4 Ways Journaling Helped My Anxiety

4 Ways Journaling Helped My Anxiety

In the UK, anxiety among men and women is at an all-time high. At present 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety. 6 million people in the UK, 3 million with depression and 3 million with anxiety disorder suffer every single day (Psychiatric Morbidity Survey). Is there a cure for anxiety, or at least a way to ease it?

That’s something I would say is determined by the individual. Medication works wonders for some, and therapy is the way for others. Then in many cases, there is no straightforward cure or antidote when it comes to anxiety and panic attacks. Sadly, I fall under that category of people who can’t find a quick fix. However, I’m open to trying new methods to beat anxiety, and find some ways to be more successful than others. I also find some things work for a while, and then not so much a few months later. One thing I’ve noticed over the years, is that journaling or writing helps calm my busy mind, and here’s four reasons why.

Writing what I’m grateful for, completely changed my outlook.

Journalling, Notebooks, Anika May, Pinterest, Flat Lay, Countryside, Natural, Marble, Fashion and Lifestyle BloggerWhen I’m in the height of an anxious spell, I’m usually only thinking about myself. When I was feeling down, I used to scribble any negative thoughts I had and it just digs a deeper hole, filled with being self-absorbed and shut off from the world. Being more appreciative is something I like to have incorporated into my personality, it’s a quality all should strive to utilise.

Starting a gratitude journal has been an enormous help for my anxiety. A help I never saw coming. When I write out all the things I’m grateful for, a lot of stresses just melt away. It could be something I take for granted every day like the NHS or ability to obtain a driving licence, to have a safe home and food just a twenty-second walk away. The moment all my privileges are written down, I start to feel better. It could be acknowledging how fortunate I am and how precious life is that almost makes the positive vibes drown out the negative noise.

A part of my anxiety can stem from everyday life. For example, not having enough money, or fretting about a possession. But I worry about those things because I’m trying to predict the future and have everything planned out, the feeling of control is very important. Sadly, I know I can’t control everything, so writing out the things I am grateful for not only helps me live in the moment, but be way more appreciative. Not everything has to be planned to a T, too much planning means missing the important things in life.

It’s great mind training too. Once you’re in the dark, you appreciate everything that shines. Anytime I’m feeling down, I grab a notebook and write something positive.

Writing when I’m alone, takes away the feeling of being lonely.

Journalling, Notebooks, Anika May, Pinterest, Flat Lay, Countryside, Natural, Marble, Fashion and Lifestyle BloggerNo one likes to be a lonely. It’s such a rubbish feeling, and it’s hard to get rid of. If there’s ever a moment when I’m feeling isolated, I like to grab one of my (many) notebooks and just jot some stuff down. Thoughts, blog drafts, doodles and everything in between. Most of the time, it helps to take my mind off of being lonely, or missing the people I love most.

However, journaling when I feel anxious or lonely, encouraged me to see the value in “me time” and appreciate the art of simply being alone. Being on your own isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t something to be ashamed of or something to avoid. I can be an introvert from time to time, so on occasion I really do need a day to recharge my social battery and get myself together before I can be chatty again.

I’ll be writing a post on the importance of me time soon, because it’s truly beneficial for anyone with a personality type similar to mine.

There are some out there who genuinely struggle to be alone, and I used to be that way. I would never eat alone, walk around alone, or even relax alone. Now, I’m the complete opposite. I’m not forcing myself to be around people when in reality I do actually want my own company. Journaling helped me with that. It’s a hobby usually done in solitude, and that time alone is great for reflecting and chilling out.

The anxiety of being a social animal doesn’t exist anymore, I don’t feel like I need to live up to a certain standard, because taking time alone showed me who I really am, and taught me to accept that.

Journaling helped me with journalism.

One of my biggest insecurities is my skill as a creator. I would never call myself a creative person, but I enjoy creating. (Please let that make sense.)

In school, there was always that element of competition in my English writing and art classes, to see who was best, and who could get the best grade. When I wasn’t at the top of the table, it would break my heart. The competition drilled the idea of not being good enough into my brain, an attitude that only contributes to anxiety.

One of the reasons I started my blog is because I wanted to be a fashion journalist, without moving to a big city or having to deal with the fierce world of the fashion industry. However, when I really got into the blogosphere, I realised some do treat this world as a competition, from statistics to opportunities.

