Anxiety isn’t an easy problem that you can just solve at once. It ranges from person to person and it’s also a challenging thing to battle on day to day basis. While there are several ways to conquer anxiety, journal writing is perhaps the best method.
Journaling is one of the best anxiety management tools. The best part of it all is that it’s an enjoyable process. Whether you want to journal weekly, daily or when stress sets in, the choice is yours.
If you can work through your anxious feelings then journaling can help you alleviate stress. According to Psychology Today, there is no better way to learn about your thought processes than to put them down on paper. No matter what you do or whom you are everyone can use a journal.
As one of the most powerful tools out there, you can use journaling to analyzing your thoughts and come up with tangible remedies. Here are some steps for those who are starting out.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Started
- 1. Write Your Journal with an Aim
- 2. Before Going for a Meeting or an Event Write down How You are Feeling
- 3. Speak Your Mind
- 4. Put Down the Things You Are Interested In and Why
- 5. Give Your Brain Some Rest
- 6. Put Down Both the Positive and Negative
- 7. Create an Everything Spread
- 8. Focus on the Positive to Get a Better Mindset
How to Get Started
If you are just starting out then the following plan can help you write your way out of anxiety and stress. Just note down what’s bothering you and what’s on your mind
- Write about all your concerns. You can start by journaling for between 5 to 15 minutes. You may prefer a journal, computer or just a pad and paper.
- Write in detail what’s happening now. You also need to describe all the events and happenings especially the ones that are causing you difficulty. Keep in mind that sometimes it’s what’s currently happening that’s causing anxiety.
- Write all your concerns and fears in a chronological order. For instance, start with the present stressors before exploring what you think will happen next.
- Write how this will affect you.
- Now that you’ve put all these down, start thinking about what you can do to overcome these issues.
1. Write Your Journal with an Aim
When you are feeling stressed the best thing to do is to describe everything you are facing in details. By doing this you’ll not only start to think clearly but also focus on more on your problem
While there are several ways to journal there is no wrong or right. Some people prefer free-forming but others like to list things. Since journaling is a private matter, how you do it is entirely up to you.
2. Before Going for a Meeting or an Event Write down How You are Feeling
If you are feeling anxious about going to an event or family meeting, write down how you are feeling and what exactly is making you feel like that. Unless you write it down and think about what you can do, these feelings might overwhelm you.
By doing this, you’ll immediately since you’ll learn that you are capable of coping with it.
3. Speak Your Mind
As compared to sharing your problems and issues with others, journaling allows you to write down your mind without worrying about anything. For instance, whether people are telling you that you are out of your mind or you are a mess you don’t have to fear.
Since a journal is a silent tool you can use it to put down everything you feel. At the end of everything you’ll feel much more relieved. Studies have also shown that keeping a journal entry will help you handle several conditions that might be affecting you. Plus you’ll also be brave enough to face any issue that you’ve avoided for some time. Journaling is, therefore, one of the best tools.
4. Put Down the Things You Are Interested In and Why
When you are updating your journaling put down all the things you are interested in and why you are interested in them. Next, check around if there are meet up groups or people around that theme.
The good thing about this is that first, these people are interested in the same things as you are. So you have something to share. Second, you can ask the person seated next to you what they thought about it. Naturally, you’ll go out together and share your fears, anxieties, and feelings.
5. Give Your Brain Some Rest
You probably know how it feels to lie down on your bed for several hours unable to sleep simply because you are worried about your commitments, problems, and future.
One technique that you’ll find extremely useful is to write all the tasks you intend to do the following day. This way your brain will relax while knowing that everything has been taken care of.
If this is not enough you can go further, sit down with your journal and describe what the following day will look like. Include aspects such as your tasks, how you want to feel and who you’ll meet.
6. Put Down Both the Positive and Negative
If really want to feel good after your journaling sessions then you should avoid focusing only on the bad things. This is why most journaling guides recommend that one needs to also look at the positive side of things.
The best thing to do is to mix the good and the bad. It’s important to do this because if you constantly journal about the bad you are likely to feel discouraged after the exercise. For instance, if you’ve just ranted about work or life in your journal it would be a good thing to talk about fining by writing things that make you feel good and relaxed.
7. Create an Everything Spread
Something that causes a lot of anxiety among people is when you have a lot of ideas in your mind but you don’t know how to execute them.
Thankfully, there is an extremely simple solution that requires no extra thinking or brainstorming. Throughout the week just make sure you note all the important things. These may include
- Good ideas to do later
- Lessons learned
- That amazing book that you want to read
Next, set some time and day every week to go back to your “everything spread” and choose what you want to do among those things. A good idea may be a quiet Sunday with a cup of tea.
8. Focus on the Positive to Get a Better Mindset
Another interesting way you can use journaling as a tool to overcome anxiety is to only focus on positive and omit all the negative thoughts. This way of writing journals can help you cultivate a more optimistic way of thinking.
Focusing on the positive side of things is important because you’ll have a more positive mindset and reduce your stress levels. This can also help you work to overcome stress and depression and encourage you to be grateful.
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by anxiety anymore. It’s in your power even in those hardest moments to stem from worries and hopelessness into clarity and freedom. All you need to do is to act and take one step at a time.
Next time you feel anxious just grab your journal and try some of the above steps. If you are not sure where to start, there are a number of tools and apps to help you.