Anxiety Triggers + Strategies
Write out 1-3 things that trigger anxiety in you + at least one strategy for how to combat each. Try to focus on things that have been triggering you lately + hold you back the most mentally. Journal about actions you have taken in the past or can possibly take to combat these triggers .
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How Journaling Can Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Journaling has long been suggested as an amazing method to help cut down on stress and anxiety, especially during the pandemic.
From doodling your thoughts on the blank pages of a fresh notebook when you were younger to writing out your thoughts and feelings for a class assignment, weve all likely journaled at some point in our lives.
Maybe youve yet to revisit the activity in your adult life, but there are some very good reasons why you should. Journaling has long been suggested as an amazing method to help cut down on stress and anxiety, especially during the pandemic. You can target your practice to specifically help you, whether experimenting with methods to help you sleep, or focusing on techniques that can help you feel less stressed, anxious or depressed.
Bando How Are You Feeling Wellness Planner
Packed with thoughtful exercises and resources for optimizing mental wellness, this planner will teach you how to express your emotions in a healthy and productive way. Activity trackers, tear-out cards and advice from experts are also included. If youre the type of person who has a tough time saying how they feel, youll benefit from this book. Check out the ban.do How Are You Feeling Wellness Planner here.
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‘the Introvert Activity Book: Draw It Make It Write It ‘ By Maureen Marzi Wilson From $1179 Available At Amazon Barnes & Noble And Target
Introversion and anxiety aren’t the same things, of course, but Wilson’s Introvert Doodles often perfectly encapsulate exactly how social anxiety feels. The cleverly crafted comics translate just as well into this interactive journal, which ranges in depth from drawing introvert mascots to taking self-care quizzes. The certificate of completion at the end is an especially charming touch.
Embrace Your Anxious Thoughts
One of the instincts many of us have when we face anxious thoughts is to try and deny thempush them away, think of something else. Unfortunately, this only suppresses our stress, and usually makes it surface later in worse ways.
So what can you do? There is a much better option: according to research, writing down your worries can make them go awayalmost as if you are transferring them out of your head and into the paper.
Write after you wake up, grab your journal and vent all those negative thoughts into the page. You will immediately feel lighter, happier, and more relaxed.
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How To Journal For Anxiety:
Journaling For Anxiety Conclusion
As well as being a great way to track your anxious thoughts, I think journaling for anxiety and using the anxiety prompts above is a brilliant way to become self-aware.
If you use the 1-10 technique to track your anxiety you can instantly see which days youre worse on, and which days you arent so anxious.
After all, what is tracked can be managed.
Having a journal doesnt have to be a heavy thing. If you forget to write an entry, its no big deal. However, it should be a habit that you continue to do to see the benefits.
If youve had any experience yourself with journaling for anxiety, Id love to hear your experiences in the comments.
Heres to your success Sean
You Are One Page Away From Peace Of Mind
You dont have to feel crippled by anxiety anymore.
Its in your powereven in those hardest momentsto step from hopelessness into freedom and clarity.
All you need to do it actone simple step at a time. The next time you feel your anxiety kicking in, just grab your journal and try one of the steps above.
It might even change your life.
The Main Reason Journaling For Anxiety Is Important
Heres the deal. When we are anxious and frittering away each day, its easy to lose track of how things really are. Its easy to lose sight of what we actually need to be doing. Its also easy to lose sight of what were actually anxious about.
Although journaling isnt a magic bullet cure for anxiety disorders, it puts your life into perspective. Being able to look over your previous logs is powerful stuff.
You can see patterns in your thoughts and behaviour and begin to learn what is making you anxious, when you feel most anxious and ultimately get a chance to step back and look at yourself.
A great resource for if youre new to journaling for anxiety. This book The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to soothe stress and eliminate anxiety wherever you are is a great way to stay accountable when youre using your journal. It saves you mapping out a blank journal and gives you prompts, mindfulness practises and allows you to structure your entries.
If you dont want to have to think about logging your anxious thoughts each day, this is the journal for you.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Anxiety Without Panic Attacks
What Is Journal Writing
Journal writing, or simply journaling, is the act of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions regarding your life events. The term journal comes from a French word that means to journey or travel. Journal writing is a written record of your inner experiences of the journey of your life.
Write A Letter To Someone And Never Send It
Sometimes anxieties and fears can build up to the point that you just need to rant or tell someone about it, and that can be completely healthy. However, sometimes anxiety attacks strike in the middle of the night when no one is around and able to help. Use your journal when this happens. Address the letter to the person you want to talk with , and tell them how you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to say everything you want to say because you won’t be sending this. This prompt can also help you organize your thoughts if you do need to talk to someone in real life but aren’t sure how to go about it.
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How To Start Journaling
Try it on paper first. Writing with pen and paper helps you process your feelings better. Itâs also easier to add drawings to paper. But go with whatever youâre more comfortable with and is more convenient for you.â
Make it a habit. Pick a time of the day thatâs good for you. It could be the first thing you do when you wake up or the last thing you do before going to sleep.
