Do you ever feel like you can’t turn off the thoughts running through your head? Sometimes when we are extra stressed or overwhelmed, we tend to ruminate and let our thoughts run wild. Journaling has recently become a popular way to combat anxiety and worry.
How to start
The process of journaling can feel a bit awkward at first. The weird thing is there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Start by setting a timer and writing for five minutes. You can write whatever is on your mind. It may help to begin by simply writing down the thoughts that are occurring at the present moment. As you become more comfortable, the words will start flowing more freely. When trying this out for the first time, do so during a time when you are feeling relatively calm, as opposed to when you are feeling overly anxious.
What to look for
Writing down your thoughts may allow you to make connections to common feelings of stress or anxiety. Do you often doubt yourself or overthink your decisions? Seeing the rational behind these thoughts can help you to actively try and prevent them. By being more in tune with your the meaning behind the thoughts running through your head, you may be able to better cope and stop them. It’s also important to note that writing down your thoughts through journaling helps you to simply acknowledge any stressful or worrisome ideas, and simply dismiss them. This may allow you to see your thoughts in a new way, and that might not seem so bad after all!
Make it fun!
Journaling is what you make it! Use this time as a way for you to unwind and feel relaxed. Buy a fun journal in your favorite color or doodle on the margins to release stress. Journaling tends to get easier the more you do it, and hopefully you find your levels of stress and anxiety tend to decrease as well.
Written by GUADS staff member Emily with contributions from www.psychologytoday.com.