How Journaling Helped Reduce My Stress & Anxiety
Hello Friends and welcome to the blog today.
Happy Wednesday beautiful people. I hope everyone had a great weekend, and I hope everyone is staying safe amongst the chaos.
Today I’m sharing how journalling helped me with my stress and anxiety.
How I Started
I’ve been using an online journal since May 2016. It orginally started as a challenge to write 750 words a day. There wasn’t a cut off time, or a period in which I stopped — I just kept journalling through the years. For the first few years I wrote everyday, and as time went on I slacked on that schedule.
Once a day became twice a week, and twice a week became once a month, and that turned into lapsing into several months. Or, just writing when something was going haywire and I needed to get it out of my head.
Sitting Down With Someone
Keeping a journal was first suggested to me by my therapist who thought it would be a great idea to get those thoughts out on paper so they don’t stick with you and you’re not holding on to that bad energy replaying it over and over again. Since work was stressful due to bosses and other management, I would mainly rant about work, changing careers, and how I was tired and felt I was all alone.
Fear kept me from doing so many things in my life, and I would write and cry because I just didn’t see any way around it. I was a single mom and I need this job with benefits to take care of my daughter. That was the one thing that kept me going.
I can’t stress enough to reach out to someone if you need to. Don’t be ashamed to get therapy and talk with a professional. Friends and family are helpful, but I needed someone that was experienced and understood that sometimes we need a certain type of help to get better.
Stepping Back Through the Looking Glass of Journalling
From time to time I go through previous years to see where my head was, and it was pretty doom and gloom. I think back to myself and I’m like “Was I really that depressed and sad?“. The short answer…Yes. One of the main reasons why I wasn’t falling apart was that I would talk about it in my journal. However, when I was alone with my thoughts it really bothered me that I wasn’t doing more about my depression, and working towards a goal.
At some point, I decided that my job wasn’t going to hold me hostage or force me to quit because of a few stupid people. I began writing down what I would say and how I would face certain situations, and eventually, it got better, but it wasn’t without some sweat and tears.
Writing for me was everything during that time, and still is to some degree. For me, there’s nothing like pulling out all the stress and drama and pouring it onto a page, and leaving it there.
What I Use to Journal
When I write the format that works for me is typing. But just typing in word document wasn’t enough because I coun’t keep track of anything. I found this online medium called 750 Words which not only tracked how many words, but it used algorythms to search for key words or phrases that you use frequently to track your mood when you were typing. (Mine was frequently angry)
Here is a sample of 750 Words
After a 30-Day trial a paid membership is required, and I wasn’t in a position to pay for just writing. It’s unfortunate because I realize websites can’t run for free and I haven’t found any other medium quite like it.
(750 Words is free for 30 days and then $5 a month)
Enter Penzu. Granted Penzu doesn’t have the tracker like 750 words but it was free, and free is the magic word. Each journal entry was separate, there is a pro account that offers more features but during this time I just wanted to type and I had gotten in such a good habit of writing everyday. I would start work, answer a few emails, get my coffee and start journaling.
A Penzu Journal Sample Page
Using Penzu I’ve also created a Bible Study Journal, however you can create whatever you need be that a travel, health or food journal. Penzu is there for anything that you need to help you on your journey.
In order to keep back into this good habit and continue my personal journal to living healthier, I journal twice a month and it’s still a minumum of 750 words. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve created this blog to track my journey.
I hope my writing journey helps someone out there that’s struggling, and this is not to say that writing will solve all your problems. If your going thorugh it and having a hard time keeping your head above water, please-please talk to a doctor or therapist.
Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace