Have you ever written a letter to someone that you didn’t send, yet somehow the act of writing it made you feel better? There’s actually scientific proof behind this. Studies have consistently shown that the act of writing or journaling can lower your stress – even if no one else ever reads your words. And researchers think there are two big reasons why:
1. You get to vent.
Journaling lets you “yell into the void” without the side effects that an angry outburst can cause. You get to let go of negative feelings like anger, sadness and disappointment instead of keeping them bottled up (and obsessing over them). Bonus: It keeps you from saying something that you can’t take back.
2. You get to learn.
Writing does more than simply help you vent. By taking the time to think through your emotions, you may be able to get to the root of your frustration or unhappiness. It’s a chance to be honest with yourself about what you are feeling and why. Because of this, journaling can be an opportunity to learn and grow. And it may make you better able to deal with similar stressors in the future.
Could journaling work for you?
Your Healthy Lifestyles online journal is an easy way to try it out. Click on My Journal under the Resources & Tools tab to capture your thoughts about how you’re feeling, what’s stressing you out and anything else that’s important to you. Give it a whirl and see if writing out your stress works for you.