Stress can be defined as the feeling of pressure or tension which is always brought about by a series of challenging life events and difficult daily activities.

Stress can be positive or negative depending on the situation for instance work promotion may bring positive stress while working to achieve a given deadline may bring negative stress. Life is not always a ride in the park, some life situations require extra training which as a result increase the adrenaline levels in our body causing stress in the end.

Different people experience various levels and kinds of stress depending on the situations they are facing, for instance, there are some people who enjoy loud music and big crowds while introverts will find this situation very stressing.

Causes of stress can be categorized into long term and short term causes depending on  the situations one is facing. Short term causes of stress include:

  • Bereavement.
  • Moving from one place to another.
  • Attending a job interview
  • Neighbors.

Long term causes of stress include:

  • Divorce.
  • Chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
  • Joblessness.
  • Poverty.
  • Bad working conditions.

Indicators of stress may be behavioral, like having difficulties in making crucial decisions affecting your condition, other people are very violent and aggressive while others may always cry to curb their stressful conditions while others frequently bite their nails.

Other indicator or signs of stress may be through body reaction like severe headaches, difficulty in breathing, high blood pressure, sweating and sleeping problems.

Stress management

Severe stress may lead into depression which if not early detected may cause detrimental effects to the body. It is always advisable to prevent this before it escalates to uncontrollable levels.

Some of the techniques used to manage stress include:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Accepting things the way they are and embracing difficult situations always.
  • Being positive always.
  • Socializing and
  • Putting your emotions down on paper.

HOW WRITING HELPS TO COPE WITH STRESS.

Many studies have proved that penning emotions down on paper helps to relieve stress with a very big margin, especially in people suffering from chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS and Cancer.

The following are some of the ways writing helps in relieving stress:

  • Stigma reduction: Recent researchers showed that writing when one is stressed helped in reducing stigma related stress. Affected parties may take long hours penning their emotions down. This may trigger memories of happy or even sad moments which will help them tackle their current situations. By writing down, the assumption is that the affected parties are having a conversation with their books, sharing bright and difficult moments. This aids them in organizing their thoughts and at the same time channeling different paths on how they can be tackled.
  • Anxiety: A study by researchers at the University of Chicago showed that test takers who always express their feelings through writing just before exams have better chances of passing exams. The persons always score higher grades compared to their counterparts who do not write at all. While writing an examiner might remember something very important which may help him earn more marks and eventually improves the overall grade.
  • Social support: Traumatized people need a lot of social support, especially from close family members and friends. Writing your emotions down and distributing them to your friend may help to relieve tension and also family members will now be fully aware of the difficult situation their loved one is going through. Support from other parties will automatically lead to the healing process either directly or indirectly. They will be more than ready to give their full-strength support anytime it’s needed. Family members may accidentally access the documents and in the process offer assistance before the situation escalates beyond repair.
  • Relieves pain: People with mild and severe physical conditions like headaches, lack of sleep or even cancer always benefit from expressing their hidden emotions through writings. Recent research showed that people who always write their emotions down records normal blood pressure, normal heart beat and also sleep well during the night compared to their colleagues who do not write or express their traumatized nature in books.
  • Self-therapy and better health: Writing process, especially in diaries is very therapeutic. Diary writings help in self-reflection and meditation. Through this one is able to identify some of the major problems he is facing and draft some of the best solutions to solve them. Diaries help in self-health through the continuous refreshing of the mind when writing.
  • Strengthens your immune function: Writing is also categorized as an exercise. Active involvement of the brain allows enough flow of oxygen in the brain cells which heals the body thus improving the general body immune.
  • Knots: Concentrating and giving your topic full attention will slower the breathing rate which will eventually lead to the relaxation of the body and also keeping the mind clear. When the breathing rate is normal and the body is always calm the stomach knots will be relieved eventually.
  • Eliminates anger: writing helps to relieve anger harmlessly without knowing. By penning down revenge tactics by simply talking to the pen and paper, many negative impacts like injuries caused by violence will be prevented easily.
  • Offers motive and purpose: By expressing the disturbing emotions that always trigger through the mind, one might realize some of the life motives and purposes. Opening loopholes and coming up with better motives to solve the always increasing life challenges.
  • Low-cost technique: It is a very low-cost technique in solving stress as compared to other channels like continuous therapy and counseling.

Writing is very helpful in stress reduction and also in relieving anxiety. It is always a very cheap way to tackle stress since it only involves a pen and a paper, It does not necessarily matter what one writes as long the stress will be relieved just write anything.

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Comment by Kathy Custren on September 13, 2016 at 11:45pm

Hi, Kerry - I totally agree with Michelle's comment, and at over 980 words (and no bio!) you will need to edit your piece a bit. If I may suggest you break the ten things down into two sets of five, and perhaps title them somewhat successively...for example "five ways writing can help cope with stress" and then "Five MORE ways to use writing to help beat stress" (this way they are unique titles and can help extend your message across the search engines without being exactly the same). And please be sure to add your bio paragraph to each one, please. If you would message me once you are done with the split, I will be happy to review once again ~ Thanks! ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Michelle Alberigi McKenzie on September 12, 2016 at 11:16am

Lots of good information...could be several articles, each focused on a topic. Writing prompts for each stress category would be interesting for my own use. Thanks for the article!

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