Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 39.

Today my journal was just about how grateful I am for my family.
Today's my brother's birthday, and although we had orchestra rehearsal, we all just took the time to show how much we love each other, and that really means a lot to me. This journal not only is written completely with stress and pressure, it's also a reminder to me of my family and nice things in life and things that I try to keep in mind every day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 38.

Journaling was accompanied by meditation again today.
Sometimes when I get headaches from too much work, or just need a break from the non-stop busy of the day, I find that meditation is really helpful. It helps me center myself (not on work, but just in general) and really clears my head to put me in a better mood for the work ahead.
It doesn't hurt that I also had soccer practice today and I get really happy after that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 37.

I had another good day today.
School wasn't too bad (especially as I got to sleep in) and journaling was more a pleasure than a need. To be more specific- some days when I'm so completely stressed out that I can't speak to someone else without the fear of bursting out crying are the perfect days for "need" journaling. Because I can't talk to anyone else, the journal is the only way I can write out my frustrations.
Today was a "pleasure" journal day in which I wrote down all the nice things I did for people and that I saw. I've found that it's really nice to have journal entries like that to look back on for the bad days.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 36.

Today I wasn't really swamped with pressure or anything, and I didn't have too much to write about, so I focused most of my energy into meditating today.
I've learned to really appreciate meditating in addition to my journaling- now that I know how it can help, it's really improving how I manage my stress levels and I'm so thankful I didn't give up on it after the first week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 35.

I'm proud of myself- for the past two days, I've been able to have a sunny outlook on life and not to let little things get me down... and it's all with the help of my journal.
If ever I'm feeling a little iffy about a situation or something amazing happens, my journal is there for me to write in and almost always do I come away with a realization about myself. I've been reading through my past entries and I noticed how many times I rant in it. That really just shows to me how much this journal has helped me- even though sometimes I've had bad days/moments, I've been able to overlook them with the help of my journal and just have a better outlook on life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 33.

Funnily enough, I think that weekends sometimes can be the most stressful times of the week for me. I mean, I love the fact that we don't have the stress of school, but there's so much going on! I have meetings and soccer games and piano lessons and on top of that there are college applications, too!
My journal today was really just a rant on my so-busy life. I have so many things going on at once that it's really nice to be able to take 20 minutes by myself to just reflect and relax. And mostly be by myself without other pressures (like college applications, homework, etc)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 32.

And we're back to normal again.
After a lot more quality time and reflection with my journal, followed by some random doodling, I came to the conclusion that I can't control anyone but myself and it's perfectly natural to get emotional sometimes. I got mad not only at the teacher, but at myself for reacting how I did- but it's really okay.
Today's journal was a huge relief for me, not just stress-wise, but just in knowing who I am and that I don't have to restrict myself for other people.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 31.

And in response to my question yesterday- "what does the absence of emotion mean?"- I think it all has to do with sleep levels.
At least for me.
I hadn't slept too much the day before, and that really led to me being like a zombie being. Today I'm feeling again, and journaling up a storm. This time it's because I was publicly humiliated during class by a teacher. And here's another question- what do I do to control myself when my situation is uncontrollable? I did whip out my journal after the incident and wrote furiously in it while trying to stop tears, but that doesn't stop what happened! And I can't control my feelings when I'm berated!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 30.

It's my birthday!
Unfortunately, the stress of school doesn't really seem to stop for those "holidays". I felt like I should've been happier or something today because it's my special day, but I really just feel TIRED. My journal entry today was full of blah- there was nothing special or rant-y or any kind of tone about it- it just was.
This seems to be a new complication... what does the absence of emotion mean?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 29.

I repeated my journaling and meditation duo today, and I really think I'm finding a happy medium between the two.
When I first tried meditation, it was hard for me to concentrate because I had so many things weighing on my mind- and that's where the journal comes in! Now that I can journal, it's like I can release all my frustrations from the day into writing, and then meditate with a clear mind.
Today was a little bit better- still a packed day with piano lessons and bible study, but the music and socialness (of the youth group get-together) really helped lower my head-pressure.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 27.

Inhale. Exhale.
Today I did some meditation again (even though I haven't done it since the very first week of this project!) and it really helped me to center myself and allow myself to think with a clear head about all my projects/work/etc. I journaled in church, too, and today was kind of like a cool cloth to yesterday's headache.
I was able to bring myself back down from the stressful high, think more clearly about what I should/shouldn't be worried about, and concentrate instead of freaking out about mundane things!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 26.

And- I'm possibly back to more stress.
How do I fix it? With such huge projects looming over my head, I feel like I'm drowning in all my work. I wrote in my journal today about how incompetent I feel when it comes to learning/being smart sometimes. I've noticed that the more stressed I am, the more apt I am to get mad at myself or find personal flaws- and that's not good.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 25.

