A fast-paced world is not everyone’s cup of tea. There will be some who love the thrill of a rat race, but on the other hand, you’ll also come across people who feel overwhelmed instead. And this lost feeling is totally justified – after all, we’re part of this drudgery where everyone is expected to ‘be’ something. We’re constantly bombarded with thoughts and opinions from different sources – be it the television, the newspaper or social media or society, for that matter.
In this web of constant confusion and chaos, we’re left with nothing but a mind that’s always cluttered with thoughts – and a constantly cluttered mind with racing and haphazard thoughts leads to nothing but anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues across the world, with people of all ages getting diagnosed with panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.
The question is – how to deal with it? While there are many ways to deal with anxiety, one of the most impactful of them is journaling. Penning down one’s thoughts and feelings can be a useful coping mechanism to deal with anxiety, and stress, and maintain good mental health overall.
What is Journaling?
Journalling is nothing but channelling your inner chaos onto paper. It is not essential to spend hours writing down everything that comes to your mind. Rather, journaling can be an activity you can indulge in for even 10-15 minutes every day. You can write one sentence, if you feel like it, or fill up pages of your journal whenever things get too overwhelming – it’s completely up to you.
Journaling helps you break down those complex thoughts troubling your mind, and put them into words. With journaling, you’re compelled to deal with one thought at a time, as you can write only about one thing at a given time in your journal. Your journal is a record of all that crossed your mind, everything that troubles and bothers you.
When you maintain a journal for a long period, you’re also in the position to understand patterns of things, facts, emotions, and situations that trigger your anxiety. When you recognise what troubles you, it is easier to deal with a similar situation, whenever it arises in future.
How to Journal?
There are no rules for journaling – it is your personal space where you can express your thoughts as and when you like it. But some important things that you might want to keep in mind when it comes to journaling are:
Purchase a Nice Journal
Step one of journaling is to invest in a good journal, one that would make you want to write in it. These days, you also have the option of purchasing journals that are supplemented with additional evidence-based information. This information can help you make sense of the chaos that goes on in your mind, helping you deal with it, one trauma, one trigger at a time.
You can pick an anti-anxiety notebook that can help you work your way around anxiety or a trauma exposure journal that can help you confront your traumas. Such specific journals help you navigate through your healing journey in a guided, systematic manner.
Make it an Everyday Habit
Writing a journal once in a while is not going to have the same effect as writing a journal every day. It’s best to set aside a time – whether early in the morning or at night, just when you’re about to sleep. Pick a slot at your convenience and try to make it a habit to write every day.
Freedom of Expression
The best part about your journal is that there’s no requirement to censor your thoughts. You can also consider different modes of expression, such as doodling, poetry, drawing, and so on and so forth.
Journaling is a very beneficial tool for people dealing with anxiety, trauma and other stress disorders. You can choose your journal, the mode of expression, and the time when you want to express yourself. There will be times when you don’t feel like writing down anything in the journal – and that’s okay. But to get the most out of this habit of journaling, it’s advisable to make it a regular habit. If required, you can also seek additional professional help along with journaling, to help reflect, challenge and change your thoughts.