• The Positive Professional

Quick Stress Buster: Start Journaling

I’m back with another quick stress buster idea for you today. Like most of them, this is something you should try today and then if it works for you start incorporating into your daily habits. Today’s tip is to start journaling.

It doesn’t matter if you go old-school with a notebook and a pen, use a word document on your computer, or start a private blog. The basic idea behind it is the same. The only difference is the tools and mediums you use to collect and organize your thoughts.

That’s really what journaling is all about. It’s about getting your thoughts on paper and in the process working through them and organizing them. Not only does it help you work through anything that’s happened during your busy day, it’s also quite cathartic and helps you distress. As an added bonus, you get to go back through your journal later on and see how far you’ve come.

There are many different ways to journal. What style and medium you choose is entirely up to you. Pick a few of them and give them a try. Find one you enjoy and that you can stick with for at least a few weeks. It’s during those longer stretches of time when you’re journaling regularly that you’ll see and experience the full benefits of it when it comes to helping you relax and reduce stress.

Here are some ideas to get you started. Grab any old notebook you have laying around and a pen and start writing down one or two sentences about your day. If you feel more motivated by a pretty journal and a nice pen, go out and get them, by all means. If you find typing easier than handwriting, fire up your word processor. Or go all 21st century and start a free blog on Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. You can even use Instagram as a microblogging platform and start with a picture followed by a few sentences about your day. All three of these can be set to private so you don’t have to worry about just anyone online being able to read your posts.

It’s also a good idea to figure out what time works best for you to make sure your journal regularly. Some people prefer to do it first thing in the morning, others at night before bed. Of course anytime in-between works just as well. There is no right or wrong time to journal.

That being said, while you’re getting in the habit of journaling, it’s a good idea to stick to the same time each day until it is part of your daily routine. After that, you can be a little more flexible.

How much or how little you write is also up to you. Start with short entries, or even give bullet journaling a try. You don’t want to set the bar so high in the beginning that the thought of having to sit down and write an 800-word journal entry each day stresses you out. Always remember, this is supposed to help you relax and distress, not add to it.

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