Just like many of us, I suffer from anxiety at times, but, have learned to apply strategies to help me get through these tricky times where everything just seems to be a bit too overwhelming…slowly inhaling and exhaling, going into another room, counting down from ten, and, then, there’s this…
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s 2017 conference, research has shown that journaling is an effective, worthwhile strategy for coping with anxiety ‘attacks’.
There was a study conducted. Researchers followed fifty-one individuals with ‘generalized anxiety disorder’ over the course of ten days and checked back in with them after thirty days to measure their worry levels.
Some participants created a “worry outcome journal”, whereas the others wrote down their general daily thoughts in a “thought log”. Both groups were asked to write four times daily and at the end of each day. At the conclusion of the experiment, those participants that kept a “worry outcome journal” ended up experiencing a significant decrease in their worrying, compared to those that kept a “thought log” (still effective, however).
‘It’s worth noting that a “thought log” is a common technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, which is a method of mental health treatment focused on making the patient aware of negative thinking patterns‘.
Keeping a “worry outcome journal”, on the other hand, requires that you make a note of your worries and make predictions about the future as it pertains to those worries. Then, the idea is to rate the worries. Which cause more distress and about how often they are thought? Lastly, record what happened. Did the ‘events in question’ turn out better than, as bad as or worse than you thought?
‘The research found that all participants noticed that a majority of their worries or negative thoughts did not come to fruition, Medscape reported.’
You wanna give it a shot? Let me know how it goes, if you choose to create your own!
I journaled A LOT in high school and college. 😉