Journaling can be an exceptional tool for managing mental health, and I've found creative journaling tips that have helped me reframe what it means to journal. When hearing the word "journaling," I used to think of "dear diary" entries, but now I believe there are many journaling tactics that are useful in combatting anxiety, depression, and guilt and gauging mental illness recovery progress. I'm excited to share some creative ways I've used journaling tips to assist in managing my mental health.
Suffering from anxiety is hard. With all of life's challenges, it can be difficult not to let anxiety mold itself into an ever-looming monster in one's mind. I've had a habit of elongating my own suffering from anxiety with needless rumination, worrying, and dread. But why allow my anxiety to take away from all the other moments in my life?
Anxiety and decision-making do not go together—like, at all. Have you ever seen that meme from the movie version of The Notebook where Ryan Gosling’s character asks, “What do you want?” and Rachel McAdams' character says, “It’s not that simple!”? That’s my everyday life. I’d be lying if I said my boyfriend hasn’t quoted that dialog to me on more than one occasion.
Because I grew up with the label "shy" instead of "anxious," there are a lot of things I didn’t realize I do because of anxiety, and no one ever recognized them as anxious behaviors. It took me reading about them somewhere else or hearing someone else say them for the lightbulb to go off about my anxious behaviors.
Recently, my therapist suggested that I look into how to use emotional freedom technique (EFT) tapping in recovery to see if it was something I might be interested in trying. Now, it's one of my favorite coping techniques and I think it's going to make a big difference in my trauma work. If you haven't heard of EFT tapping, it involves tapping on specific points while speaking phrases of acceptance.
I recently experienced rapid weight loss from anxiety, and it felt like a vicious cycle that would never end. My anxiety worsened with every meal I missed, and every pound I lost. It was completely overwhelming and scary, but I got through it. Read on to learn how I was able to stop the cycle of rapid weight loss and return to a healthy weight.
Therapy has been my number one tool in my recovery, but every now and again, my therapist is wrong about something, and it freaks me out. I've had several therapists over the years, and in the past, when a therapist misunderstood something I said or made an assumption that was incorrect, I had no idea how to respond. I felt ignored, wrong, and bad, and I had no idea how to say any of this to them. But it doesn't have to be that way. It is possible to speak up when you're being misunderstood.
In general, suicidal thoughts are not normal, but they have been for me lately. I have been actively working toward my recovery for over six years now, and yet for the last two months, I've experienced some kind of suicidal thought nearly every day. I don't want to die, I just want to hit "rock bottom" so I can finally actually get better. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Health anxiety used to be called hypochondria, and it's a highly stigmatized mental health condition. Instead of being taken seriously, health anxiety is often reduced to being "dramatic." I have dealt with health anxiety on and off for the last seven years, and I want to share my experience so others won't have to feel as alone as I have.
Many forms of self-care are absolutely essential for any healthy, functioning person, but, oftentimes, we see the same recommendations online over and over, like getting a manicure or snuggling with a weighted blanket. But what if these self-care activities aren't right for you? There are different forms of self-care that you might enjoy.