Let me tell you how I used Journaling to Ease My Anxiety & Heal During a time I needed to most
In this episode, I talk through my obsession with journaling and how it has significantly helped my anxiety through some of the darkest times. Looking back through your journals can show you how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished, validate your feelings, and help you cope through anxiety and the tough times.
I started brain-dumping into notebooks about four years ago and it’s become a consistent habit for me ever since. When I started, I wasn’t even aware that it was a healthy coping mechanism, I just knew that my mental health was suffering severely. I was in a dark place and my anxiety was at an all time high. I realized that if I could get everything out of my head and onto a piece of paper, it would keep me from spiraling down a rabbithole.
Here are a few of the biggest benefits you can gain from making journaling a part of your everyday lifestyle:
JOURNALING HELPS ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
You can use journaling to organize your thoughts by putting them all – from insecurities and anxieties to feelings and goals – onto paper. Organizing your thoughts can prevent you from letting your mind get the best of you and keep your goals on track.
JOURNALING IS A REMINDER OF HOW FAR YOU’VE COME
I went through some of my journals the other day and it’s insane to look back at some of the thoughts and goals I had, and how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.
In late 2018 I wrote down the following career-focused 2-year plan:
- Come up with ideas and an outline
- Buy a microphone
- Find guests
- Do a podcast and market it
- Make a social media account, logo and website for it
Two years ago I was sitting and questioning whether I was capable of achieving these things, and they’re all done now.
MY REALIZATION DURING A DARK TIME FILLED WITH ANXIETY
Also I uncovered an extremely vulnerable entry from late 2020 that helped me realize what a difference I’ve made in terms of mental health and how I view myself:
I feel like someone is constantly punching me in the gut. I question all my decisions and wonder if everything I do is a mistake. The smallest things feel like such big deals to finish. I can’t get through emails, I can’t get through marketing and I really don’t want to show my face on social media. I feel panicky that I ‘m letting my personal life impact my business too much. I don’t feel good about myself or confidence and it leads me to be hidden because I can’t possibly help others when I feel like a trainwreck who’s uninspired from herself. I go to a dark place when I’m in social situations and I honestly just want to be alone. I just want to feel better.
I was going through probably the darkest time of my adult years and I think now that I’m in a happier, healthier place in life, it’s easy for me to gaslight myself and think it wasn’t that bad. We all struggle with invalidating our feelings in this way.
JOURNALING HELPS VALIDATE YOUR FEELINGS
In reality, the things I overcame and accomplished at the time were drastic, and I should remind myself everyday how far I’ve come and be proud of myself. It’s very easy for us to get down on ourselves and not recognize all the things we’ve accomplished in our careers, friendships, relationships and physical and mental health until we take the time to slow down and reflect.
That’s why journaling is so important to me. Journals are like little books of proof that you are capable of everything that goes on in your mind. You’re capable of chasing the things that you think about constantly and overcoming your worst heartbreak.
I’ll close out this post with one final entry from my 2020 journal:
Things to remind yourself:
- You don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be.
- Society’s version of normal does not have to be yours.
- It’s perfectly okay to say ‘no’ to anything that does not align with your happiness or future.
- What’s hard today will only make you stronger tomorrow (as sucky as that is).
- The world keeps turning and one day everything will make sense.
- You are capable, but you have to take some steps in the right direction, have a plan and don’t stand in one place convincing yourself you’re not capable.
- Fear is a liar.
- Never settle.
I recommend you try to get into the habit of daily journaling. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Start by writing down lists, affirmations and your feelings. If you’re overwhelmed and feel like you can’t get ahead of all the things that you want to do, journaling will help you understand your thoughts and bring you clarity and self awareness.
I hope this helps you and if you do start journaling, DM me on Instagram or tag me in a post to tell me about your journey! I’d love to hear from you.
THANKS FOR LISTENING TO PASSION & POTENTIAL
For more tips and inspiration, be sure to join my Facebook group that goes hand in hand with this podcast – Passion & Potential Facebook Group.
Until next time my friends – Arastasia
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