How To Journal Daily For Anxiety

How To Journal Daily For Anxiety

Find out how to journal daily for anxiety. It is highly recommended that you journal as a stress-management tool. Journaling is a great way to reduce anxiety and distress. There are many ways you can journal, and there are few restrictions on who can benefit.

Journaling can help you deal with anxious feelings. Anxiety can lead to stress and rumination. A little focused examination can help you to identify the root causes of your anxiety. Journaling can be an effective tool to examine and shift thoughts from anxious and ruminative into empowered and action-oriented.

Journaling can be done daily, weekly or as needed when stress becomes too intense. You have the option to choose the journaling method that is most comfortable for you.

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How To Journal Daily For Anxiety – Journaling to Challenge Anxious Thoughts

This process is designed to help you get rid of the cycle of worry and to challenge your thoughts. Here are some ways to get started.

Write your Worries

Begin by writing for 5 to 15 minutes. Continue writing until you feel that you have said all you need to, but not delved into rumination.

Describe what is causing you problems right now. Remember that anxiety can sometimes be more than what is happening at the moment. It could also be your concerns about what might happen.

Write down what’s happening right now, and then make a note of the possibility that it will happen next. This realization may bring you some relief from stress.

Reread and re-Think

Explore your options as you reflect on what you have written and the concerns you raised. What if things were different? Are there things you can do right now to improve your situation?

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is it possible for this to happen? How can you be sure? Are you sure?
  • What if what you fear actually happens? It could be neutral, or even positive.
  • Are there ways you could make your situation work for better results? What could you do to make the most of what you have? Are there any changes that you could make or that could be made that would make your life better?

An anxiety-relieving technique is to challenge your thoughts. This helps you to see that things are less likely than you think or aren’t as bad as they seem.

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You can think differently

Write at least one possible way to approach each concern or fear you have. Create a new story, or a whole new set of options. These stories should be written next to your fears.

You might also find it helpful to look at your cognitive errors in order to determine if you could benefit from changing stress-inducing thought patterns.

Remember Your Strengths

Consider the most difficult challenges you have faced and the ones that you have overcome. Do you believe you can use the same wisdom and strength that you have used to overcome your greatest challenges?

What lessons do you think you can learn from this? What do you think would be the best way to gain strength when you are faced with these new challenges?

You can think about your strengths, your best moments, and how they helped you. This will help you remember that even though you might not like your current situation, you still have the strength to deal with it. You might discover new strengths that you didn’t even know you had.

Take a look at a plan

What would you do if what you fear happens? It doesn’t take a lot of planning to make a plan. Just write down what resources you would use and the next steps. Your plan will take away your fear of the unknown. Your mind will be more open to the possibilities and less likely to gravitate towards the worst-case scenario.

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Decide how to prepare

Identify at least one thing that you can do now to prepare for your fear. You might be able to:

  • Reach out to your friends and strengthen your relationships to build your resources
  • If your fears were realized, you can learn skills that will be useful in the future and now.
  • To help you be more emotional resilient in the face of a major challenge or to deal with additional stress, create an effective stress management plan

You can move from a place where you are anxious to a place that is more empowered by putting your energy into a plan. Even if they aren’t necessary, there are resources available that could help you right now. Plus, you’ve been distracted.

Freewriting to Express Feelings

Freewriting is the act of writing down your thoughts and feelings, regardless of their content, without editing or censoring them.  The goal of freewriting is to express your thoughts and feelings, and to discover the wisdom and understanding that you already have.

To start:

  • Create a timer. You can choose a time limit that suits you best (and if in doubt, write for 15 to 20 mins).
  • Write down everything you think. Do not allow yourself to be edited. You can write down exactly what you think, no matter how bizarre or ridiculous it may seem to you. And do it quickly so that you don’t have to worry about censoring yourself.
  • Do not worry about spelling. You can make more mistakes and typos by freewriting. That’s okay. Do not interrupt your writing to fix mistakes.
  • Continue writing until you are done. Write about your feelings if you run out of ideas. Or, keep writing the same phrase until you find something.
  • Read your entry afterward. Take the time to reflect on your own experiences. Perhaps you will even add a few sentences to the end of your entry that describe the things you find compelling or surprising.

You might find yourself focusing on a single topic or moving from one thought to the next. These outcomes can provide valuable insight into your thinking.

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Use Journal Prompts to Assist the Process

Freewriting can seem daunting if you don’t have a place to start. Writing with a prompt can be done every day or occasionally. You can also revisit the prompt to gain insight into your thoughts over time.

A list of prompts can be created by you based on your current issues or the problems you want to fix. You can also ask your therapist for ideas if they are working with you. To help you, you might want to get a journal that has prompts.

Keeping a Thought Diary – Cognitive Behavior Training

A thought journal (or thought track) can help you notice and track your thoughts over time. This exercise is often used in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). It asks you to list your beliefs and then critically reflect on them.

Start by creating a document (or journal page) with five columns:

  • Case – In this column, take note of the current situation or “case” you are in. It could be something as simple as “Starting a new career” or “Had an argument with a friend.”
  • Feeling – Here are the feelings that you have as a result.
  • Thinking – Take note of what you are thinking and express it. You’ll begin to notice changes in your thinking patterns as you keep more thought journals. If you have a disagreement with a friend, your thoughts might be “They won’t want to talk to us anymore” or “They don’t like me now because of our fight.”
  • Illusions – This is your chance to critically examine your beliefs. You should be able to identify any illogical beliefs. You should adopt an evidence-based approach. Even though you might feel anxious about an event or situation, consider whether your anxiety is justified given the facts.
  • Reality – In this column, describe a more realistic outcome to your case. What is a realistic way to approach your case if you base your thoughts on what another person thinks?

It may be helpful to keep a thought journal on a regular basis. Or, you can use it as a way to manage anxiety.

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About the Author: Amy Delaney

Hello! I'm Amy Delaney. I am a motivational coach who believes in the power of positive thinking to accomplish anything you want in life! I believe that our thoughts create our reality and if we think happy thoughts, then we will become happier people. It's your choice whether you're going to be happy or not, so why not choose happiness?

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