Keeping a journal is something that you might do for a lot of different reasons. As a caregiver, writing regularly in your journal is a way to start learning more about what makes you tick and what you need. Once you know what helps you, it’s easier to meet those needs for yourself.
You Start to Recognize Your Own Triggers
When you look back over your journal entries, it’s easier to start seeing patterns in what causes the most stress for you. Those are the situations that trigger your stress and keep you feeling the way that you feel. The first step to managing your stress is to understand those triggers and work to manage your reaction to them. Without an easy way to recognize and acknowledge those inciting incidents, you’re doing more guessing.
You Can Examine Your Feelings
Writing out your day, your experiences, and how you’re feeling gives you a way to go back later and analyze how you were feeling in any given moment. You might even look back and start to be able to recognize what those feelings were. It’s not always easy to identify your feelings at the moment, but with the gift of hindsight that becomes easier.
It’s Easy to Forget Exactly What Happened
As time moves onward, it’s easy to forget details about certain situations. Human memory isn’t as strong as we tend to want to believe that it is. When you write down what happened in a given situation in a detailed manner, you’ve got a record of what happened. That is important when you’re trying to learn how to manage stressful situations as effectively as possible.
Journals Give You a Tracking System
By writing out what you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, and what you’re trying in terms of stress relief, you have a way to track what works and what doesn’t. That is valuable data that you can use time and time again. The more that you use your journal to help you track what’s happening, the easier it’s going to be for you to spot what makes the situation better for you.
The key to reaping these benefits is to use your journal regularly. If you’re being haphazard about keeping your journal, you’re less likely to experience these and other results. Set a regular time to journal, either at night before bed or in the morning, and stick with it.