Seriously. That idiom about nothing being certain except death and taxes? That needs to be revised to: “Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and stress.” Amirite? Although, maybe it’s not true for everyone. After all, according to Gallup, 4% of the American population say they never feel stressed.Then again, perhaps 4% of the American population is engaged in a little bahooey. Ya think?
Stress is a sad fact of life but there are all kinds of things that you can do to manage it. Popular suggestions include:
But, because I’m here on behalf of SohoSpark I’m going to pitch journaling.
And I don't even have to engage in bahooey to do so. Honest. Writing in a blank notebook is a proven and effective method of managing stress.
No one knows for sure why journaling is an effective stress-buster. But there are several theories that make a lot of sense.
As an added bonus, journaling is highly accessible. While you should always seek professional care for mental health concerns, a journal is a terrific auxiliary tool. And it’s a tool that’s available to virtually everyone. If geography, income, or disability limits your access to professional health care, keep your journal on standby. And, if you have difficulty expressing yourself through the written word, turn to an art journal for the same benefits.
Just the act of unplugging, sifting through your thoughts, and brainstorming solutions provides immediate stress relief. But, there are a few things that you can do in your writing journal for extra benefit.
Whether you keep a journal specifically for gratitude or you incorporate gratitude entries into a personal diary, focusing on gratefulness is a great way to lighten the load of stress. As Yoni Cohen points out over at Happify Daily, studies show that “focusing on feelings of contentment and satisfaction naturally counters stress, and leaves you feeling much more grounded and able to deal with whatever life throws at you.”
As you practice gratitude, you’ll find yourself seeking the bright side of things. As well, you’ll be recording positive thoughts that you can look back at later. Both of these things set you up to increase happiness and decrease stress.
The way you journal about gratitude matters. I have a blog that can help you max out the benefits of gratitude journaling.
Tamara Rahoumi makes a great point over at Rise and Shine: stream of consciousness writing is quite similar to meditation. She explains: “when you journal this way, you give your mind a total break from thinking, let alone stressing, as it instead focuses all of its (literal) brain power on keeping the words flowing. In a sense, this kind of journaling allows you to get lost in the words.” Meditation alone is a proven stress reliever. The act of releasing your thoughts to the page offers stress release as well. Kind of a two-for-one deal. #TotallyWorthIt
Sometimes writing prompts can help you dig a little deeper or look at things from a new perspective. This can lead to the discovery of more effective solutions. If this sounds appealing, go ahead a google up “stress relief journal prompts.” There are lots of great suggestions out there; some of the ones that speak to me are:
Stress can get overwhelming at times, but journaling can help, especially if you use certain methods to max out the benefits.
If you already journal specifically for stress relief, what tips and tricks work best for you? If you don't, why don't you grab a journal that evokes calmness and serenity--like SohoSpark's Beach Chair Journal--and start? And then, drop me a comment below to let me know how it's going? I’d love to hear from you.
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In today’s busy world, it can be challenging to step back and take stock. More and more people are turning to journaling as a way of taking back control and really reflecting on life. A blank notebook can be used for many reasons, such as recording daily events, making plans, and tracking progress.
Check out our blog for tips on how to max out the effectiveness of your writing journal!
Of course you want more joy in your life. Who wouldn't?
Joy and gratitude are very much interconnected. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown notes: "Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice."
Journaling can help develop and enhance your gratitude practice - and so too it can help develop and enhance your joy. Here are six tips to help you get started.
How do you feel about new beginnings? The uncertainty of what's to come can be scary, exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming.
You can take control of each new beginning by setting intentions. Intentions are not goals. A goal is something that you work towards and check off your list when it’s done. Intentions are about your way of living. They're about who you want to be in this world and how you want to show up. Intentions are rooted in mindfulness and gratefulness.
Many people set intentions through meditation alone. But, you can absolutely set intentions in a blank notebook and there are several benefits to doing so.