The name of this post is a subject that was brought up by someone I know just the other day. They were pondering on the thought experiment, after reading a study (source unknown to me) that writing is said to relieve stress. The person who was pondering on this isn’t convinced, for reasons that remain unexplained by them. I believe it’s worth noting though that this individual does not keep a journal, nor do they write as frequently as I do. So as you can likely guess, I definitely have a slightly different answer to this question.
Yes, I believe writing in a journal is a great and healthy way of relieving stress. You’re already pouring so much into a journal already, but one of the most notable subjects is most definitely your thoughts and feelings; both the good kind and the bad. This is particularly notable when you don’t have someone – whether that be a confidant or a therapist – to turn to. Writing can be the greatest release you can ever summon.
But sometimes, at least for me, it’s not always enough just to release my stress onto paper. You’re getting your thoughts out, certainly, but at the end of the day, you’re still the only one reading it, and if it’s regarding a problem that needs a solution, then it’s fair to say that nothing has been solved. However, just manifesting your stress into words not only helps you make sense of what’s on your mind, but also the first step to validating it, now that you have it all written out in front of you.
So writing to relieve stress is more so a step, in my case anyway. It really depends on the individual in question. I think if you were to have writing be one of many methods of relieving stress, then that might be even better. Along with writing in a journal, other ways I relieve stress also include working out and talking to friends about what’s on my mind. It’s not just one outlet.
Having multiple methods of relieving stress was especially crucial for me a month ago, when someone I live with not only tested positive for COVID, but also did not self-isolate like they were supposed to. All the emotions I was experiencing during that time were let out in my voracious journaling, my workouts, and eventually, taking off for a few days with a friend, in order to have a mental break from all that stress. If I didn’t have these avenues to turn to, I think the stress I was dealing with probably would have been a lot worse.
So can writing relieve stress? Again, it entirely depends on the individual in question, but for me, yes. It’s an outlet for relieving stress, but not my only one. While I should close this off by encouraging everyone to keep a journal, I know that not everyone is in tune with the written word (although if you’ve been reading my posts, I’m assuming you are). Instead, all I’ll say is find what works for you.
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One Reply to “Can Writing/Journaling Relieve Stress?”
For me, journalling doesn’t offer much catharsis, but I do enjoy working out the reasons why I’m feeling a certain way, which I can’t do just by thinking about them alone. Anyway, thanks for this post!