Stress comes from everywhere. Worry exists in all areas of life. Anger about work, family and obligations can become overwhelming. When everything is running through your mind without an outlet for the stress, it can be hard to sleep. When you need to rest, your mind is hyper-focused on stressful things, making it difficult to fall asleep. During the day, it can be easy to block out worries and think about other things, but it’s much harder to distract ourselves when we’re lying in bed trying to finish the day.
There are many ways to relieve stress and clear our minds of worry, one of the most effective is keeping a journal. Journaling works because it
- focuses your thoughts
- is a creative outlet
- gets the thoughts out of your head
- creates an opportunity for problem solving
Journaling before bed can help reduce stress and make it easier to fall asleep. Here’s why.
Journaling helps you get a handle on your thoughts – Journaling helps you focus your thoughts and get them down on paper. Instead of ruminating and stressing over problems, keeping a journal helps you organize and process your thoughts. It makes it easier to better understand the roots of your stress and focus your thoughts instead of constantly going over them in your head.
Journaling uses a different part of the brain – The act of writing and journaling uses the creative side of your brain. This can help relieve stress. Depending on the type of journal you keep, it can help increase dopamine levels in your brain chemistry and reduce stress. Journaling doesn’t have to be limited to writing. It can be as creative as you like, including, but not limited to, painting, doodling, writing poetry, or any other form of expression.
Journaling removes thoughts from your mind – Writing things down gets your brain to leave them on the page. Journaling can help you get the thoughts out of your head so your mind can wander to something else. Psychologically, your brain believes that the thoughts on the page are categorized and no longer need to be focused on as intensely, so your mind begins to relax.
Journaling Triggers Problem Solving– Just as clearing your mind in the shower leads to enlightenments, journaling can trigger problem solving. Ruminating about stress in your mind clogs it with negative thoughts and fears. The process of journaling triggers our natural problem-solving abilities and makes it easier to find solutions.
Journaling before bed can help clear your mind of stress and calm your psyche. This can help your mind shut down more easily and drift off into REM sleep, where your mind and body can repair and heal. Practice journaling before bed to help your mind let go of the worries of the day and prepare for a great night’s rest.