There is no doubt that life can be stressful. Busy careers and hectic home lives, not to mention all the other chaos that seems to be happening globally, can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Sometimes all we need is a way to to lift some of this weight from our shoulders. The good news is that journaling can help.
What is journaling?
Over the past few decades, journaling has grown in popularity. It provides a unique form of self-counseling that allows us to put all of our emotions into words and write them down to reflect upon. They can also help us record our memories or plan out our days. Journals can be handwritten in a book or created electronically using a word processor or a specialized app, and there are many different formats they can take. The traditional diary format is popular, as is a gratitude journal, a bullet form journal, or an abstract or artistic thought flow journal.
What are the benefits of journaling?
Sometimes all it takes to relieve our stress and improve our mood is the opportunity to let out all of the emotions that we have been holding inside. While hiring a therapist is a great way to accomplish this, it can be expensive, time-consuming and not everyone is ready for, on needs to, take that step. In fact, for some people, journaling can offer many of the same benefits and may be more suitable for their current situation. In particular, journaling can help you to:
Sort out complex thoughts and emotions
When we are exposed to stress and anxiety, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Thoughts and feelings can race through our heads faster than we can process them and by writing them down in a journal, we can sort out these thoughts and can be better able to put what we are experiencing or perceiving into perspective.
Gain a better understanding of what you’re feeling
sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what we’re feeling about a particular situation. Emotions can be difficult to decipher and can change in an instant. Sometimes, all it takes to sort out our complex emotions is a few minutes of self-reflection, and writing it all out in a journal can help us do that. It allows us to put everything that we are thinking into words that we can better comprehend.
Make important decisions
Making decisions, especially about important matters, can be extremely difficult. Journaling can help by giving you a consistent way to identify the pros and cons about your current situation can help you better understand which is the better choice for you.
Accelerate your healing process
If you are suffering from an injury or recovering from surgery, writing about your experience in a journal can actually help you overcome your illness Studies have shown that journaling can help decrease the level of stress hormones that your body produces, boosting up your immunity and aiding in recovery. It has also been shown to reduce patients' pain levels and keep their moods lifted in the face of physical challenges.
Clear your mind before going to sleep
For many of us, when we want our mind to be the calmest, it actually starts racing at top speed – right when we’re trying to fall asleep. We begin thinking about all our problems or going through our seemingly never-ending to-do lists. Anxiety levels can often rise at night, leading to sleep disorders and increased fatigue during the day. Writing in a journal before bed can help you clear your mind so that when you turn out the lights, you feel a greater sense of calm which allows sleep to come more easily.
Learn from your mistakes
When we write down what we’re going through, we create a record of our thoughts which we can review and reflect upon at a later date. This gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and can help us avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Focus on the positive aspects of your life
There’s no shortage of negativity in the world and even a few moments spent watching the evening news or scanning social media each night can create a negative perspective on life and increase stress. However, writing in a daily gratitude journal is an excellent way to counter this effect by reminding you of all the positive things you have in your life and of everything that you have to be grateful for.
Feel more grounded and conscious in the present moment
For many people, their leading cause of stress and anxiety comes from fear of the future. The uncertainty of what may happen next and what outcomes their choices may have on their lives. Journaling can help to alleviate these feelings by acting as a mindfulness practice. It forces you to be present in the current moment and to keep your focus on how you are feeling right now, without any thoughts or fears of the future. For many, this can be extremely calming and therapeutic.
There’s a very good reason why journaling has begun to soar in popularity and is even being used by many psychologists and therapists in their treatment plans – it’s incredibly effective at alleviating anxiety and reducing stress. Journaling is an entirely natural approach to wellness that doesn't require any medication or invasive treatment methods and those who journal regularly experience a significant increase in their mental health.
If you’ve been experience any of the physical aches and pains that a stress-filled life can cause or if you need to speak to a Psychotherapist, Physiomed can help. Contact us today and let us show you why, at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.