Journaling and the Art of Stress Maintenance (Plus Writing Prompts)
By Sara Friedl-Putnam, Guest Author
Ever feel like life has thrown just one too many curve balls your way? Ever try journaling as a way to cope? If not, why not take a chance and give it a shot? Not so long ago I took that chance. Journaling, I quickly discovered, allows me to release stress by exploring the very roots of that stress and pouring them out on paper. And it’s inexpensive to boot—all you need is a pad of paper, a trusty pen, and a bit of “me time.” When I journal, I write from the gut and do not worry about where that next word will lead. Misplaced modifiers? Who cares! Split infinitives? Bring ’em on! Run-on sentences and (gasp!) misspelled words? They are not only acceptable but also positively glorious. Allow yourself the time to tap into your innermost thoughts. Feel your emotions, and find inner peace through pen and paper. When you journal, set no rules and establish no boundaries. Give yourself the permission to dig deep and express those emotions—fear, frustration, you name it—that feed the stress that everyday life is bound to bring. Still unconvinced of the myriad benefits journaling can bring? Just do a quick Google search. You’ll find reams of research to suggest that journaling is an effective stress-relief exercise that promises both emotional and physical benefits. So go ahead, take a chance, and make the time to give journaling a shot. No one needs to see it but you. The odds are good you’ll feel better equipped to handle whatever curve balls life may throw your way.
Interested in journaling as a way to process your stress, but experiencing a bit of writer’s block? Below are a few questions to help you move (well) beyond that first word: