It has only been a relatively short time since I’ve come off treatment for anxiety/depression. I have found that I need strategies to help me cope sometimes, particularly with anxiety. There are days when my anxiety is extremely high, then the very next day I am perfectly calm through the storm. I didn’t like this inconsistency and I felt the need to be in control of my response to stressful stimuli.
I have discovered therapeutic journaling. I like to write. It makes sense that letting out my feelings would be helpful, but I honestly had never done it before. Turns out, there are many forms of writing as therapy. I found a great website with an exercise that worked for me. On GoodTherapy.org I read this article and followed the instructions. I had an epiphany. Turns out, I can control my anxiety if I can pinpoint what made it an anxious day, and what made it a calm day. By comparing specific things I did or said, I identified important components of a calm day for me. Then I can implement those things each day. For example, on my recent “bad day” I didn’t have my usual peaceful music app on at all that day – so that’s one thing I make sure and do each day now. I realized I need to keep some things constant in order to keep from feeling out of control.
I am excited about journaling. I have the freedom to just rant (and yes, cuss) to my heart’s content for the purpose of “letting it out.” I can also choose to do an exercise and have a goal in mind. Heck I could even draw (if I could draw)!
There is so much research that has been done on the effectiveness of therapeutic journaling. Some articles I’ve found helpful are:
MyTherapyJournal.com (for those who prefer cyber journaling)
I am keeping my journal by my bedside so I can use (and abuse, probably in the form of profanity) whenever I feel the need. Ahhhh, that feels good!