The World Health Organisation defines stress as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives.
Journaling can be a simple tool to incorporate into your day, it involves the practice of writing in a diary or notebook to explore thoughts, feelings and life events. This practice can help stop the negative cycle of worry, fear, and escalating anxiety.
There are so many benefits but here are a few to motivate you to continue reading and adapt this habit today:
Helps you prioritise problems, fears, and concerns
Helps you process emotions and gain perspective.
Provides an opportunity for positive self-talk
Identifies negative thoughts and behaviours
It is a form of self-care and very cost effective, a therapeutic hobby
Keeping a journal helps you create order when your world feels like it’s in chaos.
You get to know yourself on a deeper level
Can be viewed as personal relaxation time. It's a time when you can de-stress and wind down.
Time away from screens
It's liberating getting the thoughts and feelings ruminating around your head out and down on paper
Writing about your stress helps you come to terms with it and find solutions.
How to start?
It’s simple, pick up a pen and start writing.
There are different styles of journaling, try them all and see which ones suit you best
1. Emotional Release.
Ask yourself; ‘How do I feel? & Why?’
Freely write your answer. Practice self-compassion by consciously adapting an inner voice that sounds like; "It's okay to feel stressed" or "I am doing my best." This can help reduce self-criticism.
Your entries don’t need to be an essay or in any way profound, just a few lines or a paragraph.
You can write in the morning & or evening or throughout the day as emotions come up.
Write in a place that's relaxing and soothing, maybe with a cup of tea. Look forward to your journaling time. And know that you're doing something good for your mind and body.
2. Daily Diary.
Similar to Emotional Release this is free writing exercise, it typically takes place in the evening and is in the form of a diary entry, it involves a report on the day, what happened, how you felt today, how you behaved, what you noticed, learned and anything else that came up for you. It is an extremely healthy habit to adapt. It helps you process each day by giving yourself the mental space you need to decompress, reflect, and reset.
Both Daily Diary & Emotional Release styles can help you control your focus and improve problem-solving, which are essential for successful stress management. Think of it like taking a step back, looking at your life from a unique perspective. With hindsight often comes wisdom and you are taking the time to listen to it.
You are getting your thoughts, feelings, and fears on paper, think of it like emptying the bin each day and sorting it into rubbish and recycling!
We designed The Journal Prompted to help you get started on your free writing and release your inner world onto paper, it includes journaling prompt cards, created by a Qualified Life & Wellness Coach with a beautiful, lined journal with a tie close for privacy. Everything you need to get started.
3. Gratitude Journaling
There is so much power in consciously seeing and recoding the good things in your life. This can be in a guided, gratitude specific journal like The Head Plan Gratitude Journal with sections for your morning and evening entries or it can be in a blank notebook where you freely write down what you are grateful for. Gratitude expression can be big or small, long, or short, it is the act of saying thank you for anything good in your day.
4. Guided journaling
This can be useful for someone who like more structure or doesn’t know where to start. The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal is guided throughout with daily prompts and structure for setting your goals. It brings you on a 6 – month journaling experience that will change your life. Don't take it from us, read the reviews HERE.
Journaling is a non - judgment zone for personal expression. Write freely, without concern for grammar or spellings. This space is for your eyes only, keep it somewhere private and out of reach for others – like under your mattress!