purple flowers on top of a journal with a purple pen, giving a sense of journaling for stress relief.

Journaling For Rest

There have been too many times when I felt alone within my own problems and although I went to God in these times when I was done praying or reading I wanted to capture my thoughts and emotions.  

So  I wrote.  

I wrote and wrote and wrote.  Sometimes I wrote for 2 or 3 hours at a time.  It was during those times that I experienced many of the benefits of journaling.  

However, the main benefit of journaling, the entirety of why I journal is rest.

Why does writing in a journal help with stress?

Journaling for stress relief is an effective method for reducing anxiety and increasing mental health.  It can help with stress because it provides a way to process and release emotions and thoughts. The act of writing can clarify your thoughts and feelings, which can give you a better understanding of the stress event.  It can also help you target the reasons you are stressed by the event in the first place.   

So in this way, journaling gives you a truer self-awareness. When you are engaged with yourself and the situation (outside of the direct stress triggers) you can self-learn better healing strategies.  It’s almost like a therapy session in your own home (almost).

Journaling can help you:

Clarify your role (mom, sister, wife, friend, etc.)

Creatively engage with yourself and your life

Cast off negative feelings

Carefully analyze your conversations, situations, and desires

Exhaling: Journaling for Rest

a woman standing outside at sunset, with the wind blowing her hair.  journaling for rest is also a place of strength.

I cannot tell you how many times I sat down to journal at night, fully awake, only to pop my eyes open and realize I had fallen asleep.  But being able to go to sleep faster isn’t what I’m talking about by the word rest.

I guess I want to share with you that journaling for stress relief doesn’t quite touch the deep meaning I feel journaling can give to you.  On some levels, journaling can assist you on your spiritual journey.  

Don’t take this the wrong way.  I’m not talking about manufacturing soul peace or relieving yourself from sins.  Journaling cannot do that.

But I do mean that journaling can help you along in your journey to understand spiritual concepts and give you the type of self-awareness needed for you to process what’s going on within your heart.

We all battle the troubles of everyday events.  We all decide when we break or keep to the rules.  And behind all of the turmoil, there are things that we deal with on a subconscious level.  Journaling is one method where we can dig these things out, laying before our eyes the things that are so hard to deal with, especially in the midst of some conflict.

You will much more easily express, and feel free to express, what’s going on.  This is where you can find deep rest.

How do you start journaling for stress relief?

It may be obvious to you that journaling will provide you with a respite but how do you journal in a way that you can consistently find rest?  

Be Honest

When you journal, don’t hide.  Don’t sugarcoat your words or try to pretend you aren’t bothered by what’s going on.  Be honest.

Create a Space for Gratitude

Yes, we need to be honest but we also need to be thankful.  Creating a gratitude journal can definitely give you a new outlook on life.  It is studied that having a gratitude journal will relieve a certain level of stress and anxiety.

Journal to Reduce Stress

Just like a gratitude journal, you can create a stress journal.  You can just have one place where you keep all of your anger, your disappointment, your exhaustion.  Having one place where you can go and let off steam, then close it up for the next time will give you a sense of security and rest.

Look for Purpose and Meaning

If you have a separate stress journal or not, in every entry you need to look for purpose and meaning.  Journaling for stress relief also means being a puzzle-solver.  Look for connections and patterns in your own behavior and in the situations happening to you.

Add Some Color

For creatives and even non-creative people, having a time when you sit quietly or with soft music and do something more creative can relieve you of a lot of anxiety.  Your worries will fade into the background while you add color, pictures, stickers, or drawings to your journal. 

A journal isn’t just a place to write but it’s a place to explore the lighter side of life.

Final Words

a journal, a pen, a Bible and some coffee - a comfy spot to write and reduce stress

Journaling for rest is truly a concept of slowing down and being able to breathe by what and how you journal. 

It does include journaling for stress relief, but neither of these concepts can give you true peace.  Only finding God can do that for you.  And with any true medical condition, nothing can replace going to see your doctor.  

Be Well.

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