You would have to live in a cave or under a rock to never hear about physical exercise being a great stress reliever. Some have a scheduled exercise program while others walk or do some form of movement periodically. And then there is the other group that chooses food, alcohol, drugs, spending money, gambling and even obsessive exercise to help them deal with stress. The problem with these last stress relievers is they are temporary, short acting and don’t touch the underlining issue. An easy explanation is to think about a festering cut. You can cover it with gauze or a band aid but until you clean it out, go through some pain, it won’t heal.
How does all this relate to keeping a physical, emotional, and spiritual journal? Writing by hand allows you to put feelings, the swirling, repetitive thoughts on your mind onto a piece of paper. Once writing begins, words may show on paper that even surprises the writer. Thoughts you wouldn’t necessarily share with a friend has a safe home on paper. It also enables the journaler to go back, read what was written and make plans for actions that can be taken.
It’s important to write, using free flowing thoughts or words on paper, without monitoring language, grammar and punctuation. Another exercise if someone is working on issues that started as a child, is to use the writing implement in the non-dominant hand. What appears on the paper at the end of the session usually looks like a child would have done it. That in itself brings up additional feelings of what was written or done that can be dealt with in the journal. There are many benefits to starting and staying with a regular program of journaling. Working out long buried feelings – feeling them rather than burying them isn’t easy but worth it. Allowing the mind to help the body heal tight muscles and the ramifications of long time stress, are two great benefits.