That negative vibe reintroduced the feeling of not being good enough. A sucky feeling.

As a child, I would always put together fake magazine articles to be featured in Company or Glamour. When I decided to create a journal just for short stories and little articles, I feel in love with journalism again. I saw the worth of polishing those abilities, because it never hurts to have an extra skill or two! It took the competition aspect away, and the fear of sharing my work, rather than being ashamed of it.

I’m certainly not the best writer in the world, but that doesn’t matter. I have a journal to practise with, and enjoy the fun in just writing for hours. It’s like a form of meditation.

Journalling, Notebooks, Anika May, Pinterest, Flat Lay, Countryside, Natural, Marble, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

Journaling realigned my focus.

Similar to my first point, writing everything down, helps me to focus again, and put everything in perspective. Not just from a thankful standpoint, but in every aspect of life. For example, sometimes I’ll just grab my diary and write down my goals for the next month. Now and then I’ll reach them, and other times I’ll be so far off that achievement won’t come for another year. Still, journaling realigned my focus, helped me not to lose sight of my dreams!

I like to think of myself as an ambitious person, so noting down the things I’m desperate to achieve is just that boost of motivation. It’s like inspiring yourself, by yourself… with yourself? Yeah.

One of my favourite YouTubers, Kalyn Nicholson, did a video on 8 Ways To Fill Your Journals & Notebooks which is awesome for ideas too. She’s a creator who has suffered with anxiety and depression too, so if you’re on the hunt for a new vlogger to follow – Kalyn’s your girl.

Many treat hobbies as a form of escape, or a coping mechanism. That’s what writing, doodling, journaling and basically anything with a pen does for me. My anxiety stems from having such a busy worry-prone mind, and writing calms that. Keeps it at bay, or under control for a certain period of time.

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  • I’ve actually never started journaling yet! So good that it’s helps you!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Such an interesting post, it makes me think about journaling, plus it is very brave of you to share your journey!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • Thank you so much for reading! xo

  • I love doing a gratitude log. I used to do it on my bullet journal and it would change and improve any bad day. It does wonders.

    The Lisa’s World

    • I really want to try using a bullet journal, they look amazing! Thanks for reading xo

  • I’ve got “One line a day” book and I write down a couple of lines every night. Something good happens every day, even in our worst days and this helps me to not be so negative! And this year I loved Thanksgiving. We don’t do it in Italy of course, but that day I stopped and really thought about how many things I’m grateful for even if this is a though moment for me. 🙂

    Caterina | caterinasosso.com

    • That’s a wonderful idea! I’ll look out for a book like that, sounds so good! Thanks so much for reading, Caterina xo

  • Loved to read this, it helps a lot. thanks for sharing
    Gros bisous

    http://gallech.blogspot.com

  • Great post, I didn’t actually know the statistics were that high ! I have also recently started a gratitude journal for similar reasons and it’s helped me massively x
    LoneTeenTraveller | Travel Fashion Lifestyle

    • Me either! It’s such a shame 🙁
      They’re awesome! xo

  • Great post, and so informative too! I was always told that writing things down helped with anxiety, but I never really took any notice. I really need to start doing it though, as it seems amazing!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • Honestly it really does! My GP basically forced me to start a diary, and I got sick of writing negatives so I tried writing positives and it made SO much different in a week or so xo

  • Shannon

    I love journaling! I’m also addicted to buying more cute journals than I actually need, but that’s another story. Thanks for the informative post, wasn’t aware of all the statistics!

    Shann Eileen | http://www.shanneileen.com

    • I’m so bad with buying! The one that’s photographed was only bought last week and I haven’t used it yet, haha 🙂 You’re welcome! xo

  • Wonderful post, darling. I think journaling is important–I don’t do it everyday but I do write in my journals a few times a week or when I really feel like I need it. Love your journal. Writing in general and reading loads of books regularly helps with journalism, that was the best advice my mentor told me, early on. Thanks for sharing. <3 /Madison
    FASHION TALES

    • Definitely therapy at home! I’ve heard reading is great for budding journalists too – thanks for reading! xo

  • Rina Doria

    This is such a good idea, I sent your post to a friend who I think would like the read. I should give it a try. I definitely have anxiety sometimes but it’s more so because I get overwhelmed with all the work I have to do. If I can just sit down and do it my anxiety goes away because I actually start my work and have less daunting tasks before me. The problem is it’s sometimes hard to start.

