Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Journaling might seem more like what a teenage girl might do over an adult woman, but if you ever kept a diary, you remember how good it felt to get all your thoughts and emotions out on paper.
I love journaling and don’t believe there’s any age limit to it. Many use journaling to decrease anxiety and depression, which is one of the reasons I do it.
The best part is there aren’t any rules. Whether you follow prompts, free write or get into special journaling strategies, you just do you and reap all the benefits.
The Power Of Pen And Paper
I know it’s not always easy to find time to physically write with a pen or pencil in a journal. So, if you want to keep a digital journal, that works too. For me, it’s like a form of emotional exercise to actually put pen to paper, but that’s just what I prefer.
No matter what type of journal you keep, those pages have the power to make you feel better. What starts off as a blank page becomes words that describe your every thought and feeling. Even when you can’t say any of those words to another soul, your journal listens.
Ever kept everything bottled up to keep from hurting someone’s feelings or afraid you’ll be judged for what’s on your mind? Your journal never judges you or gets offended. Say what you want. Believe me when I say, my journal is private and knows secrets no one else does.
Science Backs It Up
So why does it work so well? Journaling engages both the left and right sides of your brain. You use the analytical side (left) along with the creative side (right) to write out what’s on your mind. This allows you the freedom to focus solely on your writing versus just dwelling on things.
According to recent studies, journaling has the power to:
• Better understand your feelings
• Relieve stress
• Learn more about yourself
• Help you solve your problems
• Understand others better
Doctors are actually encourgaing journaling to decrease anxiety and depression, with some studies saying it’s as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy. Some people stated their depression symptoms lessened after only three consecutive days of journaling.
Honestly, what do you have to lose? I look at it as a stress free way to analyze my thoughts, express how I feel and come to some sort of resolution as to what to do next. Since it’s just about me, I get to focus solely on getting out the negative and finding more balance in my life. Journaling might sound simple, but it’s an amazing form of self-care that I highly suggest more women and men start doing regularly.
Getting Into Journaling
Well, the first step is to find a journal you like. I created three Unbothered Goddess journals because I believe in journaling that much. If you’re working on your journey to becoming an Unbothered Goddess, give the Unbothered Goddess Journal, Unbothered Spiral Notebook or Dreams Spiral Notebook a try.
Once you find something you like, find a space to write in. I try to find a quiet place to myself. You might want to play some good music in the background or use headphones to drown out any distractions.
Next, you have to find the most effective form of journaling for you. Dumping all your thoughts out on paper works, but it’s not quite as effective for anxiety and depression.
However, if you’re just starting, do whatever feels natural.
For me, I write as if I’m having a conversation with myself. I talk about whatever’s bothering me or even how happy I am about something. I list the item, say how I feel and why and talk about what I can do to fix a problem or what I learned from whatever happened.
For best results, journal regularly. Journaling to decrease anxiety and depression requires consistency, just like exercising for a healthier you. Try to set aside at least five minutes a day. I try to get in at least 15 minutes, but some days I spend more or less, depending on what’s going on in my life at that moment.
Pay attention to what you’re writing and look back over it from time to time. This will help you uncover stressors and ways to overcome feelings of anxiety and depression.
Need some inspiration to get you started? I love Pinterest for finding great journal prompts. Create a board of prompts to use whenever you’re feeling stuck. Remember, journals won’t judge you no matter how you feel or what you write. Be strong goddesses and write your way to feeling better.
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, a woman who’s been where you are