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Classic Writing: The Return Of The Journal

2813 words - 12 pages

Writing is a standard process, traditionally associated with education, engrained in children from the age of six. During the years of formal education, students are asked to write numerous essays and are critiqued on their writing abilities, which consequently can cause resentment towards writing. Yet, writing should be viewed with a more positive perspective: a medicinal perspective in which writing is the tool that relieves stress. This led me to research the question: “How can journaling reduce stress?” Stress is an ailment that stems from unexpected events that can skew the emotions of a person, and it does require care. It can come in many forms and from a variety of places including work, home life, school, and romantic relationships (Justine Tal Goldberg). The main issue with stress is a person’s inability to approach stressful situations with the correct mindset. Journaling aids in the problem solving process as well as provides an escape in which a person can safely expel negative thoughts and truly focus on himself in order to achieve self-clarity.
With the increasing trend of online blogging and social networking sites such as Twitter, some may view journaling as antiquated. However, written journals are more important now then ever when it comes to clearing ones mind of negative and anxious thoughts. The reason why traditional expressive writing is still a powerful tool is due to the fact that technology can cause stress; even more stress than a person has already incurred from daily events. The Huffington Post emphasizes “sometimes there's nothing better to quiet a busy mind than to unplug your phone and computer for an hour and sit alone with your thoughts.” The purposes of emotional outlets, such as expressive writing, are to relieve stress and allow for the complete detoxification of the mind. Most of the time Facebook and Tumblr may have the opposite effect. Therefore, “the death of the pen-and-paper diary isn't to be expected anytime soon” (Huffington Post 1). In addition to allowing one to release negative thoughts, journaling provides a safe haven for those thoughts. Sandy Grason, author of the novel Journalution, describes her opinion of a diary as “a very safe place where [she] began to hear [her] own wisdom,” and was able to expel her negative thoughts using her diary as a medium.
When life seems to get out of order, a common strategy people tend to use is making lists. Making a list allows a person to organize his thoughts and prioritize tasks. Taking that concept a bit further, journaling and fully identifying problems, aids in the understanding of the issues. Research done by the University of Chicago “found that anxious test-takers who wrote briefly about their thoughts and feelings before taking an important exam earned better grades than those who did not. When a person think[s] about an experience, as well as express[es] emotions” he is able to dissect the root causes of his stress. As a result the...

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