Quick Journal Writing Exercises for Stress Awareness Month

    Mari L. McCarthy April 2, 2013

    Stress has become such a typical part of our every

    day lives that sometimes we forget that it’s not normal. Work stress, family stress, financial stress. These challenges and pressures can easily build up over time until it’s hard to remember the last time you felt relaxed, clear-headed and in control.

    This April, make stress relief a priority in honor of Stress Awareness Month  an event that has been sponsored by nonprofit organization The Health Resource Network (HRN) since 1992. Every year, HRN strives to educate people about the causes and dangers of stress, as well as successful coping strategies.

    Get in the habit of turning to your personal journal  when you start to feel stressed out. Journal writing will help you cope with anger, frustration and irritability all year round.

    Five-Minute Stress Relief Exercises
    1.    Manage stressful by taking a short break with your journal when you start to feel overwhelmed, whether it’s on your lunch break at work or after putting the kids to bed at night. It doesn’t take much time, and it’s a helpful way for you to record and decipher the stressors in your life.

    2.    Answer the following questions in your personal journal:

    •    What is causing you stress? Is it a specific incident, an ongoing situation or something else? (Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint the cause of your stress, while other times it’s more challenging.)
    •    How do you feel, both emotionally and physically?
    •    How did you react? Are you happy with that reaction? If you were to do it again, how would you do it differently?
    •    How do you usually deal with stress in this type of situation? Do you have a healthy stress relief strategy?
    •    What can you do right now to feel better about this situation?

    3.    Complete this journaling exercise each time you are coping with stress. Over time, look back at past entries and see if you can identify any patterns. What are consistent stressors? Is stress a continuous part of your work or home life, or is it linked to specific circumstances? What coping strategies help the most to maintain a healthy stress level?

    Our Reset & Recharge Your Life in 7 Days self-paced journaling course can help you chart the most important journey you'll ever take: yours!