How to: Use a Journal to Reduce Anxiety

Journals are wonderful places to express your feelings. Whether you’re having a day where you feel happy about the way your life is going or having a down moment, you have a place to share that: your journal.

A journal can be anything from a simple composition notebook to an artsy spiral bound diary that you purchased in a quirky shop. The goal of your personal journal is to make it a comfortable space where you can share the innermost parts of yourself. And this is the main reason I began using mine.

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Anxiety can be one of the most intense and overpowering emotions. You want to be aware of your feelings, and how they impact you and those around you, but at times those emotions are so overwhelming that you don’t know what to do with them.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to know what to do with them. When you feel overwhelmed, write down your thoughts in your journal. It’s there so you can release emotions that might be confusing or scary.

Talking about anxiety can be helpful, but there are moments when you’re so panicked it can be difficult to articulate how you feel. Seeing your thoughts on paper helps you better understand what you’re thinking and most importantly what you’re feeling.

When you write your anxious feelings in a journal, make a conscious effort to express exactly how you feel in an uncensored way. The thoughts might seem like they don’t make sense, but that doesn’t matter, they are real to you. Don’t think, just write and feel your feelings.

You’re allowed to be scared, you’re entitled to feel uncertain, vulnerable, and angry or out of control even. Anxiety can make you feel all of those things and more. There’s no wrong way to feel, and anxiety impacts different people in different ways.

Some people find that in addition to writing in a journal talking to a therapist helps them cope. Click here to find out more about the benefits of therapy to help with anxiety.

Learning to manage anxiety starts with coping techniques. But before you learn those, it can be helpful to decipher what your anxious thought patterns are.

Writing in your journal helps you notice what issues you struggle with.

Try this:

Read your journal entries out loud. You’ll notice repetitive themes or fears that you have. Having better insight into your thoughts is the first step to learning how to cope with them. Anxiety has the most power when you can’t understand where it’s coming from. You can fight back against your opponent, anxiety, by learning more about the way you think.

Once you understand why you’re anxious, you’ve conquered the first step to managing anxiety: gaining insight into how it works.

Taking the time to document your thoughts and feelings in a journal can feel time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be! Take 20 minutes a day to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. This can be when you first wake up when you come home from work or school or even right before you go to bed.

The goal of this experience is to release these feelings so that anxiety doesn’t have the upper hand.

You don’t have to let anxiety win!

Take the first step in emotional awareness and start writing each day in your journal. See how you feel after a week of writing each day. You may find that you’re less anxious and understand what you need to work on to start managing your anxiety better.

Thanks so much for reading. How do you cope with anxiety? If you use a journal, let me know in the comments ways in which you write out your thoughts! Happy Tuesday <3 

Meet the Author!

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research

expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-

related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the

expansion and growth of a free online mental health

resource with With an

interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with

mental health, she continues to specifically target

subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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