Do you keep a journal or a diary? If not, you may want to start one up.
I kept one all the way through my high school and university years and found it very therapeutic when dealing with adolescent and early-adult issues. But somehow, once I started working full time, I got out of the habit and just stopped writing.
I recently started up again and what a revelation that’s been!
There is nothing like putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper (or e-paper, in my case) to allow you to think things through clearly and put everything into perspective.
I haven’t yet gotten back into the habit of writing every day, but I’m certainly taking 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there to catalogue what’s been happening in my life.
Just seeing the words in front of me or simply writing them down helps me to work out any issues without the angst that usually occurs when I mull things over in my head. I also find I’m sleeping better at night because my problems have been handled during the day, so my nights are my own again.
Somehow, between my brain and my hands, answers appear like magic and calm replaces stress apparently without any effort on my part.
Right now, I am using a program called Day One on my iPad. This is a dedicated diary program with lots of bells and whistles for people who are too geeky for their shirts.
It is with me everywhere I go, so, whenever the ‘mood’ hits me, I pull out the iPad and ‘write’ it down. And even though this is an excellent alternative to pen and paper, if you like using the latter, that is fantastic and also very portable.
However you decide to do it, I really do recommend giving this a try. If after 2 or 3 weeks of journaling you don’t find that it is reducing your stress levels or helping you think clearer, then maybe it’s not for you. But, and this is a big but, you’ll never know unless you’ve tried!
By Wynn Grossman,
For the Stress to Strength team