Journal Your Way Out Of Stress

Ever wondered why putting our feelings into words, whether talking with a therapist or friend or writing in a journal, helps us to feel better? Psychologists know why it makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense. A study, which appeared in the issue of the journal ‘Psychological Science’, showed that while the amygdala was less active when an individual labelled an intense feeling, another region of the brain was more active – the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, located behind the forehead and eyes and associated with thinking in words about emotional experiences. It has also been implicated in inhibiting behaviour and processing emotions, having a therapeutic effect.

You can use journaling to help deal with stressors you don’t feel comfortable sharing with others. One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy outlet in which to express yourself. That is why writing a diary, or journaling regularly, makes it a useful tool to manage your emotional health.

Psychologists have shown that journaling enhances immune function and can alter the course of chronic conditions that have their basis in stress. Writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly, improves cognitive functioning, strengthens the immune system, preventing and counteracting many of the negative effects of stress. A study, published in the journal ‘Behavior Modification’, showed that expressive writing was associated with significant decreases in generalised anxiety disorder symptoms, including worry and depression.

Journaling also improves your mood by

  • Helping you prioritise concerns
  • Noting down and tracking the possible triggers
  • Giving you an opportunity for positive self-talk
  • Creating order out of chaos of your life.

Take some time for yourself in a quiet, comfortable environment where you won’t be interrupted. Depending on your personality, you may want to have a certain time each day or each week set aside for journaling. Or you may just want to write whenever you feel like it. Don’t hold back on the content or the tone. Get it all out.

It is wise to keep your journal to yourself. If you write thinking you may share it, you may be tempted to write for that person. A journal is about you and your emotional wellness.

Comments are closed.