Stress affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. For some people, it’s more of a problem with their genetics and for some, it’s due to their situation. Whatever reason you are stressed, congratulations for recognizing it and wanting to do something about it.
Use some or all of these seven suggestions to combat your stress by journaling.
Write Daily for 5 to 15 Minutes
The important thing about journaling is that you need to do it daily for it to really work. When you are stressed, you may not feel like slowing down and spending time with yourself, but it will be worth it. It takes a lot of writing and insight to figure out why you’re dealing with stress and how to overcome it.
Write about Your Worries
Recognize the stress and write about it. The first step to mastering self-care is to recognize your worries and name them.
Go straight to the problem and write about what is bothering you. Describe it from every single angle you can come up with. The more descriptive, the better. You may need to go back to the first time you felt this feeling regarding this topic so that you can get to the bottom of it.
Describe What’s Happening Now
Don't focus on the past and what others have done. Put it out of your mind. It doesn't matter what you did, what someone else did, or what can be done in the future.
Write about precisely what is happening right now and where you stand with the issue causing your stress. If it's generalized stress, try to make a list of things that might be contributing.
Document the Worst That Can Happen
As you look at the situation, one thing that often causes stress is the unknown, or the "worst thing" that you think can happen. Describe this worst thing but make it realistic. For example, don’t make up something like an airplane falling on your wedding party. That isn’t realistic. However, bad weather, rude in-laws, and other issues may be.
Document the Best That Can Happen
Get serious by thinking about and writing about the very best (realistic) outcome of the situation you’re stressing about. Include potential steps and tactics to achieve this best-case scenario so that you can see it become reality. If you are having a hard time thinking positively, reach out to friends or family that can see it clearly.
Document What Is Really Happening
As you are writing, be very careful to be realistic and honest above all else. Other than when you imagine the best and worst, ensure that you are also documenting the reality of what is happening to you right now. That way, you can narrow down identifying the stress-inducing situation.
Write a Counter-Argument to Yourself
A really good way to overcome some stress about a situation is to argue with yourself. First, tell your story as a letter to yourself about what is happening. Then write a letter back to yourself in answer, arguing all the negativity and turning it into positivity. If your best friend wrote that, what would you say back?
It’s surprising that writing can accomplish so much, but if you go into journaling for self-care to help with stress, have the right attitude and a goal in mind, you can achieve a lot.
The important thing is that you need to be honest with yourself and take actions to care for yourself so that you can find out the true causes of your stress.