Mind Tip Feeling frustrated? Journaling about difficult times or lofty goals makes it easier for you to manage stress and put a smile on your face.
If you, like many of us, spent your angst-filled teenage years scribbling in a diary, you probably recall how emotionally cleansing it could be. But journaling isn’t something that has to be left behind with your first crushes. Research shows that writing about your grievances — as well as your hopes and dreams — can lower stress levels, speed up healing and boost your mood. “Journaling can lower stress because it is a cathartic activity and a powerful way to focus, express and release feelings,” says Jane Pernotto Ehrman, MEd, CHES, a behavioral health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Lifestyle Medicine and a mind-body coach at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine. “Feelings are meant to be expressed or released, not suppressed. It doesn’t matter if the feelings are connected to positive or negative experiences. Just getting them out by writing them down can really help.” For an even greater positive impact, Ehrman recommends ending journaling sessions about negative experiences with a few thoughts about the positive side of the situation. To commit yourself to the practice, invest in a journal in which you will enjoy writing. The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Store offers an 8″ x 5″ journal — the perfect size to toss in your satchel for journaling at your favorite coffee shop. It’s far more therapeutic than Facebook!