Staying organized is a key component of reducing stress—whether that means managing our calendars, cleaning our study spaces, or knowing where to quickly find our chemistry notes.

But even if you keep your physical space in order, how often do you set aside time to organize your thoughts?

Research reveals an intimate connection between writing down thoughts/anxieties and reduced stress levels. This connection is even more acute for adolescences and teenagers, who report stress levels similar to those of adults, yet whose still-developing brains make it difficult to manage anxiety in productive ways. That is why this month’s study tip is:

  Set aside 30 minutes at least one evening this week to write out your thoughts in a journal.

Why Does Journaling Increase Grades and Decrease Stress?

  • Research from the University of Chicago shows that writing about anxiety before exams helps students reduce their anxiety and increase their test scores.
  • Research from the Journal of Experimental Psychology reveals that taking time to write about tomorrow’s to-do list can help you fall asleep more quickly.
  • Journaling can help you gain control of your emotions, understand your thoughts more clearly, and improve your overall mental health.

3 Ways Journaling Increase College Readiness:

  1. In recent years, there have been an increasing number of college students seeking counseling appointments for stress and depression.
  2. Journaling helps students maintain a sense of self-control during a time of new environments and increased expectations.
  3. College students that use other coping outlets such as drinking are at an even greater risk for destructive outcomes than students who drink for other reasons.

Take it to the next level!

  • Find as quiet of a location as possible to do your writing.
  • Write in whatever way feels right to you. A journal doesn’t need to follow any particular structure.
  • Use sentence framings and emotional vocabulary lists if you are struggling to get your pen or pencil moving.

Remember, developing great habits takes consistent practice so keep at it!

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