Can keeping a journal reduce stress and add joy to your life?

Do you ever yearn for a magic switch to erase stress and overwhelm from your life? That’s simply wishful thinking so how do you cope when mom life takes its toll on you? The solution is stupidly simple – start keeping a journal.

Journalling is a brilliant self help tool as this Hal Elrod quote shows: 

Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.

Hal Elrod ( Author of The Miracle Morning)

This post is for you if you’re raising teens. Developing a journalling habit will take you on a life changing journey that will enrich your life and that of your teens tenfold.

Why is keeping a journal so important?

multi colored journals stacked with a white text overlay
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Daily journal writing yields many benefits:

  • Leads to self reflection and builds awareness
  • Increases kindness and compassion
  • Improves mental health
  • Encourages creativity 

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. That you have no time to journal. No way will writing stuff down help you with the ups and downs of life with teens.

But, it will because journalling makes you consider your own thoughts, actions and feelings from a safe place. It encourages you to slow down to weigh a decision from different angles before coming to a solution. That can only be good for you and your teens.

5 ways keeping a journal can improve your life

Parenting teenagers is hard. Writing in your journal is a great way to deal with the challenges of the rocky teen years.

I was also dead against journalling but when I was gifted a journal, it changed my perpective. You can read about my experience as a journal newbie here.

Read on to find out how a journalling habit can enhance and improve your life.

1. Journaling gives you an emotional release

Have you ever been so angry with your teens that you wanted to run away from home? That you simply could not take one more eye roll, door slam or snarky comment.

But you love them to death.

As a mom, you’re committed to guiding them on their journey to adulthood. 

So you bite back your anger. You put up with the moodiness and defiance that is typical of the teen years.

That’s where your journal comes in. It gives you a safe place to vent. You can throw a tantrum on the page about the slights, wrongs, jibes and sneers your teens put you through. It’s your secret – strictly between you and your journal. It gives you the emotional release you need.

Here’s an Amazon find that you will love. It’s guaranteed to keep all your secrets – it can be locked with a password that only you will know.

And after an epic vent, you feel refreshed like the satisfaction of an ice cream cone on a hot day.

At first, every journal entry may be a list of annoying things your teens do.

But after a while, you start to reflect, analyze and find solutions to the teen issues that plague your family. Isn’t that what moms do – find ways to make the family happy.

So, a journal is the perfect vehicle to both vent and problem solve.

Related post: How to Start a Journal: A Life-changing Beginner’s Guide

2. Keeping a journal helps with stress relief

Do you often feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do them?

This is probably what life with teens is like. They have busy schedules and often you, as mom, have to manage  their progress at school, after school activities, sports training and even social events.

Then you have household chores like cleaning, cooking and laundry. You have too many balls to juggle so you may find life overwhelming. 

Writing in your journal can help you manage your stress better. It compels you to stop brooding and overthinking. 

 Journaling helps you to

  • Identify your stressors
  • Develop a plan to reduce your stress levels

For example
The morning chaos in your home may trigger your stress.
Journaling about it may reveal that your teens have no morning or evening routines.So you set up a morning and evening checklist for your teens. 

Can you see how confiding in your journal can help you deal with your stress?

3. A journal is a good self care tool

Keeping a journal is one of the easiest ways to practice self care. It costs nothing, takes about 15 minutes a day and can be done from the comfort of your home

Take the advice in the following Alexandra Johnson quote:

Sitting for even five minutes with a journal offers a rare cease-fire in the battle of daily life

Alexandra Johnson

Have you been forced as a mom of teens to take on the Supermom cloak? Ferrying your kids about, holding down a full time demanding job and managing your home and family activities makes you feel like you’re on call 24/7, doesn’t it? 

With your hectic schedule, there’s obviously no time for self care. A coffee date with a friend or a visit to a spa or even a jog around the block is unthinkable.

But,daily journaling allows you the luxury of a few minutes of quiet time to process your day. 

Writing in your journal has a soothing, calming  effect like  a hug in a time of anguish. It acts as a balm to your busy mind and eases the stressors of your life.

4. Journaling promotes gratitude

There are many health benefits to giving thanks in your daily journaling. 

The Mayo Clinic in this post  states:

A daily gratitude practice has been shown to significantly increase your happiness — and your physical health. Practicing gratitude improves sleep, boosts immunity and decreases the risk of disease. 

You may be stressed out by the insolence and arrogance your teens show you. And you may allow that to taint your relationship with them. This may show up in teen tantrums which stress you out.

But starting a gratitude practice in your journal can change the very fabric of your relationship. 

It compels you to take a step back,reflect and question.

Is there anything about your teens that you are grateful for? 

The more you do this the better your bonds with your kids will be. Your focus will shift from judgment to pride in them and your love for them will intensify.

The way you communicate with them will be based on love and support. Your reward will be that positive strong bond you had before ‘teen fever’ struck.

5. Journaling is key to self improvement

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A huge benefit of keeping a journal is its power to impact your character. 

A journaling habit:

  • Encourages compassion and forgiveness
  • Promotes tolerance and understanding
  • Develops kindness and generosity

Your relationship with your teen is likely to change for the better as a result.

Keeping a journal births reflection and analysis about your own hopes and dreams. Let your imagination go wild and create a vision of the life you want for yourself.

You can start this process by using journal prompts like the ones here.

Related post: 25 Journal Writing Prompts for a Successful Life

Then turn them into simple achievable goals and create an action plan to make them come true.

The goals could be as simple as a family Disney vacation, or a desire to master Chinese cooking or to start a side hustle to boost your income.

This rewriting of your goals everyday will make you focus your actions on making them happen. 

It’s clear, then, that a journal is a powerful self help tool. If you’re not journaling yet, perhaps it’s time to start.

 In your set daily journaling time, be it morning or evening, list your top 3 goals. 

This, in turn inspires change by encouraging you to set realistic goals and motivating you to make them come true.

Final thoughts on why all moms should start keeping a journal 

Think of journaling as an investment that has a great ROI. It will give you peace  of mind, encourage you to live intentionally and best of all, tighten and strengthen your family bonds.

Other life improvement posts that may interest you:

How to become a better you and be truly happy this year

Improve your life: 10 Simple but Effective Habits for a Better Life

10 Simple Steps to Change your Life Completely

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