Writing Helps Relieve Stress
Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Write It Down
Those that knew me growing up can attest to what I am about to tell you. I was never a big fan of writing. I knew how, but it isn’t something I ever would sit down to do just for the fun of it. I have tried journaling in the past, and it never stuck. The most I have found myself writing these days have been my gratitude, goals, and to-do lists. I recently tried it out again and found myself caught up in it. I found myself fully enveloped in the present moment as I wrote my previous day’s events. By the time I looked up, I had been writing for about an hour and was 13 pages into it. That’s saying something especially since my longest paper in college amounted to 13 pages, and that took more than one hour! It is by no means a literary work of art let alone grammatically correct, but it was a peaceful way to wind down my day.
I used it all last week and was consistently surprised when I would finish on how much I ended up writing. My mind would press out all of the past and future and I was focused on the here and now. I found myself enjoying the writing and having fun putting down my words as though it were a normal conversation. It has also helped by doing these articles for you because I have found more of an authentic voice in my writings instead of the robotic syntax I was taught. At the end of the journaling, I found myself more relaxed and refreshed. It was a very peaceful feeling and allowed my mind to wind down before sleep.
I recommend you try it out sometime. You may find it calls to you. You may find it doesn’t. Either way, find a way to become truly present in the moment and you can find the stresses slip away.
Amanda Mercer, Elizabeth Warson, Jenny Zhao. Visual journaling: An intervention to influence stress, anxiety and affect levels in medical students. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Volume 37, Issue 2, 2010, Pages 143-148, ISSN 0197-4556, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2009.12.003.
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