Over the years, many mental health experts have been working hard to treat depression and anxiety since millions are suffering from them unknowingly. Jill Howell, a licensed professional counselor said that even though journaling can’t cure everything, it has plenty of qualities, including massive anti-anxiety journaling benefits.
Studies show that journaling can help your mood to get better and deal with symptoms of depression. In addition, it does not only give you a good mental health but also aid in making your therapy work better.
Does Anti-Anxiety Journaling Work?
One of the ways to incorporate anti-anxiety journaling is to channel your every thought and feeling about what surrounds you. These are the benefits of anti-anxiety journaling:
Enhances your self-awareness.
A person may never know that they have depression; perhaps they thought it is just a normal feeling of sadness. Anti-anxiety journaling is beneficial in getting to know yourself more. Expressing your thoughts, ideas, and feelings through writing will help you identify the things that make you depressed.
Cynthia McKay, a Denver psychotherapist said that people get surprised on what they have written in their journals. They discovered something new about themselves that they didn’t know until they wrote in their journals.
Helps you manage your emotions and feelings.
When things go wrong and you feel like everything is a mess, writing your thoughts and frustrations in your journal really means a lot. Psychologist Barbara Markway mentioned that there is no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down. Writing your worries and anxieties in your journal will make you feel like they are manageable. If you feel that you can’t manage them anymore, you can ask for help. Journaling will help you recognize if your symptoms are getting worse and if you need help.
Changes your perspective.
Gratitude and anti-anxiety journaling can do wonders. According to Froh, Sefick, & Emmons (2008), it increases your optimism towards life and, in some way your happiness and health. Writing about what you’re thankful for and happy memories are powerful because it covers up negative feelings. Focusing on cheerful moments of the day instead of the sad ones will change your shift towards life.
Tracks your improvement.
Jotting your feelings daily will help you keep track of your depression patterns. If you write how you feel every day, you will find out repeated symptoms that cause your anxiety and depression.
Anti-anxiety journaling will give you hints on which depression triggers to avoid in the future. It also gives you an idea if you are improving or not in your treatment. Hardy (2017) mentioned that journaling can leave a written record, which can be used not only today but also in the years to come.
How to Journal Your Anxiety and Depression
Anti-anxiety journaling can be effective for a number of reasons; one of these is to fight anxiety and depression. You might wonder how a simple scribbling of your thoughts in a paper can do an important influence on your mental health. You can start with these few simple steps.
Forget about rules. Just write anything. Share your thoughts and emotions in your journal. Knowing that you are the only person reading your journal, you will feel less inclined to check your spelling, grammar, or sentence structure. The more beneficial it becomes if you write freely.
Set a time daily, it can either be in the morning where your ideas are fresh or in the evening where you have a lot of your day’s experience with you. Journaling regularly is ideal since you are keeping a track of your progress. If you don’t have the luxury of time, bring your journal with you at work. Remember, you have to choose a time and place with fewer distractions.
When writing anything becomes “old,” try something new. There are other types of journaling. Art Journaling is a way of discovering and processing our worries in a fun, creative way.
According to Hannah Wilson, a counselor and art therapist, many people find it easier to express complicated feelings through art-making than writing. Also, Gratitude Journaling has become popular nowadays, as it only focuses on the positive things and moments of your daily encounter with life. It also discourages distressing moments, so it actually helps you overcome depression.
Maintaining an anti-anxiety journal is quite a challenge. But if you are determined to overcome anxiety and cope with depression, then today is the time to get started.
Mental health has the same importance as physical health; hence taking care of it should be the main concern. Journaling exercises for anxiety are advantageous only if you make it into a habit. Give it a try, and you will be surprised with the outcome!