I keep an anxiety journal, and you should too!
This year is all about building a healthier, loving, creative Christine so I can attack my career and life goals head on. I am a performer, and a writer, and with that comes a lot of critiques. I want to make sure that I have the self esteem and the confidence to take in what I need to take in and throw out what I don’t.What really helps me do this is taking control of my anxiety.
Anxiety is a pretty tricky beast because this bitch is a master of disguise. Sometimes I think I’m catching a cold because I feel run down. My head will hurt, my stomach will be in knots, and my entire body will ache. It’s not always, and most often not, due to a change in weather or me not bundling up. It’s usually due to uncheck anxiety. From what I understand anxiety can be a necessary tool. However, with all things in life too much can wreak havoc.
So I went on YouTube to look up some ways to combat anxiety. One thing that consistently popped up was to keep an anxiety journal. Since I love writing and journaling, I picked up one of my 50,000 untouched journals and I got to work. Now of course, there isn’t a defined way in which a person can keep track of their anxiety. Live your life! BUT if you want to move out of that anxious energy here are some guidelines I go by when writing in my anxiety journal.
The first things I write about is my physical state or the negative thoughts I have. Doesn’t necessarily matter which one I write about first, but sometimes I can’t trace back where my anxiety is coming from so I describe my physical state. Now there are times after describing my physical state I still don’t know why I feel the way I do. After I describe my physical state, I journal on what happened the moment before I noticed the change in my body. From that point I typically figure out what has me so pressed. After I identify the source I dissect it.
For example, I might be feeling ugly.
Ok why do I feel ugly? Because my skin is breaking out. Ok, so what do I fear most about my skin breaking out? I think people are going to judge me, and think I can’t take care of myself, and won’t want to be my friend. Oh, do I judge someone on whether or not they will be good friend based on their skin? No. Ok so then it’s safe to assume other humans don’t as well. But some humans do judge. Ok well do I value that trait of judging others in a human? No. Ok so then don’t worry about.
Typically that’s how I can break apart a false belief or something that’s holding me back. Then I go in with a positive statement about myself, that directly correlates with what I just dissected. So going off the example it would be something like people like me and I’m a beautiful person. Then I might give myself examples affirming I’m beautiful or well liked. Sometimes if I’m really in the thick of it I might not come up with examples. That’s fine, I just write affirmations. Whether or not I believe it, I will write something positive about myself over and over. I usually try to fill up the whole damn page. (Which is why I have a journal that is primarily for affirmations.) I do this enough times over the course of a coupe of minutes, days, weeks, whatever until I really start believing it.
Doing just that has helped me soooooo much. It’s a great way to identify any limiting beliefs about myself, and then correct it with something positive. After I replace it with something positive I’m in the right mindset to go about doing whatever I need to change the situation. So for example I have hormonal acne. Instead of just hating on myself for having bad acne, and getting a shitload of anxiety from it, I find a way to combat my acne. For me, that would be not overloading with a bunch of acne fighting products (again because it’s hormonal and will make the situation worse) and to take the time to meditate and schedule me time, and good workouts. These things allow me to feel great about myself and in turn remedy my acne. When I figure everything out I reward myself! For me that could be anything from a little t.v time, to taking myself out on a date.
My anxiety journal isn’t about dwelling on shitty things in my life. It’s about identifying shitty thoughts, figuring out why they came about, replacing them with positive thoughts and moving into a clear, healthier mindset. When I change my mindset I’m able to figure a way out.
Along with eating a healthy diet, working out, and journaling my anxiety is finally getting under control. If you are struggling with anxiety I encourage you to start an anxiety journal. Don’t forget to reward yourself after taking the time to journal. This is something that takes time, commitment, and focus. If you followed through then of course you deserve a little treat.