Journaling about your feelings or even about events happening in your daily life can help reduce stress and calm an overthinking mind. Putting emotions and thoughts into words can make life feel a little more manageable, and writing can be a helpful practice even when you don’t feel sad, angry, or upset. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: journaling is a safe and private space for you to express yourself however you want to. Grab a pencil and paper and get started!
Here are some interesting facts about journaling:
- Journaling can help us express emotion. It’s always better to name hard feelings than to push them down or lock them up. Naming hard feelings actually makes them smaller, not bigger. This also has a scientific term, called affect labeling.
- Journaling can help us recognize patterns: are there experiences or people that are consistently making us feel stressed or anxious? Or happy?!
- Journaling can be a place where we don’t worry about being perfect or making mistakes but we allow ourselves to let our thoughts flow freely -- which may be hard in other parts of our lives.
- Journaling can help us feel like we have some control over our emotions, not just them having control over us.
- Journaling can make setting and achieving goals feel less overwhelming, by writing down what we want to do and steps we are taking along the way.
Journaling is an individual process, and how often or how long you write for is totally up to you. If you don’t know where to start, here are some prompts you can try:
- I am feeling ___, because ___.
- What would you really say to the person who hurt or is bothering you? Let it all out and then crumple and rip it up.
- List three things you love about yourself.
- List three things you’re grateful for.
- What is your happiest memory?
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