Journaling for anxiety

Does it ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? My counsellor told me about the benefits of journaling, and then a Youtuber I follow said how much it helps his mental health, followed by a lot of mentions on Instagram too, so I thought OK universe I’ll start writing!

I used to journal last year, but I gave up with it as I often do with these things, so I’m hoping to be more dedicated this time. I write on my laptop, which might not be as romantic as writing by hand in pretty notebooks, but I don’t have to worry about anyone else reading my secrets! I used to have a hand-written diary from my teen years, which I decided to shred as it made me cringe. (Think lots of wittering on about my crushes)!

Get your worries out of your head

If you’re a worrier then you’ll know all about the thoughts going around and around in your brain. It’s exhausting. Writing your worries down is great because it puts them into perspective and allows you to challenge your way of thinking.

I have a fear of losing control, so if I have a trigger come up – like not being able to sleep and then panicking that I’ll make myself ill, I write it down and rationalise what will actually happen. Yes, it might feel unpleasant, but I always settle down into a better sleep pattern eventually and start to feel better.

Express how you feel

I’m a very introverted person that tends to bottle up my emotions. Sometimes I don’t even realise I’m doing it. I’ll have people remark that I seem so calm and laid back… (Thanks, poker face!) So, for me there’s nothing more cathartic than to have a bit of a sweary rant in my journal, complete with CAPS LOCK and exclamation marks!! I’ll reassure myself sometimes too, it’s quite nice to take it as an opportunity to be a friend to yourself, as I know many of us don’t have people that we can open up to.

Life goals

Your journal can also be a good place to keep track of your life and where you want to be. I often write down things I want to remember – affirmations, coping thoughts and strategies. “I do not base my self-worth on the opinions of others,” is a good one. And you can keep track of what you’ve written and see how things have changed.

Some people like to journal before they go to bed, as they find it helps them get out their worries before they sleep. I like to write each day whenever I feel like it. That’s what’s so good about it, it’s your free space to write whatever you like, whenever you like.

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