and even journaling on an as-needed basis brings benefits. If you had a journaling habit and stopped because life got in the way, remember—any day is a good day to get back into the habit. Welcome to the New World Order 2021.

"Monday's Journal" deals with useful strategies for the week ahead separating your day and week into mini-projects. This will be available from Monday 12th April.

See You Real Soon, Sophia 🥰

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