Using journaling prompts for anxiety is nothing new, but it may be new to you. Newsflash! It’s good way to handle stress.
In fact, journaling is listed as one of the best tools for stress and anxiety management.
Journaling generally involves the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of your life. The method you choose will depend on your needs at the time and your personality. There is no right or wrong. Just do what feels right.
What makes it so effective?
Scientifically proven research shows that journaling
- It can strengthen the immune system response
- It improves cognitive functioning
- It can counteract many of the negative effects of stress
- Journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions
You may be saying but I don’t have anxiety, so this isn’t for me. Before you click off to another page, let me ask you this?
Does your current stress look like any of these right now?
- Increased anxiety about “what’s going on” in the world and in your immediate surroundings
- Exacerbation of your existing mental health concerns
- Burnout…because staying informed can be exhausting!
- Distress related to disruption of your routine(s)
According to Healthline – Anxiety disorders are characterized by a variety of symptoms. One of the most common is excessive and intrusive worrying that disrupts daily functioning. Other signs include agitation, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, tense muscles and trouble sleeping.
Having Journaling Prompts for Anxiety Holds Many Benefits
Developing a wellness strategy that includes journaling is an excellent way to deal with your emotions. And having journaling prompts for anxiety can help minimize the need for your brain to do more thinking.
We all know…in these times, it’s hard.
Benefits include relieving stress by working through anxious feelings; getting rid of negative thoughts; examining and shifting thoughts from anxious and ruminative to empowered, and action-oriented; processing traumatic events by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved; and focusing on areas of your life.
So many benefits!
And if writing does not work, there’s always a good book that includes some journaling prompts for anxiety to get you writing like you never did before.
Her are a few recommendations for you…
Journaling Prompts for Anxiety (from Psychology Today)
Here are some journaling prompts for anxiety exercises you can do to deal head-on with whatever stress, anxiety, and/or grief you may be feeling at this time.
Note: These are very relevant to what we are currently experiencing.
All you need is a pen and paper to answer the following questions in each exercise:
1. Dive Into Your Emotional State
Write about a moment when you felt a particular emotion and how you physically experienced it.
Were your palms sweating?
Was your heart racing or head throbbing?
How did you experience/ interact with your environment through all your senses?
Was it dark, sunny, stuffy or breezy?
What did you hear and smell? By expressing your emotional state through your physical experience of it, you’re able to delve into the heart of it. You can also write about your current state: What emotions are you experiencing right now, and what’s the physical response?
There’s a relationship between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Chart your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors over the past month, listing two examples for each.
What effect did your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors have on one another?
How did your changes in each category affect the other two?
2. Discover Your Safe Place
Think of a real or an imaginary place where you feel safe and at peace. Create that place in your mind and write a detailed description of it using all your senses—what you see in this place, but also what you hear, smell, taste, and feel through tactile contact. You can then use this as a visualized meditation, closing your eyes, breathing, and imagining this place thoroughly, one sense at a time.
3. Build a Positive Relationship With Food
What role does food play in your life?
Are you filling an emotional void with food or drink, using it as a friend?
Describe a recent food craving. Were you really hungry?
Scan your body for its food needs. What does hunger or fullness feel like right now?
4. Bring Your Family Together
What are some positive family traditions that you would like to return to or begin?
Are there any unhealthy traditions that you can change or let go of altogether?
5. Practice Gratitude
List five things that you’re grateful for— people, positive experiences past or current, places, material items—then expand on each one, describing it/him/her in detail, perhaps at a particular moment in time.
6. Make Time For Joy
List three activities that bring you joy. Expand on each activity, describing a recent time when you fully engaged in it. If you’re finding it challenging to engage in these activities as often as you’d like or need, explore strategies for working them into your schedule more often.
7. Create a Balance
List two things you tend to say yes to or have said yes to recently and two things you tend to say no to or have said no to recently.
What was good self-care and what wasn’t? For example, saying yes can be a way of embracing an opportunity and engaging with the world (good self-care), but it can also be a way of spreading yourself too thin. Saying no can help you maintain healthy boundaries and manage your time (good self-care), but it can also isolate you and cause you to miss opportunities. This awareness can help you prioritize, and determine the value of things and what’s truly important to you.
8. Connect to Your Loved Ones
Write a letter to your loved ones.
What is on your mind and in your heart that you find hard to express in real life?
You may find that expressing it on the page is useful preparation for actually expressing it. You also may find it useful as a private exercise to work out your thoughts and feelings on your own in order to interact with him or her more productively in general.
Think of one thing that you need right now. Write out how you might most effectively communicate that need to a particular person. Then write out what you imagine that person’s response will be.
If you’re looking for Coping Strategies for Stress and Anxiety, check out our previous post on how to find relief. Or maybe, you are new to journal writing and I can think fo the perfect journaling prompt for anxiety. One of our writers shared a powerful challenge in How The Pandemic Forced Us To Ground Ourselves and Bring Attention to The Present Moment. I think this would work as the perfect starter!
Let us know how it goes. Happy journaling!!