Combatting Stress – Step 3 – Keep a Journal: Vent, Rant, Let it all out

Now keeping a diary isn’t for everyone. Some of you will probably read the titile and think no way. We are all so individual that what may work for me may be utterly useless for you and that is one of the reasons Step 2 of Combatting Stress was about knowing yourself and your habits….It is important we don’t try and fit the mould of what we should be doing, but rather find ways that work around us and keeping a journal is something I have found has worked for me so I thought I would share my experiences.

Getting it all out, all the negative emotions, frustrations, worries sure does make me feel better…I don’t always find it easy to talk to other people about how I feel, lets face it it isn’t always easy. Don’t get me wrong I have a great set of close friends, a supportive boyfriend and a family I can turn to and I do but if they heard me talking about my worries 24/7 they’d get sick of it. I am a major worrier, I fixate on things, the future and talking to people about it constantly isn’t always practica. My journal is the place I can vent without boundaries. I can talk about everything openly, over and over if I have to (which tends to happen!) and there are no limits to what I cover.

In general, I’m one of those people that worries. Things may be going well today, but I worry about tomorrow, next year, 10 years from now….now I know its all absurd sometimes as I cannot figure it all out but the worry is still there. I used to lie in bed and think about it all and sometimes the worries could lead to an itching frenzy as they felt like they were so prominent. Sleep definitely didn’t come easy unless I was exhausted…MY mind is sometimes too active. This thought process at night time made me think maybe I should keep a diary and write down my thoughts before settling to sleep.That way the thoughts aren’t circling round and round when I should be settled to nod off.

Keeping Journals in the Past

I have attempted to keep journals since I was a teenager. I used to buy the yearly ones with a day per page and write in it everyday before bed but after awhile it became tedious. The idea of it seemed great but I now have a bunch of diaries with January and February entries full and the rest of the diary blank because it just wasn’t satisfying. The idea of having to write in it everyday wasn’t the best method to use for me as it became a chore; I felt I had to fill it rather than make use of it when I needed to let my emotions out. The journal lost its purpose….there aren’t always things to say at the end of the day, sometimes days go well and I don’t feel the need to vent because I feel posiitve whereas other days I feel angry or upset and want to vent before I go to sleep and so the dated diaries forced me to write.Not exactly fun or positive ay!

Keeping a Journal now

In November I decided to buy a blank journal and begin journalling again without the pressure of daily use! Try and attempt to use it in a way that works for me.

So far, it has been going well. I use it when I have things to say, when I’m worrying about the future, when I am angry, upset, unsure about things. I don’t want to go to bed feeling that way, so if I’m feeling negtaive I write…Sometimes it has been nightly, at other times sporadically over the week but the main thing is I’m venting my feelings. I’m getting out all of the angst, negativity when it is there and for me that is positive.

So what benefits have I got from journal wriitng?

  1. I feel more positive as I have let all the negativity out before I go to bed
  2. I reflect on life and put things into perspective
  3. I turn the lights off  for bed and the worries are not whizzing round
  4. I sleep lighter and deeper
  5. I figure out what I need to do to solve problems

Keeping a journal has been a positive venting ground for me so I thought I would share it with you as it is helping me to destress by letting go of negative emotions. I am definitely sleeping better and not going to sleep with the worries bugging me. Yes the worries exist, but for some reason writing them down makes me feel lighter, relieved in a sense. I feel calmer….I’m feeling the stress reduce before I settle to bed and its been great. Thought I’d share! Hope this was helpful!

Have you ever kept a journal? How do you vent? I’d love to hear your opinions.

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