Taking the time for journaling in general may seem like an arduous responsibility that a therapist
or psychologist assigns, but it is much more than that. Tackling this task might seem pointless,
but there is a reason why journaling through anxious moments or difficult experiences is
recommended: it works.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider keeping a journal, whether you experience
anxiety or not:
1. It is a good way to rationalize your thoughts and feelings.
- Sometimes our brains lie to us and we start to believe them if we are not careful. While
speaking these thoughts aloud to a trusted loved one or professional mental health
specialist is good and encouraged, there are times when the only person that you have
handy to help yourself is, well, yourself. Speaking these thoughts aloud to yourself or
recording them to write down is another helpful method of getting the thoughts out of the
dangerous spiral that is anxiety.
- It’s easy to keep anxious thoughts or experiences in our minds. Sometimes, we feel that if
we speak about them or write them down where we can see them makes them that much
more real. This is a scary step, but is necessary for growth and becoming stronger than
the thoughts we have.
2. It is a good way to look back and notice triggers or unhealthy thought processes.
- Whether or not you are currently seeing a therapist, it is important to take note of things
that are causing you trouble.
- Taking note of these things can help you develop a strength against them, ways to stay
away from them, or coping skills to deal with them.
3. It is a good way to see your progress and encourage yourself.
- Not everyone has a support group or loving family backing them up, and sometimes you
have to become your main source of encouragement.
- It’s good to celebrate yourself! We usually criticize ourselves more than we celebrate.
This is a good way to change that.
Tips to start journaling:
1. Don’t pressure yourself to write for hours upon end. Set a timer for 5 minutes, then 10,
then 20 if you get that far. This is not a graded assignment; you’ll write more on some
days and less on others.
2. Art is also a form of expression, just like words. A drawing or an art journal can display
emotions just as well as a full written entry can. (Again, it’s not graded. Only you will see
3. Buy a journal you actually like, and take it out with you so you’ll have it handy. It will
start to feel like a friend. You can also just use your notes app for this; going over what
you’ve written later to put it in your journal at home allows for even more reflection time.
If you are seeking further help outside of a journal or mental exercises, please contact us at
Columbia EMDR. We want to be that support system for you!
Written By: Ali Christian