Ten years ago I picked up one habit that changed the way of how I coped with anxiety. After not being able to concentrate or focus, I decided to seek help from my school’s guidance counselor. She suggested that I start journaling. At first, I didn’t take it seriously... I mean, how could writing really help me when dealing with the gauntlet of stressors that everyday life threw at me?
Desperate for change, I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t even know where to start. It was hard to sit down and write about my thoughts and feelings, not to mention, to think about my counselor reading it. But to my surprise, after seeing her again she never wanted to see my journal entries or even talk about them. She only wanted me to write, for myself.
Fast forward ten years and I still write in my journal everyday. Let me explain why...
Journaling has become a powerful form of meditation for me. I’ve realized it’s not always about the big things either, like stress from work or the argument you had with your significant other. Many times it’s the simple things you promise yourself to achieve, that you don’t get to accomplish. Like eating healthier, taking your dog for a run, calling someone or even making your bed in the morning. When you don’t achieve these simple tasks, you feel like you are cheating yourself and become deprived of a much needed feeling of accomplishment. This causes a conflict between your mind, body, and soul.
Journaling Reduces Anxiety? How?!
These days we live in a world that is so concerned about how they are perceived by others we forget to look for the goodness inside of ourselves. We neglect getting to know who we really are, what we like, and what our limits are. This programs us to judge our successes based on the opinions and perceptions of others, leaving us powerless.
Journaling is not just for writing about how your day went. It’s a magical way of getting to know the most important person in your life: You. The more you write, the more you are able to identify those little daily concerns that get under your skin or keep you up at night. You start recognizing them so clearly that you can often resolve them by the time you finish writing. On top of finding a solution to these pain points, you also get to know yourself better. You are more aware of your triggers, your strengths, and places you have room to improve. You give yourself the power back by gaining a perspective on your life that you can control.
It becomes clear what needs to stay in your life, and what you need to let go of. You are able to identify the things and people that trigger stress in your life. Looking back, you can view the world through the lens of your journal, justly and objectively, allowing you to see what’s best for you. This can help tremendously when dealing with the anxiety of making a decision, no matter how big or small. Having a clear vision on what you want to achieve and how you want to get there, you can make choices confidently. Turning anxious into empowered.
Journaling hasn’t just changed my life either. It’s been scientifically proven to help with health, happiness, and stress-management. By beginning your days by carving out a little time to recognize the positive and pinpoint your focus, you are able to start the day with fresh motivation and a sense of empowerment. Take time throughout the day or in the evening to reflect on what you can improve on and write a paragraph or two that allows you to reflect on each day. Writing things out helps you understand your emotions to such an extent that you are able to find their root and deal with your dilemmas - which once felt overwhelming.
In order to process your emotions, you need time. And that’s exactly what journaling gives you.
How to Get Started
Take time in the morning and evening to write whatever comes to mind. It only takes a small part of your day. It’s a type of meditation, so think of it as the alternative to sitting in a room with incenses and yoga pants.
I use a journal called OneBook because it’s method is perfect for me. It holds me accountable for each day and I love the way it breaks up the most important parts of journaling, making it perfect for beginners. The morning focus section prompts me to recognize things I am grateful for each day. It also has space to set my focus and decide what would make the day amazing. It's pretty incredible how taking a few minutes to think and write about the your feelings and goals each day transforms your mindset and energy.
My OneBook also has plenty space to make notes to myself throughout the day. I write things about each hour or task in my day, allowing me to remember things with an unbiased opinion. Not to mention a whole dot grid to jot down things that pertain to each day, or doodle room if I’m feeling creative.
Finally, my favorite part, the evening reflection section. This page of the journal lets you break down the day's highlights, struggles, and areas for improvement. Truly one of the most important things you can do each day. The last section is a free space to write. This is the area where you can free write and actively talk to yourself. Write to yourself. Give answers to yourself.
The Best Time to Start is Now
The most important thing is that this is for you, and you only. Nobody will read your journal. Nobody even has to know that you have one. This is your alone time with your heart and your mind. It’s a whole new world you can open up to with confidence, honesty and trust.
My journal has radically changed my way of coping with my anxiety, and it has honestly transformed my life. Why not try it for a little while, and witness the magic yourself? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Download a Day FREE
Want to know what OneBook looks like inside? We'll email a day of OneBook. Feel free to print out a copy (or ten) for yourself and give it a try!