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How Journaling Can Help You Manage Stress

It’s been a long, stressful day. You’ve been driving to and fro, got a surprise bill you weren’t expecting, and your spouse is down with the flu.

In fact, it’s been a string of long, stressful days, and you’re ready to hibernate for a few weeks until things start to look up.

Here’s an alternative; one thing you can do tonight before you climb into bed that can help you destress and have a better day tomorrow.

Spend 20 Minutes Journaling Each Evening

Twenty minutes a day is all it takes to experience the benefits of journaling. You can write about what happened that day, how you felt about it, your thoughts about what you can do differently in those situations in the future, and anything funny that you’d like to remember later.

But the most important part of your journaling activity should be writing daily about at least one thing for which you’re thankful.

Gratitude is a powerful mindfulness technique that allows you to focus on the positives in your life, which can sometimes get buried under stress and uncertainty.

How to Get Started with Journaling

If you’re new to keeping a journal, it can be an intimidating thing to start doing. Staring at a blank sheet of paper, not having any idea of how to fill it, can add to your stress initially rather than relieving it. If this is the case for you, we recommend getting a premade journal that contains writing prompts. We like this one, based on thankfulness: “Gratitude: A Journal#AD.”

Be sure to get your kids started with journaling, too. Even children who don’t know how to write yet can start by making pictures and telling you things to write down for them. Let them tell you about the feelings they had that day and, at the end, prompt them to record something for which they’re grateful.

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