Journaling For Stress Release – Part II

Even though many of us complain about stress, in many ways it can make you feel both alive and alert. Personally, I do my best work when under a little bit of stress. The pressure of deadlines, for example, is a great motivator. There have been many studies around the benefits and perils of stress. One study I read recently indicated that those who say they need stress to survive might have been abused as children or permanently affected in the womb after being exposed to high levels of cortisol during gestation. Years ago, my Aunt Lilly gave me a book called, Stress Without Distress by Hans Seyle and many of the principles have stuck with me. Lilly said that book saved her life. She was not only as a female entrepreneur after World War II, but also a survivor of Auschwitz and a widow. Hans Seyle was in the forefront of stress research and science in the 1930s and he believed strongly in good stress, which he coined as, “eustress.’ In fact he saw stress as “the salt of life.” Seyle believed that stress made us human. On a recent trip to Africa, I witnessed that animals experience stress, on a very primitive fight or flight level. It was interesting and enlightening to witness the stress response in animals who were actually in life-threatening situations. Sometimes it helps to remember what may be threatening us isn’t so extreme after all, and may in fact, be positive and life-affirming.

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Quote of the Week


"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me


I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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