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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Wellness Wednesday: Journaling Exercises for Everyday Anxieties

Anxiety is tough. 

Most of us struggle with feelings of anxiety from time to time, especially during situations of high stress. And if there is something we call agree on is that this year has not been easy. We have been hit by multiple stress vehicles. Stress for our families, for the country, for our health, for our financial situation. It can seem like too much at times. 

Fortunately, there are different ways through which we can cope with everyday anxieties. One of those ways is journaling. 

There are more benefits to journaling than we might think. In fact, most Psychological sources encourage journaling as a way to process and combat our anxieties. Here are some things you can journal about when you feel like you are dealing with just too much. 

Write your Worries Away

Sometimes it is difficult for us to pinpoint the exact reasons behind our anxieties. We may even ask ourselves “Why am I feeling this way right now?” 

Something that can help with processing our anxious emotions is to determine what exactly is causing them. So, grab a journal, sit down with a warm drink, and write down how you are feeling and what you believe is causing you to feel this way. 

You could write in a ‘stream of consciousness’ format (in which you write what exactly is going through your head) or even in a list format. Whichever way helps you process it better. 

Taking time to dissect our emotions is a great way to combat anxiety. Besides being a helpful way to release our pent up stress, this activity could even help us find solutions to our anxieties. 

By determining the what of our anxieties, we can further discover the why, which will allow us to find the how in the things we can do to feel better. 

Journal Picture by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Get Creative 

They say that the best pieces of art form in the deepest part of our beings. Pain can truly birth beauty. 

So next time you find yourself in a worried or anxious state, write a poem or a story that reflects how you are feeling. Creativity can be a cathartic door to peace. 

By reflecting our emotions into a fictionalized character version of ourselves or an external narrating voice, we can also understand ourselves better. Sometimes it is useful to analyze what we are feeling from an outside perspective. 

Reassess and Reflect

A lot of the time, the concerns that form our anxieties are not rooted in reality. We can spend time worrying about worse-scenarios that are not likely to happen. 

This is why it is important that we use our journals to ask ourselves critical thinking questions that challenge the validity of our concerns. We could ask ourselves something like: “Is this worry of mine based on something that is likely to happen or not?” If the answer is no, then perhaps we can relax our mind and cling to the positive hope we hold. 

However, what if our fears are rooted in likely scenarios?

Well, then we could determine what the negative consequences could be and what their true effect on us could be. We could also ask ourselves whether there is something we could do to help change the outcome for the best. If there is nothing we could do, then we should not enter the roaring sea of overthinking. Rather, we should prepare ourselves to face the scenario with a strong heart and mind. 

Journaling by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Spiritual Counsel 

For those whom are believers, journaling might even be a spiritual discipline that allows them to connect with God. Prayer and Bible reading journaling are some ways in which people may use their faith to address their emotional fears and concerns. 

By surrendering their anxieties to a Higher authority, they are choosing to not focus on their anxieties but rather trust God with them.

A famous verse from the Bible says: “Cast all your anxieties on Him [God], for He cares for you.” 

Active Responses

A final thing you could journal about are possible things you could do to help solve the issue that is causing your anxiety. Think about your strengths and use them to help you during this time. You do not have to solve everything, but positively changing some things could make a monumental difference in how you are feeling. 

And if your anxiety is rooted in fears, think about steps you can take to prepare for worst-case scenarios. You can even ask people for advice on potential solutions to include in your plan. 

By moving from a place of helplessness to a place of hope, your anxiety might become a strong determination for success. 

Relieving calmness might just be a notebook and pen away. So we invite you to use one or all of these techniques whenever you feel the pressures of the world pressing in on you. This might just help you reach a place of peace you did not think you could find.

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