07 March 2017

How to Journal to Ease Stress

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We all experience everyday stressors from busy schedules to managing a household. We may work outside the house and can’t seem to juggle our demands or perhaps we stay at home and take care of our family. If you are having a hard time handling your day to day routine, it may be time to think about an outlet for stress relief. Journaling has long been regarded as a good way to track your mental well-being including stress. Here are a few tips to get started to use a journal to help with your stress.


Create a Gratitude Journal. A simple way to dive into journaling is to make a gratitude journal. It is not a diary or a journal where you write down everything that you do everyday. Instead, it is a place for you to focus on all the good in your life right now. Whether you buy a dedicated gratitude journal or use a spiral notebook to write down a few things you are grateful for everyday, you should write in it daily. Even on your absolute worst day, there is always something to be grateful for.
Some of you have expressed an interest in writing A Sentence A Day journal, like I have the past eight months.  You can see examples of those here: MayJuneJuly,  AugustSeptember,  October NovemberDecemberJanuary 2017 and February 2017.


Write about your day. Another way to use a journal for stress relief is to make a daily diary. This can be done digitally or with pen and paper. Many people feel as if they bottle up their emotions, so taking those thoughts and putting them out into the world (even privately) can be a big help. Write in this journal as often as necessary. An app, like Day One, can help you as well. Day One is $4.99 but is still a lot less than a paper journal, plus you can carry it with you and write anytime. You can set calendar alerts to remind yourself to journal as well.


Another strategy for this is to “brain dump.” This basically means to dump everything out of your brain on paper. You can do this on your phone (try your Notes app!) or on paper. I do this every night before going to bed. This strategy alone helps relieve my stress.


Take your journal with you everywhere. Having a rough day? Write it out! When you have a small pocket sized journal, you can take it with you wherever you go. Perhaps you are at work and need to jot down something positive to pull you out of a funk. Or, you’re waiting at an appointment and need to get your thoughts on paper. It can be therapeutic to have something with you to track your feelings.

Moleskin has a variety of pocket sized journals that are PERFECT for on the go! Moleskins are my favorite journals. You can bullet journal with them, draw or write. They come in a multitude of sizes, as well.

When you take the time to ease your mind through journaling, you can find relief from stress each and every day. Do you journal? Share your ideas, suggestions, and hacks with us!

21 comments :

  1. For years I wrote in a journal every day of life. A few years ago I went through and destroyed all those journals because I realized I did not want my kids to read about the pain and/or struggles that I had gone through. I was afraid they would not remember the happy, loving mom if they read some of the things that I endured over the years. It WAS very therapeutic to me at the time to write things out though.
    This is a great post!! xo Diana

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  2. It's funny you mention it because I have been thinking a lot about journaling lately. Especially since my mom passed - I thought it would be nice for my boys to have someday when I am gone.

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  3. I never thought that a journal could help me with my stress, I have to start doing in it. thanks! :D

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  4. I think journaling is so beneficial, and the best part about it is that it can be beneficial for completely different reasons for different people. One of my favorite forms of journaling that a lot of people haven't caught on to is train of thought writing. Set a time, and just write as much as you can without thinking about it or planning it. It can often sound like nonsense but it can also be really revealing and stress-relieving.

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  5. I used to journal all the time, but haven't done it in a while. I will probably start back though because it was an excellent release.

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  6. I know a lot of people use journaling to relieve stress. I really like the idea of a brain dump, I think that would be a great stress reliever, especially as you say, right before bed.

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  7. I feel like my blog is my journal at times...which is also a great stress reliever. I love the idea to have a gratitude journal alone though...the positively would be much needed every day and a great way to reflect on your day! :)

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  8. I remember in my teen years journaling and how much stress it lifted. This is a great reminder. I'd love to get back into it again. I have been pretty stressed as of late! - Jeanine

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  9. I wrote a similar post a couple of years ago. Until this day I do a gratitude journal. I try to write at least one sentence per day on why I feel grateful. Thanks for your helpful tips too!

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  10. Before blogging there was the mighty journal for many of us. I still journal its nothing like having your feelings written down.

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  11. I haven't done it but I know it would be a good thing for me to start journaling.

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  12. I like to journal my ideas, so I carry around a notebook at all times and write things down when I think of them. If only I could implement half the ideas!

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  13. Journaling has always been my go to thing for stress. It always helps me to get it all out so I can feel at peace.

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  14. Great tips! I've maintained a private family blog for nine years and love being able to share there.

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  15. Part of the reason I started a blog way back when was because I have this need to process through writing. I love all of my journals, and probably have too many of them, but they are definitely a welcome addition to my life and help me get through so many difficulties!

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  16. Some fab ideas! I have a happiness planner and find that really helps. Like you say, even when you have terrible days, there is something to be grateful for. I find brain dumps are great through as I have so many thoughts whizzing through my head all the time!

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  17. I carry a journal with me everywhere. Sometimes I just scribble a few thoughts in it randomly, but it's helpful to get things off my chest.

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  18. I've never journaled too much, but I think I need to start!

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  19. Such important advice, Terri. I've been journaling off and on since I was nine, and one of the things I appreciate most about it (beyond the obvious immediate benefits) is the chance it gives me to go back and read over my life, and see the patterns and growth that have happened.

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  20. This is so important! I think that writing down feelings and thoughts helps as you don't put that negativity out in other parts of your life.

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  21. I need to try this. Thanks for sharing and making this so simple!

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