How Journaling Can Be Your Best Weapon Against Stress & Anxiety
April 14, 2022
When it comes to working through stress and anxiety it can be hard to know how to process everything. Not only does it often affect you mentally, but it can also affect you physically including muscle tension, headaches and tiredness.
Meditation and practising mindfulness can be a great help when tackling the symptoms in the moment, but another helpful tool is journaling, and it can be a great long-term method of managing stress and anxiety. There have been several studies done on the effects of journaling and a study conducted by Hasanzadeh, Khoshknab and Norozi on multiple sclerosis patients, found that journaling can be a huge help for anxiety and stress the patients were feeling.
How does journaling help?
Getting those challenging thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper helps to make those thoughts more tangible and easier to process. No matter how you choose to journal, there have been a number of research and studies done around the benefits of writing it all down. It can often feel like releasing a load that you’ve been carrying and gives you a space to share those heavier thoughts and feelings, so you don’t have to carry them with you.
A study back in 2005 found that getting stuck into ‘expressive writing’ around trauma, stressful thoughts were less likely to suffer further. It was proved to manage stress and anxiety better for those that took part, in comparison to those that didn’t
Organising and processing thoughts and feelings
One of our favourite things about regular journaling is the ability to better prioritise thoughts and feelings that may be threatening to overwhelm you. It can often reveal things that have been niggling at you under the surface, often things you haven’t been completely consciously aware of.
Being able to articulate what is happening in your head can often be enough to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety in a short amount of time. It can also be a place to identify negative self-talk and thoughts that might be contributing to your anxiety, allowing you the chance to counter these thoughts and create a more positive mindset long term.
What are the best ways to use your journal against stress and anxiety?
How you use your journal will largely depend on why you feel stressed or the cause of your anxiety, however, there are a few general ways you can start to create a consistent journaling habit.
Keep a daily diary
Keeping a daily diary of the events of the day as well as how you felt about them and any thoughts that may come up, is a really simple way to process everything that has happened and how it has or hasn’t affected you. This is the perfect place to get all your frustrations out and have a good moan about the things that have bothered you.
Explore journal prompts
If you struggle to get going when faced with a blank page, journal prompts can be a great way to kick things off. There are many blogs and images on platforms that can offer you specific questions on which to base your writing on. Often these prompts will ask questions that you then answer in detail, and they can often help to reveal things about yourself that you never even thought about.
Create pieces of art
We talk a lot about writing down our thoughts, but some people may be more visual than others and creating imagery may be a better option. You can use an unlined journal as a mini sketchbook and use it to doodle, draw whatever comes to you or draw anything that helps you express those difficult emotions or frustrations. Bullet journals are particularly great for those who are more artistic and looking for a more creative journal.
If you’re looking for ways to use journaling with your CBD journey, another great way to keep track of thoughts and emotions, then make sure to check out our blog about CBD journaling. Keeping track of any improvements in how you feel, any new emotions or physical feelings can be especially helpful when it comes to figuring out your CBD oil dosage.
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