Journaling Is Helpful for My Anxiety
A key strategy that I have found helpful for my anxiety has been journaling. Whether I am in the middle of an unexpected stressful situation or have encountered something that has triggered my anxiety, journaling helps to reduce my anxiety symptoms.
Why Journaling Is Helpful for Anxiety
There is great power in the written word, and I've found that in moments in which I feel extremely anxious, the ability to express my thoughts and feelings helps me to feel calmer.
Research has shown that journaling can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.1 When you experience anxiety, the physical symptoms can range from a fast heart rate to muscle tension. Journaling helps calm those symptoms and, as a result, can help to lessen anxiety.
One of the ways journaling is helpful for anxiety is that it can help you organize your thoughts. I've found that it helps me sort out what I am thinking. This is helpful because, while experiencing anxiety, I've found that one of the things that can make it worse is feeling a sense of chaos in my thoughts. However, journaling allows me to visualize them on paper and, as a result, make sense of them.
Additionally, in relation to this, I have found that expressing myself and seeing it on paper helps me to see what I do and do not have control over. One of the issues I have with anxiety is feeling a lack of control over a given situation, and being able to sort out my thoughts on paper helps to identify what I do have control over and, therefore, what I may be able to do something about. Ultimately, it can be helpful for me for problem-solving a situation that I may be experiencing stress about.
How I Journal to Help My Anxiety
I think one of the misconceptions about journaling is that it involves writing about what happened during the day in a diary. While that method may be helpful for some, I think it's beneficial for coping with anxiety to journal with a purpose.
For example, I will journal about events that are triggering my anxiety or about things that I am grateful for. I'll journal about struggles I am going through or about positive experiences that I've had. In any case, I sit down with an intent in mind when I journal.
Additionally, I've found it important to journal on a schedule that is most beneficial for me and use methods that I prefer, such as using a specific notebook. Using specific strategies for journaling helps to ensure that it is something I continue to do.
In the video below, I discuss the benefits of journaling.
Have you found journaling helpful for your anxiety? What strategies do you use? Share them in the comments below.
- Smyth, J. M., Johnson, J. A., Auer, B. J., Lehman, E., Talamo, G., & Sciamanna, C. N. (2018). Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General medical patients with Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. JMIR Mental Health, 5(4), e11290. https://doi.org/10.2196/11290
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2023, August 31). Journaling Is Helpful for My Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2023/8/journaling-is-helpful-for-my-anxiety