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How Putting Pen to Paper (or Fingers to Keyboard) Can Help Manage Stress for Better Health

I stress like anyone else.

Sometimes I have to go down a downward spiral before I can even think about actually dealing with my stress. And that is OK! But when I come up for a breath of fresh air, I tend to go to journaling to work through my stress and look for a solution.

Case in point — I have a big project at work and I just can’t figure it out! It has taken up so much space in my mind and it honestly has been driving me crazy.

Finally, I sat down and just started free writing about the stress of it all.

Then ding, ding ding… a potential solution arose from my previously cluttered and stressed mind. It was a damn breath of fresh air after days of stressing about it.

A few ways stress impacts our health:

Stress is a fact of life. We’re going to be stressed from time to time. It’s just part of being human. But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage our bodies and minds in a number of ways.

~Stress can cause us to overeat, which leads to obesity and other health problems.

~Stress can affect our sleep patterns, causing us to sleep less and for shorter periods of time. This can lead to low mood, fatigue, poor memory, and lower productivity levels. If I don’t get enough sleep my mood suffers first and foremost.

~Stress can make it difficult for us to concentrate on tasks that require focus or attention.

Graphic about how jounraling can help with stress -created by Melissa Scala in Canva

Created by Melissa Scala in Canva

Journaling can be a helpful tool for managing stress because it allows you to express your thoughts and feelings on paper (or screen). You do you, and journal on whatever tool you desire. I use both pen to paper and fingers to keyboard.

Writing your thoughts can be a cathartic and therapeutic experience that helps you process your emotions and gain perspective on your stressors.

Here are a few ways that journaling can help you deal with stress:

  1. It can help you to clarify your thoughts. Writing down your thoughts can help you organize your ideas and better understand your emotions. This can make it easier to identify the root causes of your stress and come up with strategies or solutions.
  2. It helps you release your emotions. Journaling can be a safe place for pent-up emotions, allowing you to express yourself without fear of judgment. This is a very important aspect of journaling — to be able to open up those emotions freely.
  3. It promotes self-reflection. Regular journaling can help you gain insight into your thoughts and behaviors, allowing you to identify patterns that may be contributing to your stress in the first place.
  4. It can serve as a source of support. Reading back over your journal entries can be a reminder of your strengths and wins. We all need this sense of encouragement and support during times of stress.

Journaling can be an incredibly useful tool for managing stress by helping you clarify your thoughts, release emotions, and gain self-awareness.

What are your thoughts on journaling as a tool to manage stress?