• Helen Colebrook

Journaling when you Feel Anxious


Journaling about Courage

There is so much going on in the world at the moment, I think it's really hard not to feel anxious at times. To help me cope with this, I turn to my journals more and more. I have so many thoughts crowding my brain, all fighting for attention at the same time. The best way I find of managing this is by simply letting them all out. I don't think there's ever been a time where I've written as much as I have done over the past few months.


In these journal pages I focused on dealing with fear and having moments of courage. I decided to add a pocket where I could pop tags inside where I have written some of my small acts of courage on the back. I plan on continuing to fill this pocket over the coming months, with notes of any time I feel I have overcome something that made me fearful.


Changing your Perspective

I often look for a great quote to include on my journal pages, that either reflects how I'm feeling, or how I want to be feeling. The quote on this journal page encourages me to look at things from a fresh perspective and to continue noticing the good things.


In the first half of my journal writing, I am usually just letting everything out, with my thoughts completely unfiltered. By the second half, I try to reset my thinking, focus on solutions and writing in a more positive mindset. It's hard to describe how much "lighter" I feel by the time I finish these journal pages.


Go Easy on Yourself

Creativity nearly always forms the starting point of my journal pages. It's that signal to my brain that I'm preparing to switch off from distractions and relax.


On the day I wrote these journal pages, I had an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough, at anything. My worries had got out of control throughout the day. It's funny how one small incident can have you doubting every part of yourself. I used these pages to reset my thinking again and recognise that I am enough, exactly as I am, even on the bad days.


Let it all Out

I created these journal pages on a day where I was really tired, having hardly slept the night before. I wanted some soothing colours and the joy of just splashing some paint on my pages.


I knew that lots was on my mind, but hadn't really got to the bottom of my thoughts until I started writing. What became clear to me by the end of these pages was that I was in need of some deeper rest and not to feel guilty about letting people down if I needed a break. This was mostly related to trying to keep up with client demands. As I remind myself frequently, I'm of no use to anybody else if I haven't first taken care of my own well-being


Focus on what you Enjoy

On these journaling pages I was writing about my, fortunately temporary, loss of motivation. I felt that my "spark" had gone and I was struggling to move forwards with any of my plans. Through these journal pages, I gave myself permission to only focus on work that makes me feel good the next day (today!) - everything else could wait.


I thought about things that make me happy, which include creative projects, sharing blog posts, creating my journal printables for Patreon and learning new creative skills. Taking the time to connect with myself really helped me to understand what I needed to be focusing on for now, to help get that spark back.


If you're feeling anxious, I really hope this blog post gives you some ideas for how you can use your journal to help lighten the load a little. This is is no way professional/medical advice, just me sharing things that have really been helping me, in the hope that they may be of use to you too.


PS - if you don't enjoy writing, maybe just go wild with colour! I have an art journal that works perfectly for that type of outlet too :)


I hope you're doing well and that your journal is a useful outlet for all your thoughts and emotions, Helen x


PS: If you're looking for extra journaling content, like videos, journal printables and writing prompts, I would love to see you over on my Patreon page.


Supplies used:

Journal cover from Start Bay Notebooks. You can use code JWP10 for a 10% discount on covers.

Notebook from London Gifties. You can use code HELEN for a free roll of washi included with your order.

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