Stress is a monster.
From young to old, it seems to terrorize many lives.
In truth, stress is a choice. We are always able to choose our reactions to people or situations.
With stress however, we tend to ignore the signs for way too long, and before we know it, the monster has taken over, reeking havoc on our health, well-being, relationships, careers, and much more.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
A few decades ago, I worked in an extremely high stress sales job as a recruiter, and I was very successful at it. That success came at a high price though. The business was highly competitive and the bulk of my earnings and success were based directly on the hours I put into my work.
Needless to say, it took up most of my time. Even when I wasn't at the office, I was constantly working and had very little down time. My self-care was incredibly lacking.
What little free time I had was not spent on relaxation or anything that might have a positive impact; it was spent mainly on partying and shopping as a means to cope with tremendous stress.
The demands on my time combined with the enormous responsibility of continuously selling, needing to outsmart competitors and managing a team of recruiters, were taking their toll on my health.
I began suffering from constant headaches, anxiety and fatigue. I knew I had to make a change to my lifestyle or things would only get worse. Leaving that career was not an option for me at that point (although a few years later, I did just that).
I needed some tools to help me manage my stress while continuing with my successful sales career. I began with eating healthier, working less hours and spending quality time with my husband and dog.
I was also focused on saving money to start a family, so my shopping habit ended too; but my stress didn't significantly diminish. I needed more help.
One day, while home sick from work with a painful headache, I discovered a tool that would change my life for the better going forward. While watching an episode of Oprah, I learned about the technique of journaling.
This episode focused on improving your life with the practice of gratitude; and creating a gratitude journal was a key element.
I started one later that day, and have been journaling ever since. I have come to learn that journaling is about a lot more than expressing your feelings or creativity; it's a spiritual practice that can have a positive impact on all areas of your life.
What are the biggest benefits of journaling? (more…)