New Age writer and self-help author Natalie Goldberg has said: "Whether you're keeping a journal or writing as meditation, it's the same thing. What's important is you're having a relationship with your mind."
That relationship can help you let off steam and reduce your stress response.
You can complain and rant to your heart's content; you're not going to publish your writings! And while that's good for everyone, it is particularly helpful to caretakers, who often feel isolated and burned out.
That's what researchers at Clarkson University discovered when they tracked the change in mother-child relationships that happened when moms of kids with autism spectrum disorder or ADHD let their frustrations out via journal writing.
Safely expressing negative thoughts and feelings made it easier for moms to say, "I have a stressful life" in place of "I am stressed because I am a mother."
And shifting the blame off their children made a big change in the mother-child relationships.
Other folks who can benefit: Anyone going through cancer treatment (or dealing with a chronic disease). The Cleveland Clinic says journaling is an important alternative treatment that's "an effective way to handle some of the emotions that living with cancer triggers."
To get started, you can spend just 10 minutes a day just jotting down what's in your heart and on your mind.
Soon you'll notice that your response to stressors both large and small is much calmer, and you can even discover ways to turn potentially tense moments into pleasant ones.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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