Stress is the great equalizer – but not in a good way. You don’t want to know that everyone deals with stress in the same way. Stress is bad for your physical and mental health, disrupts your sleep, can lead to emotional eating, and so many more issues. If you have been dealing with a lot of stress, journaling can be an amazing tool.
Do a Big Brain Dump
If you are using your journal to reduce stress, try starting out with a brain dump. This is when you release all of those worries, thoughts, and feelings onto the paper. It can be easy to hold a lot of information in your head without realizing it. If you find that you get spacey, forget your train of thought, or miss appointments and events, it is probably because you are mentally trying to hold on to too much information. Get it all written down, make sense of it, use the brain dump to come up with to-do lists and really flesh out your ideas.
Get Rid of Your Negative Thoughts
Everyone has negative thoughts, and nobody is going to be positive 100 percent of the time. But, you might find that when you have too many of them, they overshadow all of your light and positivity. By writing them down in your journal, it becomes a way to release them and take on less of the burden of these thoughts. It’s okay if they sound harsh – just write them out and be as honest as you can. Even if the words seem hate-filled or like you are just ranting and venting about everything. This is necessary for you to make sense of it and be able to move forward to a more positive place.
Focus on Gratitude to Improve Your Mood
Every day, find a way to express gratitude in your journal. Try to come up with at least 3 things to be grateful for each day. Remember gratitude isn’t always for big things in your life. It can be someone holding a door open for you, getting a response to a text you sent, your home or your morning cup of coffee, unconditional love from your pets or the fact that you found something at a store you had been looking for. You are constantly surrounded by things to be grateful for, and when you realize that, your mood is much better and it can reduce a lot of unnecessary stress.
Find Triggers for Your Stress, and Think of Solutions
When you are journaling about your emotions and things you are going through, it can help you to figure out what is causing your stress the most. Many times, we feel that emotional stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed, but aren’t always aware of where it is coming from. Journaling, doing brain dumps, and being completely honest with yourself can reveal a lot.