Here's a trick to beating stress -- straight from the pope

Jillian Kramer

It's easy to see why Pope Francis might get stressed. He's walked the church back on issues of same-sex marriage, un-married cohabiting couples, contraception, and even abortion, inciting the ire of many a conservative church member. But in an interview published today, the Pope insists he isn't stressed out, and he shares an easy-to-copy tip to help you keep your cool too.

Pope Francis told Italy's Corriere della Sera that each night he writes down all his problems in a letter to Saint Joseph, then slips the note beneath a statue of the patron saint of workers and the man believed to be the father of Jesus. "And now he is sleeping on a mattress of letters," the pope said. "That's why I sleep well."

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Of course, we'd never suggest you scour the Internet for your own Saint Joseph statue under which to stash your troubles. But science backs up Pope Francis' nightly practice: studies have shown that writing down your worries can reduce your stress and even improve your performance at high-stakes activities, such as taking an exam or giving a presentation. Doing it could even help you catch better Zs.

So the next time you feel stressed, grab a notebook—or even a Post-It—and write down how you feel, then hide the paper away. You may be surprised to find your worry never makes it way back to you.

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