Not everyone is comfortable with some of the life-balance and mental health tactics that are common, such as personal counseling, joining a volunteer group, participating in an athletic activity, or even being more assertive with pushy family members or co-workers.
Stressors, for many, are private. That’s okay, too. There’s a solution for everyone – even those who prefer to keep the things that are bothering them to themselves without letting the whole world in on their secret.
One way for you to do this is by journaling your stress away. Research has proven that people who journaled for two weeks felt relief from the stress they felt on a regular basis. The great thing about journaling is that there’s no one way that’s best – it’s just whatever works for you!
Some people like to write a letter to themselves, or to the people who they’re having issues with. Therapists use this tactic whenever someone is having trouble letting go of a traumatic event from their past.
Or, you might write abstract thoughts down in your journal – you don’t have to have perfect grammar and spelling. You can even create art in your journal, picking an emotion and drawing it as you focus on releasing all of that negative energy onto the paper instead of bottling it up inside.
When you journal, it can sometimes help you see a different side to things that you might not have been open to during moments of extreme stress, such as during the middle of an argument.
You don’t have to have a real diary to journal your thoughts down – you can start a Word document on your computer and type your thoughts in. Feel free to delete it at the end of each day if you’re concerned about someone else finding it.
Or, go to your local bookstore and pick out a journal that fits your personality. Invest in a better pen than the one you normally use, and use your journaling time as a true source of relaxation, turning off all electronics and distractions so that you can focus on your true feelings.
If you find it hard to get started, pick a situation that upset you and in your own words, write down what happened. But don’t stop there. Continue on by trying to find a lesson in what occurred or how you think you can handle it better next time. Try to write a little bit each day, even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. The more you write, the more stress-relieving benefits you’ll gain!