Most of us are always thinking about something, often without even realizing it. But if you take time to tune into the flow of thoughts and self-talk running through your mind and realize it’s largely negative, that could be a symptom of anxiety. One of the most helpful ways to become more aware of your thought patterns is to keep a journal. Writing gives you a safe outlet for your emotions and can help you de-stress. Consider these benefits of journaling to manage anxiety.
1. It’s Easy to Get Started
Unlike many other calming activities, journaling is an inexpensive hobby with a low barrier to entry. You likely already have the tools and experience necessary to start keeping a journal. There are also no hard-and-fast rules for how long or often you should write. Whether you add new entries daily, weekly or whenever inspiration strikes, you’re free to do whatever works best for you. If you only have time or motivation to jot down a couple of sentences, that’s perfectly acceptable.
2. It Provides Complete Privacy
You might have been reluctant to seek a therapist for your anxiety because you’re worried about making yourself so vulnerable to another person. When you use writing to help manage anxiety, your innermost thoughts will remain private unless you choose to share your journal with others. That means you can feel free to write without fear of judgment. Put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and let the words flow. There’s no need to worry about grammar or spelling rules, or what anyone else might think.
3. It Helps You Organize Your Thoughts
When you keep a journal, it eventually becomes your personal time capsule. Each entry gives you a glimpse back at what you were thinking and feeling at a specific moment in time. You may revisit things you’ve previously written and use that as your opportunity to evaluate what you’ve learned and the progress you’ve made. Or, if you’re still struggling with the same challenges, ask yourself how you can think differently about them.
You might also notice some common themes emerging in your writing. For instance, if you find you’ve regularly written about conflicts with a specific co-worker, that person is likely a trigger for your anxiety. It may help to learn some conflict resolution skills you can practice in your workplace.
4. It’s Relaxing
Keeping a journal is a way to create a sense of order in a chaotic world. You can turn your journaling sessions into a soothing ritual by doing it in the evening, perhaps as part of your bedtime routine. Make yourself a warm cup of herbal tea, slip into comfortable clothes and put on some relaxing music. Make your writing time something to look forward to – a bright spot in an otherwise stressful day.
Know When to Ask for Help
As beneficial as journaling can be in your mission to manage anxiety, there may be times when stress starts to feel overwhelming. There’s no shame in admitting you can’t go it alone, especially in these trying times. Help is always within reach, and you should never give up on yourself. Take our addiction self-test, then contact us at Vista Taos Recovery Center to learn more about holistic rehab services.