How to Journal to Ease Stress

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!
Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes

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