I've been doing constant journaling for almost a month now, and I really think I've found a lot more about myself through it.
I've learned that it's partially the attitude that can keep (me) happier, that doodling may seem frivolous but actually makes me a less stressed person, that going back and reading my previous journal entries lets me think with a clearer head and (possibly) help myself refrain from making the same mistakes...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 24.

Things have been going much more swimmingly.
There has been less venting in my journal, less personal berating, and just a more hopeful tone throughout the journal. I think a huge thing to being less stressed is attitude. I know it's really difficult to keep a smile on the entire day (and it shouldn't be there if it's not genuine!) but if you look at life like a Pollyanna, and take joy in more things, it's much easier to have a lower stress level. Maybe it's lower expectations, but maybe it's just learning to be happier with what you have.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 22.

I've made a discovery again through my journal.
A huge reason that I think I'm stressed is because I feel like I'm not living up to my potential. In my journal, I write how lazy I feel like I am. While I might not actually be that, it's the feeling that I'm not good enough or that I'm not trying hard enough that pressures me.
Maybe I need to stop being so tough on myself?
Maybe I need to try harder?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 21.

Today I filled two pages of my journal full with doodles of inanimate objects that I had put smiley faces on.
It may seem like a childish, silly thing to do but it was actually really fun and cathartic for me! It allowed me to concentrate on something that wasn't school work, and the smiles made me happy, too!
I find a certain satisfaction in making things cute, and I think that's another key to my journaling. I'm always very neat in precise in my writing (and creative in my drawing) and I think it helps me access the sides of myself that I don't use in school all the time.
It's like I'm pushing myself, but in a direction that I enjoy being pushed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 20.

Today was my journaling-during-church day, and again, I felt like I'm just less stressed when I do it! Before I took notes during the sermon, I would get really frustrated with myself for not being able to concentrate. I would mentally berate myself, which is not good for my stress levels.
Taking notes allowed me to stop the mental pressures that I was putting on myself, concentrate on the sermon (which always has an uplifting message to help me through the week), and relax.
I think I'm finding that words really help me express myself and feel better.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 18.

Today was a non-crying, yes-doodling and joking in my journal type of day- and I'm proud of myself for it. No venting, just letting myself relax and be creative.
It was nice for today because I had lots of homework (and teaching piano lessons, and orchestra), and journaling was a break from that work so that I could just get over the pressures of the week, get ready for the weekend, etc.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 17.

Today I got creative and wrote a story in my journal.
It made me cry (sigh, again) to write it, but I feel like it helped me explain my feelings and stress levels. Maybe it's a weird thing to do, but it was a personification of the lump in my throat- how it sometimes hides, but comes back up to choke me every once in a while, and also makes me cry even if I don't want to.
I don't know what writing that story did for me, but it feels like now that I know what's wrong I can work to fix it somehow. I don't know how I'll fix it, but finding the problem's always the first step, right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 16.

Okay, so I may have been overreacting yesterday.
I guess I'm still overwhelmed, though, knowing that I'm not as de-stressed as I thought I was. It's kind of frustrating. Yes, journaling helps a lot- it lets me vent, or doodle, or reflect on my day- but I'm still having these stressors that are negatively affecting me.
It's like I'm stressed out but I try not to be... which only succeeds in making me break down at very small things each day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 15.

Annndd... I just made a horrible discovery.
Reading back through my journal, I realized that I cry almost every day. That is not normal or healthy at all. I try to be happy each day so much so that I don't realize/remember being sad, but looking back I find that I break down really often.
What can I do to stop it? What is journaling even helping me to do?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 14.

Stress levels: Still at a moderate low.
For the first time, I wrote in my journal/took notes during the sermon at church, and surprisingly it helped a LOT. Not because I was stressed or anything, but sometimes I get sleepy and my attention gets diverted during the Sunday lesson. I guess there is truth in taking notes while teachers are talking!
This also helps relieve my stress because I could look over what I wrote (yesterday) and reflect on the lessons I learned in church, especially if I'm stressed out on a school day.
There's something about being reminded of better things in life (or the bigger picture) that helps me keep my stress in check.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 11.

Today, thankfully, was not a stressful day.
It was my mom's birthday, and maybe it's the excitement of the month of birthdays (all my family's birthdays are in October), or just that my day wasn't too stressful, but my journaling was more reflecting than venting.
Which is good!
Also, maybe the fact that tomorrow's the weekend and my stress can be temporarily relieved helps my moodiness. Journaling was definitely a pleasure (not a frantic, must write down everything because I'll break if I don't-need).