Anxiety happens every day, and can happen to anyone at any time.
It’s not pleasant, but what we often forget is that there are tools to help us live more balanced and peacefully.
A more evolved way of viewing your anxiety is the idea that it’s here to teach you what you believe about yourself.
What does this actually mean?
Your internal dialogue is creating your current moment right here, right now. It’s also creating the rest of your day, tomorrow, and the day after!
The practice of journaling can be a powerful tool to uncover the truth behind your responses to anxiety.
When you bravely put pen to paper, it’s an opportunity to slow time down so your heart can open up. Writing in your journal can defuse your anxiousness at least to a place where you can breathe, think through things, and understand more about yourself.
Change can take place when you take the time to understand why you feel the way you do about an experience, or how a belief came to be.
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “This always happens to me,” or worse, “I deserve to be treated this way”...?
When you slow down to journal your thoughts around anxiety, this is where you can ask, where did that belief come from? Or, what happened in my past to make me believe such a thing?
Journaling brings your mindset to the present moment where you can review your anxiety and use it as a gateway to self-discovery.
Understanding different levels of anxiety is the first step to understanding yourself.
The second step is uncovering, through journaling, why you respond the way you do.
How is my anxiety defined?
There are 3 levels to the psychology of anxiety…
- Mild anxiety is an inconvenience that can be resolved and dismissed. For example, you spilled your morning coffee, but the anxiety dissipates once you get it all cleaned up.
- Normal anxiety is when your thoughts escalate quickly to a very intense level, but the feelings of sudden alarm and restlessness do pass.
- Extreme anxiety is anxiety that has the potential of becoming a phobia or neurosis, or becoming an interruption to your daily life in some way.
Please consider reaching out to a professional for help if you find your anxiety has reached an extreme level.
This can look like realizing that anxiety has begun to…
- Interfere with your relationships, work, and other aspects of your life
- Reach a level of depression or suicidal thoughts
- Result in alcohol or drug abuse
- Or is causing you to isolate or keep to yourself
All I Need Is Within Me
When you initiate a sacred time to write, you can courageously open a new door of personal growth.
Anxiety triggers negative emotions, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in those negative emotions. Once you learn what level of anxiety you most relate to, and how long you typically stay in it, you can begin the process of letting go of beliefs that no longer serve you.
Writing in a diary helps you identify and define what’s bothering you, and there’s no better way to work with the universe than to have this kind of clarity. Using writing, you can see why you feel the way you do, give your emotions a name, and help create a story that makes sense to you.
The universe is listening to what you have to say, and it is incredibly powerful to put it into writing.
Conscious writing allows you to explore your secret pains because you have unconditional freedom. Being 100% honest with yourself helps you process your vulnerabilities before you reveal them to others, if that feels like something you’re comfortable doing.
Personal writing is also a way to record and log patterns. These can help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
You’ll even find your memory of situations is clearer and you can now identify the type of anxiety you’re feeling and where it came from once you begin writing through your experiences. This puts you in a better place to accept the truth and make necessary changes to add more peace and joy to your life.
5 Steps to Get Started Journaling
- Set a time limit of 5 to 15 minutes twice a week. Start small, especially as a beginner. In time, your daily journal will become a regular practice.
- Choose one thing in your life right now that has you anxious and worried. Write what comes to mind immediately, even if it doesn’t fit or feels inaccurate. You’re being led to uncover what’s bothering you more than you think.
- List all the different ways your anxiety is affecting you. For example, is it keeping you from taking care of yourself? Is it affecting your sleep or dreams? Is it causing you to feel empty and unmotivated?
- Ask yourself: does my anxiety have anything to do with my childhood or parents or is this anxiety caused by someone else or an event?
- Once you’ve opened up your thought process, can you go deeper? Check in with yourself, “What is the honest underlying problem?” “Is this why it has been so challenging to deal with?”
You can give even more power to your journaling by reading your writing out loud. Try this by recording and listening to yourself talk about your stress.
Research shows that hearing your voice is a source of validation, which can have a greater impact on reducing your stress and anxiety.
Louise Hay suggests journaling as a place to write what you want in your life, including your goals. She suggests using the words I am rather than I want. Using the present tense clarifies to the universe what you desire and is a perfect time to close your eyes and visualize already having what you want.
Separate yourself from your anxiety and write about solutions as if you were helping a friend. What insights or suggestions on coping would you tell your friend?
Anxiety is an opportunity for self-compassion. The practice of journaling is one of the highest forms of self-care.
When you remember the universe supports what you believe about yourself, you will be more gentle with your self-talk. You can use journaling as a place to change your past dialogue to dialogue that is more approving and loving of yourself. Look upon it as an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself.
If there are any benefits you can learn from your anxiety, you can now affirm a new direction in your journal. If there is any pattern in your consciousness that you can see from your writing, you can now affirm it and release it.
Lastly, consider giving gratitude to your anxiety.
Ask for help. Listen. And write.
Your anxiety can dissipate like water on a hot rock. Be open and receptive to the lesson your anxiety is giving you, and know it is for your highest good and highest joy.