Journal Away Your Stress
Studies show that when people write about stressful situations—and they include the emotional component—their physical health improves.
The studies’ control group that wrote about troubling situations, but did not include the emotional component, did not show health improvements.
When I think of journaling, I’m not thinking that you should feel forced to write in a journal about daily events. I think of a journal as a repository for your thoughts and feelings. It’s a place for you to write about personal subjects when you feel like it.
As one of my clients recently described the benefit she found from journaling about a troubling situation that was stressing her out: “I felt so much better after I journaled about my feelings. It’s like it got the anxiety out of me instead of just having it churning in my head.”
A journal could be a password protected document on a computer, a note on your phone, or it could be a paper journal. Whatever works for you.
The emotion in your stress and anxiety
I think of stress and anxiety as the same thing with different labels.
There is a fear component to both.
You might fear losing your job, or not getting somewhere on time, or the dishes not getting “clean” if they aren’t put in the dishwasher “right.”
The fear may also be connected to another emotion.
You may be feeling lonely and the loneliness may be connected to a fear that you’ll always be alone, or that you aren’t good enough for a partner to want to be with you, or that you are a failure at relationships, or all the above.
Getting clear about what you are feeling and why, and writing about it, can help you understand what is behind your stress and anxiety and potentially relieve your stress and anxiety.
Exciting new project
I am very excited to be working on a new project: publishing a series of journals.
The project was stimulated in part by me writing this blog post and the other posts in my month long quest to publish 20 posts about anxiety this month. (Today is the last day of the month and this is post 20 -- yeah! I did it!)
They'll have background education and areas for writing with prompts to get your mind making connections to help you process your stuff.
The first in the series is almost ready to go to print.
It's based off of a journaling structure I created and have been passing on to my clients for years. And includes a lot of what I teach people everyday about emotions and how to use them to make your life better.
The working title is, Learn, Let Go & Lighten Up: A Journal for Processing Your Emotional Baggage.
- Ann Silvers