7 Journaling Ideas To Ease Anxiety
So many to-do’s, problems to solve, expectations to meet , and the bare thought of getting out of bed makes you want to hide and scream. You feel paralyzed, hopeless, and overwhelmed.
A lot of people use their journal for planning, learning, drawing or writing. But it can also help us ease our anxiety. Here are 7 simple 5 minute journaling practices that can help bring back your calm, clarity and control.
1. Embrace Your Thoughts
One of the instincts many of us have when we face anxious thoughts is to try and deny them and think of something else. Unfortunately, this suppresses our stress and causes it to surface later in worse ways. Writing down your worries can help them go away. Transfer them out of your head onto paper. Write after you wake up. Grab your journal and vent all those negative thoughts onto the paper. You will immediately feel lighter, happier, and more relaxed.
2. Give Your Brain a Rest
You probably know how it feels to lie in bed for hours unable to sleep because you’re worried about your problems, commitments, and 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 it’s all taken care of, and you won’t forget what you have to do.
You can also 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. This exercise not only relieves your brain from the pressure of remembering and planning, but it can also be extremely relaxing.
3. Overcome Your Expectations
If you feel put off just by the thought of planning tasks and making to-do lists , they can end up adding more anxiety when you don’t accomplish them. You can change that, by changing your belief that you are not productive by creating an easy-to-do list. For example, tomorrow I will drip 3 glasses of water, go for a walk and meditate for 10 minutes. And then make sure you accomplish those tasks. It doesn’t matter if they seem small. What’s important is that you will be re-learning the feeling of accomplishment. Gradually, productivity will become a pleasure, and anxiety won’t be crippling anymore.
4. Create an Everything Spread
Something that causes a lot of anxiety to many people is when you have a lot of good ideas in your mind, but you don’t know how to organize them: where to take note of it so you can find it later, what to do with it, etc. Here's a simple solution for you which requires no extra thinking: just create a weekly “Everything Spread” in your journal. Then, throughout the week, just take note of all the important things there like, good ideas to do later, realizations, lessons learned, etc. Then, set one day and time every week to go back to your list and choose what to do with those things. Maybe on a quiet Sunday morning.
5. Indulge in a Happiness Overdose
Right after dumping your worries onto the paper in the morning, make a list of everything you feel grateful for. In order to be completely immersed in that feeling of positivity, write anything and everything that comes to your mind, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.
6. Use Positive Affirmations
Just like our body needs food in order to work, our soul also needs to be nourished. A great way we can do that is with our words. They can have an extremely strong impact on the way we think and feel. Open your journal and write down how you want to be feeling, but write it in the Present Tense. For example: “I am strong. I can do this.”
The reason why most people fail with positive affirmations is because they just write it down and repeat it a couple of times, but they don’t commit to it.
One way to truly commit to it is to take 5 minutes to feel those words taking over your body and soul. Close your eyes. Repeat them inside your head. They are not the right words for you and they don’t make you feel anything? Then write different words, until you find the ones that work. Talk yourself into your true power.
7. Build Your Peace
Our surrounding environment shapes the way we feel. If you surround yourself with low-vibe, negative things and people, you will feel anxious. However, if you surround yourself with calmness and peace, you will feel calm and peaceful.
Your journal can be your environment. Create a "Peaceful Spread" . A space in your journal full of positivity that you can visit anytime you feel anxious. It can include uplifting quotes, pictures of your happy self, pictures of places or people who inspire you, a vision board, your accomplishments, beautiful photos.
You don’t have to feel crippled by anxiety anymore. It’s in your power , even in those hardest moments , to step from hopelessness into freedom and clarity.
All you need to do it act , one 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.