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Manage Your Stress Through Journaling

Nov 25, 2007
In times past, it was common to keep a diary or a journal for writing down thoughts and events that occurred in an individual's life. With the advance of technology, many people today are enjoying the fun of having online journals.

There is an added benefit to journaling, though, one that most people aren't aware of. Writing down one's thoughts and innermost feelings, be that method in online form or by using paper and pen, can be an excellent method of releasing pent-up emotion and reducing stress, as well as giving a path of information to look back on and identify areas of life in need of change.

Journaling, like other stress management strategies, must be tailored to your lifestyle and habits. Writing in your journal every day would be ideal, but this may not be practical, especially if you have a lot to say. You can expect for your first several entries to be fairly long, since you have probably been holding things in for a while.

Once you get some of your bigger problems on paper, your entries will begin to get shorter. Making writing part of your daily routine would make journaling the most effective, as it would give you a way to vent everyday. You may want to write for a few minutes in the morning, or right before you go to lunch.

It may be helpful to journal before you go to bed, just to get a few things off your chest before you sleep. Many people find that journaling before sleeping helps them sleep better because instead of laying awake wrestling with things in your head, you just write until you are done thinking about whatever is on your mind. Regardless of when you choose to write in your journal, it will provide an outlet for your worries and emotions.

Once you've begun writing and have carried on the habit for some time, it's often a wise decision to go back from time to time and read what you've written about the past. Doing so is an effective way to isolate feelings or emotions that reoccur or discovering something about yourself that you didn't realize.

You might find that you focus on one aspect of your life or a given situation and thus discover the particular reasons, empowering you to do something about the situation or your emotions. The benefits of stress reduction from coming to terms with such things can be incredible.

The greatest advantage to writing is that you can pen down thoughts and feelings without having to expose yourself to others, something that many people find uncomfortable. You can write very private thoughts and allow the pressure of keeping them inside to ease.

Even if all you do is jot down notes on a napkin as opposed to keeping a detailed journal, the mental benefits of being able to let out the truth can help you relax and feel more at ease with yourself and the world in general.
About the Author
Mike Selvon's portal will expand your knowledge about how journaling helps to manage stress. Visit us and leave a comment at our stress management training blog where a free gift awaits you.
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