Often called ‘journaling’, the practice of writing down your thoughts, worries, desires, or anything else that might be on your mind can be really helpful in reducing stress – both in the moment and over time.
Journaling is well-established in psychology as a good habit to promote mental wellbeing. Plus, it’s easy to do and is accessible to anyone with a pen and paper or note-taking app.
Rather than thinking them through internally, writing your thoughts down can help you to organise and process them, and to see them from a different perspective, in much the same way that speaking to a therapist does.
Journaling works best as a regular activity, because frequently checking in with yourself and remaining mindful of your internal world can help you to stay on top of things in day-to-day life. But, even just taking a moment to lay out on paper the obligations, worries, and problems that are swirling around in your mind, can be really useful in helping you to feel less overwhelmed and stressed in the moment.
You might want to start a proper, organised journal that you write in on a regular schedule – or, you might just want to try writing down your thoughts on bits of scrap paper whenever the stress gets too much and the urge hits. Either way, note taking can be surprisingly calming.
Our article, The power of journaling as a life habit, has plenty more tips and advice on putting pen to paper that you might find helpful.