Journaling for Anxiety

July 1, 2021

With a lot of uncertainty about the future right now, it’s no surprise that a lot of people have been feeling much more anxious. It’s important to have tools to work through those feelings, so that they don’t consume us. Journaling can be a great way to relieve stress and help you work through anxious feelings. Sometimes writing it out is essential for truly understanding and processing your feelings. Here are three steps that Verywell Mind lays out for journaling for anxiety.

Get Started

  • Start by giving yourself five to fifteen minutes just to write down all of your worries. This could include anything that is currently on your mind or bothering you. Be honest with yourself.
  • Get descriptive about what is causing you anxiety. This could include what is currently happening or what could happen that is stressing you out.
  • List your fears and your concerns. 

Journal for a Better Frame of Mind

  • Once you’ve completed the first few steps, re-read and re-think what you just wrote. Consider if things could be different or how they might be different from your internal anxieties. 
  • Challenge your thoughts. Think critically about how likely your worries are to actually happen. Even if the stressful experiences that might happen do occur, would it be as negative as you imagine or could you create a better outcome for yourself?
  • Think differently. For each fear, try to think of one way that things might go differently. See if there’s a new set of possibilities that could just as likely happen. 

Begin Action-Focused Journaling

  • After processing your anxieties, you can focus on a plan for facing your stressful challenges. If something were to happen, consider your strengths and how capable you are to confront your problems. Listing out your strengths is great way to remind yourself of your inner capabilities.
  • If you’re assuming the worst does happen, consider what you would do, what resources you have to confront your anxieties and how you could emerge from it by leaning on your resilience.
  • Come up with some ideas about how you can prepare to face your worries right now. What do you need in this very moment? Do you need to lean on your support system more? Do you think you would benefit from talking to a therapist who can give you advice and tools to confront your current stressors? Working on how you can manage your anxiety will ultimately make you feel more prepared when you do have to endure something difficult. 

It always helps to end off journaling by practicing gratitude. Recognizing the good in your life and the things that you are thankful for can help to put everything into perspective and calm your anxieties.

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