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Life can throw curveballs at you every day. A crucial part of physical and mental health is managing stress and coping with the highs and lows of life. Writing down your thoughts or journaling is a useful stress management tool that can help you to feel more in control.

What are the Potential Benefits of Journaling for Stress?


Journalising is a way to jot down and organize your thoughts and feelings. Clear your mind, note down your feelings, and start to gain a new perspective. While it sounds simple, journaling has been studied as a coping method for several mental health conditions. Here are some of the potential benefits of journaling for stress.

Manage Anxiety


Stress, anxiety, and mental health are all intertangled. Stress is a common trigger for anxiety; both are emotional responses that you can feel deeply. One study found that emotional-focused journaling can help decrease anxiety, symptoms of depression, and distress. Researchers concluded that the well-being of patients with medical conditions improved after just one month of journaling.

Reduce Stress


Journaling can be an effective, low-cost tool for stress relief. You only need a pen and paper to get started. Writing down how you feel can help you to understand your emotions and self-reflect. It’s also useful for solving problems and thinking about a situation in a new light. It may also be helpful to write down any negative thoughts and feelings as a form of emotional release.

Improve Mood


One study found that people who journaled about hard times like a difficult relationship or previous trauma did experience an improvement in mood after three weeks of journaling. Another way journaling may help to improve mood is by jotting down what you’re grateful for. A gratitude journal can make you focus on the positive you have in your life. When you feel down, you can flick through all the things you are grateful for in your life.

Journaling: A Therapeutic Approach to Alzheimer’s Treatment


While journaling can help clarify thoughts and understand your feelings, it could have another purpose for those with Alzheimer’s Disease. Seniors with Alzheimer’s can use journaling as a way to maintain and remember their identity and day-to-day life. Also, it can be a useful way to express your feelings.


Writing can also help to keep your brain stimulated for longer. Some research suggests that keeping your brain engaged with activities like writing, reading, or playing games could delay dementia and related conditions for several years.

How to Start Journaling


You can start journaling for stress in a few easy steps. First, decide where you want to write down your thoughts. Next, set aside sometime in your day to journal. This doesn’t need to be long. It could be five minutes at lunchtime or just before bed to clear your head. Keep it simple. You don’t need to write a ton of paragraphs; it could be a sentence or two. Over time, you can build a habit where it feels almost second nature to block out your journaling time for the day.


If you’re not sure where to start, try looking for a guided journal that will give you prompts and ideas each day. It’s about finding something that works for you and your routine so that it reduces any barrier to journaling and encourages consistency.


Journaling can form part of your stress management toolkit. Things like regular exercise and quality sleep also play a role in lowering stress and supporting mental health. Meditation, yoga, and connecting with others are useful for keeping your mind clear and focused. When stress is left unchecked, it can significantly impact your mental and physical health. Finding ways to manage stress and express how you feel can help you feel more in control and centered.


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