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It is difficult to get the sleep we need when going to bed with a stressful day on our mind.
Journaling, research shows, is an excellent way to release this stress. Instead of trying to stuff distressing feelings down or letting distressing thoughts ricochet around our mind, we can set them down on paper, or on a screen.
Writing our experiences may help our mind process what has occurred during the day. We can choose to retain what is beneficial to us and release the rest. This relaxes the body and we sleep better.
To release stress it helps to write about events as if you are creating a newspaper article about them—reporting the facts, what you observed. If you noticed a feeling or emotion you can report what it was, but do not analyze or interpret it. By doing this, you are separating events from your emotional experience of them.
You may want to try this three step journaling process for releasing the day’s stress:
After writing your journal entry you can close the notebook or put your computer to sleep. You can also choose to shred your paper or delete the computer entry. Either way, your mind and body will be calmer for having written, and better able to drop off to dreamland.
Photo credit: filipe ferreira / flickr creative commons
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