Health

Use a ‘One-Word Journal’ to Quickly Destress at Night — And Fill Up Your Prettiest Stationery

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We could spend hours browsing beautiful stationery, but actually finding the time to put pen to paper? Forget about it! Our schedules keep us so busy we barely have 10 minutes to shower in peace, let alone 30 minutes or more to write down what we did during the day. Luckily, there’s still a way for women who are short on time to reap the health benefits of journaling: the one-word journal.

Author Nataly Kogan explains the concept of one-word journaling in her new book, Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones) ($9.98, Amazon). Kogan was inspired by her friend to begin a form of journaling lite, and the concept is oh-so simple: All you have to do is choose a word — one itty-bitty, teensy-weensy word — to describe your day. If you have more time, add whatever makes you happy; doodles, sketches, and stickers are welcome!

To ensure you never miss a day, no matter how hectic it is, put your journal on your nightstand. You’ll notice it before you drift off to dreamland, and you can scribble down any end-of-the-day thoughts. 

Given the wonderful health benefits of writing in a journal, why not get started tonight? In a 2013 study published in the journal Anxiety, Stress & Coping, researchers assigned participants to write about the most traumatic thing that had happened to them within the previous five years. Those who were emotionally expressive in their writing were significantly less anxious after three months, while participants who scored low on expressiveness were signifcantly more anxious after the same amount of time. 

One-word journaling doesn’t require you to dig deep into past traumas, but it does ask you to reflect on your day. It’s easy to lose track of your daily accomplishments once you’ve settled into a routine. Plus, journaling before bed each night allows you to play back the day’s events, recognize all that you’ve achieved, while encouraging gratitude for all your experiences. Our one word for that? Peace.

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