Why Is Journaling A Form Of Stress Relief?

JournalsQuite often when you are under a lot of stress, or going through a traumatic situation, such as facing surgery for any reason, you may be advised to “write it down”.  This is therapeutic writing, or journaling as it is called, and it can really help you to get the the root cause of your stress and help you work through it. 

Like all forms of stress relief, though, it is not for everyone, but most individuals can benefit from taking time to write out their thoughts and deep feelings if they are willing to try.  And learning how this method of stress reduction can benefit you is one of the tricks to adopting it into your arsenal of stress relief tools. 

I first came across journaling after emergency major back surgery. Afterwards I was left relearning how to sit, stand and walk, knowing that I could have been paralysed had it not been successful. Journaling helped me because it acted as someone I could talk to – a close friend who wouldn’t judge or interrupt me. I used my notebook to pour out my fears, my frustrations and my struggles. I recorded what I’d found hard that day and what I’d found a bit easier. And I wrote down all the painkillers and antibiotics I had to take so that I could see the progress I was making as the dosage reduced. I can look back at the notebook I filled at the time and realise just how far I’ve come.

And all this is exactly why journaling works.  It promotes mental healing.

When you start to journal you begin by writing about all the negative stuff in your life – the why? why me? sort of things.  And as you write, you tap into all the negative energies and thoughts that you have lodged inside you – things that would grow and eat away at you if left alone – and you give vent to them.  This helps you to release all your mental anguish into the past, move through your negativity and help you to start to think more positively.

Journaling leads to physical healing too.  As you start to think more positively, your stress levels begin to reduce.  Lower stress levels cause elevated blood pressures to fall back to normal levels.  This helps to  improve heart health and also has a beneficial impact on the immune system.  In the long term this can lead to a significant improvement in general health and energy levels. 

And these days it couldn’t be easier.  You could of course do it the old fashioed way with pen and a notebook, like I did all those years ago, but most people seem to be online now and so you could set up a blog and write directly into that.  Or you could Facebook your progress, or type it into a Word file for your own private benefit. 

However you choose to do it, people who journal have access to a greater range of stress relief benefits than those who do not.  It is one of the easiest forms of stress relief I know.  Reading and writing are learnt together so the very fact you are reading this now means you have the ability to journal.  So if you don’t already, why not try journaling the next time you feel you just cannot cope.

Do you journal?  Please feel free to leave a comment below with your experiences.

Is It More Stressful To Tell The Truth Or Lie?

It sickens and saddens me that some people still prefer to tell a bare faced lie rather than tell the truth, even when there is no consequence either way.  I can sort of understand the action in the case of children, who sometimes assume they’re in trouble whenever a grown up asks them what they’re doing and take “evasive action” – but when the behavior is actually that of a playground parent, I can’t help but wonder what moral code they’re using to bring up their child.

It was a simple enough question I asked an acquaintance/mother in the playground.  Rather than answer it truthfully though, she clearly went out of her way to give an overly elaborate answer, which I knew immediately was untrue because of other information I had.  The thing is, I wasn’t bothered one way or the other what the answer was, so why did she deliberately lie?

I knew immediately she’d lied to me.  And because the atmosphere changed between us, she knew I’d caught her in a lie too.  The conversation ended and I was left wondering why she’d done it.

It preyed on my mind and I felt stressed all day as a consequence.

I hate lies. Oh I admit sometimes they’re necessary – like white lies.  And I read somewhere that the average child has been lied to 500 times by their parents by the time they start school.  But unnecessary lies – the ones where the truth is as inocuous anyway.  Why lie?

I don’t know why she did it and it’s still on my mind.