Stressed? Instead of gnawing on that pencil, put it to paper to help erase tension and increase self-esteem O'Connor, D.B., Hurling, R., Hendrickx, H., et al. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, UK Unilever Discover, Colworth, UK.British Journal of Health Psychology. 2011 Sep;16(3):488-501.. Recent research suggests expressive writing can be a therapeutic, constructive way to cope with stress and reduce symptoms of depression Sloan, DM., Feinstein, BA., Marx., BP. National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare Systems, Boston, Massachusetts. Anxiety, Stress and Coping. 2009 Oct;22(5):509-23.. So the next time life feels a bit overwhelming, grab a pencil and follow its lead…
Write On, Dude — The Take Away
Researchers suggest keeping a daily journal can be a simple way to clear the mind of stress and . Jotting down emotions before a test has shown both and, in one study, even boosted exam performance in students Ramirez, G., Beilock, S.L. Department of Psychology and Committee on Education, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Charles, J.P. Clayton State University Morrow, Georgia, USA. Creative Nursing. 2010;16(4):180-4.. Plus, recording thoughts can be a private way to solve problems— without having to mind p’s and q’s (or a broken wrist after punching a wall).
Journaling has also been shown to encourage a positive and improve self-appreciation among young women O'Connor, D.B., Hurling, R., Hendrickx, H., et al. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, UK Unilever Discover, Colworth, UK. British Journal of Health Psychology. 2011 Sep;16(3):488-501.. After all, it's a great way to record awesome accomplishments (no modesty required).
Getting started on the path to writing away stress is easy. Find a favorite journal and a comfortable writing tool— anything from a pencil to that mac-and-cheese colored Crayola— and write off into the sunset. Studies indicate expressive writing might be especially effective leading up to a stressful situation, so start by scheduling regular paper sessions before that next big test (in the classroom or otherwise) Ramirez, G., Beilock, S.L. Department of Psychology and Committee on Education, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Science. 2011 Jan 14;331(6014):211-3.. Don’t know what to write? Try jotting down some positive affirmations or documenting daily events and feelings. Soon, the only writers’ block will be in the form of a hand cramp.
Relieve stress (the write way) by keeping a journal.