In the last lesson, you learned how to craft meaningful affirmations for manifesting your desires and shifting your mindset.
In this lesson, you will learn how to reduce stress by journaling with intent.
Stress comes from all areas of life, but perhaps one of the most notable causes of stress is, in some way related to fear or self-doubt which causes a negative thought pattern to play out in your head...unless of course the stress you are experiencing is being caused by your kids yelling and screaming throughout the house. (A good tip here: when you find yourself in that sort of situation, meditation, mindfulness or the relaxation breath can help.)
Think about a time in your life when you were experiencing a high amount of stress. What was the cause? Missing a deadline? Not hitting a certain goal? Maybe lack of funds?
Whatever it was, it likely had some sort of fear and negative thought pattern associated with it. Fear of not having enough money to pay a bill, fear of not completing a task on time, or doubting that you are capable of getting that promotion or giving that presentation.
You may be thinking to yourself – there's no way I can do this, I can't possibly get all of this done, I'm never going to be able to pay all of my bills.
When these sorts of feelings arise, one of the best ways to reduce your stress level is by journaling out your feelings.
Journaling helps you to get these negative thoughts out of your head and out of your body, which in turn keeps you from ruminating or focusing on the negative thought. And negative thoughts can absolutely be a source of stress – whether you have consciously noticed this or not.
When you experience stress due to your thoughts, then one of the best things you can do is to get those thoughts out on paper. There is just something magical about releasing that negative energy within your body to the page, but it is important to physically write out the negative thoughts. Don't type them.
I find journaling helps me most when I am having a lot of self-doubts or struggling with a bit of anxiety.
When that happens, I sit down for 5 minutes or so and just write exactly what is going on in my head. If it's a particularly difficult day, then I will write until I start to feel the weight of anxiety and stress on my chest lift and loosen.
And for a bonus relief, journaling while doing some deep breathing can have twice the benefit.
Journaling has certainly been one of the most effective techniques when my mind is just spinning from overloaded negative thoughts. I believe it's because it allows me to recognize the emotions that I'm having, accept them, and then let go of them.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where emotions aren't really recognized as being valid. Journaling gives you that self-validation and then allows you to move to the next phase. Otherwise, you risk the emotions stewing inside of you until they explode. And make no mistake of it, they will explode. Avoidance is not an effective nor healthy coping technique.
The best way to move past the negative emotions or thoughts is to recognize that you have them by essentially naming, accepting, and then releasing them.
I have personally found journaling for 5 minutes and then meditating for 5 minutes to be very effective in my stress relief.
YOUR TASK: The next time that you find your head spinning with negative thoughts, take some time to write them down. Whatever they are, write them all down until you start to feel some relief. If you are limited on time, then set a timer and get out as much as you can until the timer goes off. Allowing these negative thoughts to leave your head will provide you with some incredible relief.
In the next lesson, you will learn about the mind-body connection. How what you eat affects your mood.