4 Benefits of Managing Anxiety by Journaling

4 Benefits of Managing Anxiety by Journaling

Are you struggling to manage feelings of anxiety?

Millions of people suffer with some form of anxiety, and for some it can prove to be extremely debilitating. Over the last couple of weeks there has been times when my anxiety levels have been off the charts and I’ve found myself tapping into tools and strategies I’ve not used for awhile to help me get back to a calm, more balanced state.

Common treatments include counselling and medication, and both certainly have their place but did you know that journaling can reduce feelings of anxiety?

Today, you’ll discover some of the main benefits of journaling for anxiety and how it can help reduce its symptoms.

1Increasing your knowledge and awareness

One of the main ways journaling can help to reduce anxiety, is by giving you a deeper understanding of it. 

Often, you’ll find you have no idea what brought on the anxiety, or why it happens. It’s something you learn to just accept without really giving it much thought. So, by writing down the times you feel anxious and what was going on just before that feeling, or the “trigger”, you’ll start to understand more about why it’s happening.

So, why does this help to reduce it?

Once you know what’s triggering your anxiety, you have the opportunity to work on tackling it. Avoiding triggers or at least figuring out ways to manage them, will really make a huge difference when it comes to managing your anxiety levels.

It also teaches you to become more aware of your anxiety. When you’re aware that it’s happening and you know why it’s happening, you can use that to reset the mind and switch to less anxious thoughts. Your brain is capable of doing the most amazing things. It’s a “neck-top” computer and it can be programmed and reprogrammed just like a regular computer. Don’t believe me? Check out Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP, it was a game changer me.  

Journaling about your anxiety can really help you to develop greater knowledge and awareness, in turn helping you to combat the condition. 

2. Helping you to develop new coping techniques

Once you’ve written down the things that are making you anxious, it gives you the opportunity to explore them. You can ask yourself why you are feeling anxious, and what you could potentially do to stop it.

You will be able to come up with new coping techniques you could try to minimize the anxiety. By exploring why and when it occurs, it enables you to start recognizing when it happens, allowing you to quickly adopt your coping techniques to minimize it. 

 

3. Getting those anxious feelings out

Even just the act of writing down your anxious thoughts and feelings can help enormously. Keeping negative feelings bottled up can actually cause the anxiety to get worse. So, by writing them all down, it eliminates them from the mind, leaving you feeling instantly calmer.

You’ll also find when you write down your anxious feelings, they have less power over you. You’ll be able to look at them more subjectively and realize they aren’t as powerful as you thought they were.

4. Helping you to monitor your progress

When you’re trying to improve your anxiety levels, it can be pretty tough if you aren’t monitoring your progress. A journal can help you to see how far you’ve come since you started recording your thoughts and feelings.

It also enables you to identify and change any patterns which might be occurring. For example, you may find that you are more anxious at a certain time of day. By writing in the journal consistently, you’ll start to witness these types of patterns and record what you did to prevent them occurring again.

These are just some of the great benefits journaling for anxiety can deliver. As an additional bonus, once you start using the journal to manage your anxiety, you’ll also find it eases and prevents depression too. Those who do suffer with anxiety often suffer with depression too. So, being able to utilize something which can manage both conditions is fantastic.

If you haven’t given journaling for anxiety a go, now is definitely a great time to try it. There are numerous types of journals you can keep to manage anxiety and each has their own unique benefits.

 

An invaluable resource for self-help in a wide variety of areas can be found at getselfhelp.org. The above prompts have been adapted from the Thought Record resource. Use the above prompts for personal/therapeutic use only.

5 Journaling Prompt Ideas to Help Tackle Anxiety

5 Journaling Prompt Ideas to Help Tackle Anxiety

More Time On Your Hands?

This would be great under usual circumstances but there’s nothing usual about what’s going on in the world today. 

More time for you right now, mostly likely means more time to feel anxious. One way to tackle anxiety is by writing about it.

In order for journaling for anxiety to be effective, you need to use it daily. However, one of the hardest parts of using a journal for anxiety is figuring out where to start.

If you suffer from writer’s block, or your heads so full and thoughts so scrambled you just don’t know where to start, writing prompts can prove extremely useful.

So, to help get you started, below you’ll discover 5 journaling prompt ideas to help tackle anxiety.

1. Use color to write things that make you happy

Did you know that visual cues can be more effective at tackling anxiety than written words?

Bright, positive colors can really help to make you feel calmer and happier. That’s why adult coloring books have become so popular. Colors have the power to directly impact your mood, so why not use them to your advantage?

Use different colored, bright pens to write down the things that make you happy. You could also draw little doodles instead if you find that more effective. Then, the next time you feel anxious, go back to that bright list of things which make you happy and you should notice you feel happier and calmer.

2. The lessons I’ve learned from anxiety are…

If you want to explore your anxiety and see it in a different light, writing down the lessons you have learned can be useful.

You may be surprised to find that having anxiety has actually taught you some positive lessons. It could be that you recognize living with anxiety has made you a more empathetic person for example.

Being able to identify the positive things anxiety has taught you will help you to feel more in control and also view the condition in a less negative light.

3. Write down the things you are doing right

When you’re living with anxiety, it’s easy to focus on the things you’re doing wrong. However, what about the things you’re actually doing right? Start by writing in your journal about the positive things you’re currently doing.

This will help you to start focusing more on your positive qualities, rather than negative ones. In turn, this can really help to tackle anxiety and get the brain into a more positive mindset.

  1. Write about a situation you have overcome

Similar to writing about the things you’re doing right, writing down a situation you’ve overcome can boost your positivity.

With anxiety, it’s common to get stuck in a fear cycle. You become overwhelmed by negative situations you are currently experiencing, which then worsens the anxiety. By writing about situations you’ve overcome, it reminds you that you’re a lot braver and stronger than you think.

You’ll start to see that you have successfully gotten through every bad situation you have been in. So, what makes this one any different? Remember those difficult times and use them as inspiration for getting through this one.

  1. List your worst habits and how they impact you

You don’t have to purely focus on the positives to make journaling work for you. In fact, writing down a few negatives, such as your worst habits, can give you a lot more knowledge and awareness; in turn helping you to understand your anxiety to prevent it from becoming overwhelming.

By listing your worst habits and how they affect you, you’ll be able to identify your patterns of behavior and ultimately work out how to change them.

It can be tough figuring out how to get started with journaling for anxiety. However, the 5 journaling prompts listed above can really help you to address your anxiety and figure out ways to overcome it.