Keep it simple. When youâre first starting out, keep it simple. Journal only for a few minutes and set a timer. â
Do what feels right. Thereâs no hard-and-fast rule on what you should write. Itâs your space to create whatever you want to express your feelings. Donât worry about spelling or sentence structure or what other people might think. Some people may prefer to write only if something is bothering them, but you should do what feels right for you.
Write on anything. While a beautiful notebook might inspire some, it can intimidate others. But it doesnât matter what you write on. It could be a specific journal, random scraps of paper, or your phone. If you donât feel like writing, you could even try a voice memo.â
Try expressive writing. Writing about an event that was stressful or emotional for you may be more beneficial to your mental health than just diary writing.
Donât set your expectations too high. A journal isnât going to solve all your problems. It isnât a therapist or counselor. But it can help you learn more about yourself.
Overcome Your Own Expectations
Alright, you might feel put off just by the thought of planning tasks and making to-do liststhey always end up adding more anxiety when you dont accomplish them!
However, you can change that, by changing your belief that you are not productive.
According to research on neuroplasticity, we have the power to rewire our neurons, and consequently change the way we think and behave.
How can you do that? Just create an extremely easy to accomplish to-do listsomething thats impossible to fail. For example:
Tomorrow I will Drink 2 cups of water Make my bed Journal for 3 minutes
Then, make sure you accomplish those tasks. It doesnt matter if they seem small: whats important is that you will be re-learning the feeling of accomplishment and pride, which will push your anxiety away.
Gradually, productivity will become a pleasure, and anxiety wont be crippling anymore.
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‘anxiety Relief For Teens: Essential Cbt Skills And Mindfulness Practices To Overcome Anxiety And Stress’ By Regine Galanti Phd $1619 Available At Amazon Target And Barnes & Noble
This journal is specifically crafted for teens, but the sentiments and activities within it work well for readers confronting anxiety at any age. Galanti, who is a licensed psychologist with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, teaches teens to work through feeling anxiety in their bodies, retraining the brain’s response to anxious thoughts and building adaptation skills.
Although it’s not exclusively a journal, the information provided between written activities can be just as formative as the interactive tasks.
A Creative Way To Cope With Anxiety
Journaling for anxiety doesnt mean having to write page after page every day. Tiny Buddhas Worry Journal offers you a creative way to unwind.
Within the journal youll find questions focused on understanding what currently worries you and space to make plans on how youll cope with stressful situations in the future.
However you also get coloring and doodle pages so you can express yourself, in a lighter and more colorful way!
Reviewers appreciated the coloring pages in particular as a way to switch off, and felt it genuinely helped them to feel calmer at the end of a stressful day.
Also Check: Can Anxiety Cause You To Throw Up
Give Your Brain A Rest
Evenings can be tough.
You probably know how it feels to lie in bed for hours unable to sleep because youre worried about your problems, about your commitments, about the future.
One technique that can be extremely useful to remove that pressure is to write down your tasks for the next day before you go to bed. This way you will help your brain relax, letting it know that its all taken care of, and you wont forget what you have to do.
If this is not enough, you can go even further. Just before bed, sit down with your journal and describe what the next day will look like. Include your tasks, how you want to feel, who you will meet:
Tomorrow I will wake up feeling optimistic and energized. I will journal my thoughts, have a healthy breakfast, and then knock down the main 3 points on my to-do list. I will feel really accomplished after that. Then I will reply to that email I have been postponing, and then I will have lunch with my friendsits going to be so much fun! In the afternoon I will hit the gym. I cant wait to move my body! After that, I will feel clear-headed and I can either do some more work or rest. In the evening, before bed, I will journal again, grateful for everything I have accomplished, knowing that its okay to leave some things undone.
This exercise not only relieves your brain from the pressure of remembering and planning, but it can also be extremely relaxing!
Interview Your Past And Future Self
Don’t look at this like a stressful job interview. Do look at this as a way to reflect and motivate. Interview your past self by asking questions like: Are you scared of anything? What do you want to be when you grow up? What’s your favorite memory?
Then interview your future self with questions like: How did you get to where you are today? What advice would you give your past self? What are your current fears and anxieties? Compare the two and see the similarities and differences. Obviously your future self is imagined. But picturing where you’d like to be and realizing that you’ll get past whatever your current anxieties is important to keep in mind.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Have Separation Anxiety
The Dos And Donts Of A Diary
A 2002 study does suggest that journalers should beware of rehashing the same difficult feelings over and over in writing.
In the experiment, over 120 college students journaled about a stressful or traumatic event they were experiencing, like troubles at school, conflicts with their partner, or a death in the family. They were instructed to write for at least 10 minutes, twice a week, over the course of a month. Some students wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelingsincluding how they try to make sense of the stress and what they tell themselves to cope with itwhile others wrote about their feelings only.
During the month, the group who wrote about feelings and thoughts experienced more growth from the trauma: better relationships with others and a greater sense of strength, appreciation for life, and new possibilities for the future. They seemed to be more aware of the silver linings of the experience, while the group who focused on emotions expressed more negative emotions over time and even got sick more often that month.
The point here is that the most effective journaling moves from emotions to thoughts over time. We start expressing our feelings, allowing ourselves to name them after all, jumping to thoughts too quickly could mean were over-analyzing or avoiding. But eventually, we do start to make observations, notice patterns, or set goals for the future.