Healthy Habits: A Cheap & Easy Stress Reliever

Ever had one of those days when you have so much to do that you don't even know where to begin? Or when you have so many thoughts and emotions swimming in your head that you don't know which end is up? I know what that's like! When I'm stressed out or something is bothering me, I sit down and write. Getting my thoughts on paper helps me identify my stressors and come up with solutions. Plus, it just feels good to get it all out!

If you don't do so already, I recommend keeping a journal and writing in it regularly. Writing for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your stress level and your mind-set. Many members of my online program use their Fitness Diary for this purpose, but you can also do it the old-fashioned way — with pen and paper.  Click here for an example of a Fitness Journal, but there are many other online journals out there.

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Need some ideas to get started? Here are some topics you can write about in your journal:

  • Your day . Simply writing down a play-by-play of your day can get your thoughts flowing and steer you to other topics.
  • Your goals. Writing about the person you want to be and the life you want to live can help you visualize your dreams and come up with a plan for making them real.
  • Specific problems or worries. Write about the things that stress you out or events that have upset you in the past. Describe how these things make you feel — and why — and brainstorm a list of actions you can take to counter these problems and feel better.

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  • Priorities and to-do lists. This is a must for all you multi-taskers and responsibility jugglers! When you feel overwhelmed, write down all the things you have to do and prioritize them.
  • What you're thankful for. This might sound cheesy, but trust me — it can help you think more positively. Your life will always have room for improvement, of course, but taking time out to acknowledge and appreciate the good things can help you put everything else in perspective.

When you're writing, resist any perfectionist urges. Don't edit yourself, and don't worry about spelling or how your prose sounds. You're not writing for posterity, or for anyone else's sake — you're doing it for you.

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