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Carina Joseph – April 29, 2021
Stress: our body’s response to pressure, especially after experiencing something new, unexpected, or threatening. Managing stress? Personally not my strongest suit. I am pretty sure you, your family, your neighbors and myself have all researched ways to manage your stress in attempts to sort of achieve your own ‘inner comfort’; and I am also sure one solution you read was journaling.
When sharing your thoughts and unleashing your emotions through journaling, it has been scientifically proven to help you reduce stress as well as increase your emotional intelligence. Psychologists regularly recommend keeping a journal as it guides their patients away from obsessing over ongoing mental or physical issues they may be experiencing, and allows them to make sense of their inputs (emotional, external, psychological) that would usually be overwhelming.
Journaling does not necessarily mean narrating what happened that day, week, or month, but rather reflecting on the past. It’s you trying to figure things out and clearing your mind. Write about how mad you got from that one tweet or insta post, how irrational your boss is, or even how angry you were from stubbing your toe! Your past experiences, your childhood wounds you still carry, that one person that never treated you right… The sky’s the limit my friend; just learn to explore your own thoughts and know that there is no right or wrong. You will immediately feel relieved after giving yourself a few minutes a day, or even a week, to just talk to yourself.
One day you may be at such a great time in your life, or even a low, and you’ll pick up your journal, and realize “woah, I made it through all that, I can make it through this.” You’ll be able to reflect on your choices, decide what was good for your mental and physical health, and learn from any mistakes you have made. The point is to grow emotionally and connect with your inner self.
Here are some tips to guide you with journaling:
Choose a method:
You can opt for the basic handwritten journals or decide to move digital and type on your notes, or even record voice memos! A tip from me: going out and buying a pretty journal may motivate you more to write 😉
Always start small:
Do not overwhelm and oblige yourself to journal every single day. Whenever you have thoughts creeping on your mind that you cannot seem to get rid of, just try expressing them on your paper, phone, or whatever method suits you.
Track something in your journal:
You can use your journal to track habits or thoughts that you’d occasionally feel. This will help you get over the intimidation you might feel when you first start.
Journal wherever, whenever:
There is no specific time where you have to get up and journal. Whatever suits you best my friend! If you feel lost, you can start by using your journal as a morning to-do list, and write mini notes throughout the day. Or you can reflect in the evening after your day is over.
And, most importantly, THERE ARE NO RULES!
Feel free, use your journaling time as you please. You really cannot be journaling incorrectly as long as you are letting it out. I know starting off is always the hardest part: staring at the blank page in front of you is quite intimidating… Just relieve yourself from straining thoughts and you will notice the words just coming out, and with time you will notice the advantages of the whole process.
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