We frequently read about and are told how good journalling is for stress and anxiety. I'm a true believer in this, after all, this is how I started blogging. By not writing, I was anxious and felt like I had a lot bottled up. Not just emotions but words, ideas and thoughts.
You might call me a bookworm or a book and reading enthusiast, but not all of us are. We're not all writers, or even necessarily creative in a conventional way. But some of us do tend to get caught up in our heads. Maybe we spiral with our thoughts. Maybe they wake us in the night or prevent us from falling asleep in the first place. Maybe there's something we want to say to another person but we want to choose our words and our message very carefully. Journalling is one of the best ways to help guide us through these processes but when left with a blank page, sometimes our minds also go blank.
So in classic book-nerd fashion I spent a few hours at Chapters/Indigo in a euphoric state, falling in love with dozens of titles and books wanting to take all of them home with me. As a writer and a blogger, writing off the top of my head comes a bit easier, but there are times I want and need to be guided. I want my brain to be stimulated by an idea; Other times I need my brain to be more focused instead of wanting to explode with a hundred different thoughts.
I was so excited by what I found and wanted to share these amazing resources with you. So here are some unconventional ways to journal:
Not only are you prompted with what to list, but it gives you the opportunity for self-reflection.
642 Things to Write About is a wonderful book and resource for those of us whom writing comes a bit easier, but still experience the dreaded writer's block. If you want to be creative without sharing your works with others, this is a great way to stretch out those writing muscles.
Wreck this Journal: A creative and very unconventional way to journal, this book will guide you through "exercises" and practices for literally wrecking the book. You might be instructed to rip out a page and crumple it, or spill some coffee on it.
It forces you to make mistakes and be content with imperfection. A great exercise for those who tend to
perfection. You are given full permission to be messy, to break a book and make it look used. And even better for those who will get a great sense of relief from the messy and somewhat destructive instructions instead of solely relying on journalling as a writing exercise.
What's even better is that Keri Smith's collection of "Wreck This Journal" is now up to 5 different books/journals.
Finish This Book, also (partially) written by Keri Smith, requires you to literally help her finish this book. Inside is a series of missions - if you should choose to accept them - with guided instructions.
This book takes the guess work out of the equation and all you need to do is follow her instructions, using your own words and creativity along the way.
The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook was just one of several workbooks found in the Well-being book section that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques. These types of workbooks are extremely helpful for helping you get to the root of any emotional and mental issues you're experiencing.
This book will guide you step-by-step to help you recognize your feelings and the experiences that accompany them. It will help you to identify your triggers for anxiety and stress, and teach you how to utilize stress management techniques.
Workbooks such as this are wonderful when you feel stuck or when you're struggling to overcome a specific or general type of stress.