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    • That’s wonderful, I hope they like it and thanks for sharing 🙂
      I definitely think starting is the hardest part, for majority of the things I do, beginning is the biggest challenge! Thanks so much for reading, Rina! xo

  • Biana Perez

    Thank you for sharing this post! I like to write when I am feeling a bit stressed – it definitely helps! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  • Super inspiring post : )

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • Such a great post and I hope it helps someone that is battling anxiety. My cousin was having really bad anxiety and that was the first time I saw for myself how difficult this can be… Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo Falasha
    Bite My Fashion
    Instagram| Bloglovin’| Facebook

    • Me too! It’s definitely a struggle but always a good thing to talk openly about! Thanks for reading xo

  • Dominique

    Love this post hun! I would love to keep a journal but I struggle to keep it up. Although the benefits are clearly amazing, thank you so much for sharing doll xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

    • I struggled at first, but when it became a hobby I stuck with it! 🙂 xo

  • This is such a great post (and has a really lovely lay out, by the way!). I’ve never kept up with a journal, even though I see the value in it as an aid to ease mental health problems. I like that you don’t put any pressure on yourself to do it, that probably really helps! I’ll definitely have to try and adopt a more relaxed attitude towards journalling in the future and hopefully that’ll help me do it more often. 🙂
    Astrid
    http://www.astridkaniele.com

    • Thank you so much! Took a lot of trial and error to get the layout right haha 😉

      Certainly beneficial having a journal for me! I think if I pressured myself I’d see it as a chore, and I’m lazy enough as it is! Thanks so much for reading, Astrid! xo

  • this is such a helpful post. Thanks for sharing
    The Glossychic /Wonder Cottage

  • i should have this one too because i love to write all about my thoughts especially when im down. great share dear!
    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic

    • A great place to vent 🙂 Thanks! xo

  • Yara Mel Rozaay

    Being grateful is a great exercise ! I’m glad this practice has been helping you 🙂

    http://www.desiringsme.com/4-vows-24/

  • Mes Voyages à Paris

    Such an interesting post!!

    xx

    Mónica Sors

    MES VOYAGES À PARIS

    NEW POSTS: HOUNDSTOOTH COAT & CHIC DETAILS

  • Sounds like this has helped you in such a big way! Thanks so much for sharing this with us and I hope you have a lovely weekend hun.
    Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    • Thanks very much Gemma, you too! xo

  • I love journaling, I find it so interesting how something so simple can help people so much, loved this post!

    http://www.lydstaple.co.uk/

    • With you there! Such an easy thing that all can do 🙂 xo

  • So cool! I journal prayers and it has always been super helpful to me.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Oooh that’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing! xo

  • Amy-Anne Williams

    I completely agree with the point about journalling helping with journalism. Growing up, when I would do something for a writing assignment and have it not come top, I would be devastated, and there really is a lot of competition in blogging still. I write in my spare time away from my blog, and I find that that is a lot more calming, it has no pressure on and is just a lot better for myself, so I completely see where you’re coming from with that. I adore these photos btw, if I took a photo of my journal or the like it’d come out looking no where near as good as these haha.

    Amy;
    My Latest Post

    • For sure! Journaling is like a hobby so it brings the fun to the skill without the pressure of it being a job 🙂
      And thank you so much! Trust me, it took me a LONG time to take these photos, just takes practise ❤️ xo

  • This is so accurate and I try to journal whenever I can because it always turns out to be the therapy I didn’t think I needed <3

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

    • Free therapy – the best kind! xo

  • Alexandra Hubbell

    I just wrote about gratitude journaling too! It has made a HUGE difference in my life. I am a highly anxious person and I tend to obsess over the “bad.” I’m a chronic worrier, but journaling helps me review my life from different perspective. I’m glad you’ve found relief through it and I hope your post inspires others to do the same <3

    xx, Alexandra
    https://www.shethrivestribe.com/single-post/2017/11/23/Gratefulness

  • I’ve come back to this post three or four times now because I just can’t get enough. I completely feel you on enjoying creating without being a creative person. Writing makes me feel so much less lonely than I otherwise could be as well, because I’m not keeping thoughts pent up inside me

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    • Wow that’s so lovely of you to say! Definitely made my day!! Such a great feeling of relief to everything down on a page, right? Thanks for reading, Steph xo