Why do you need to start journaling for anxiety?

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Writing helps you capture your thoughts and see them from another perspective./Photo: Bridget Jones’s Diary.

mental health

By writing in a journal about the good things that happen to us every day, our small achievements, we can calm down our anxiety levels and develop a more positive mindset.

By Maria Corisco

January 7, 2024 / 09:00

It’s easy as a teenager to confide your hopes, sorrows, and expectations to a diary. That intimate record in which you put down everything that happens to you is often abandoned as we age. But keep a diary -Whether on paper or digital-, or what is known as journaling, can provide many benefits regardless of your age. And even more so if you propose it An exercise for well-being.

There is a concept in positive psychology, “Positive Impact Diary”, which refers to a practice in which a person regularly records positive thoughts, experiences, and feelings in a diary or notebook. This is not the time to write down disappointments, desires or frustrations, but to write Focus on the good that happened each day And develop an optimistic mindset.

It has been observed that people who suffer from anxiety or depression can get emotional and psychological benefits by incorporating this activity into their daily routine. This has been seen in a study in which this exercise was proposed for patients with anxiety and its effects were measured. Among the findings, it was observed that it is “a well-accepted intervention that can effectively reduce some aspects of mental distress and improve aspects of well-being among patients with mild to moderate anxiety. “

The author also notes that this type of diary is likely “A more pleasant and uplifting treatment “Compared to traditional expressive writing interventions, which focus on writing about deeply distressing and painful experiences from the past.”

Positive affect diaries typically include:

  • Happy moments: Record daily experiences that bring joy or happiness.
  • Thank you: Write down things you are grateful for.
  • Achievements: Keep track of personal or professional accomplishments, no matter how small.
  • Appreciation: Record praise or compliments you receive from others.
  • Target achieved: Write down goals or milestones achieved, which can help reinforce the feeling of accomplishment.

Experts have found that practicing positive affect journaling can have many benefits, such as improving mood, reducing stress, increasing self-esteem, and encouraging a more positive outlook on life. By focusing on the positive, It attempts to divert attention from worries and stress Towards more pleasant and creative aspects.

In this line, martin seligmanKnown for his contributions to positive psychology, he designed an exercise called three good things or three good thingsWhich means that, at the end of each day, the person writes Three good things that happened during the day and explain why they happened, The goal is to develop a more positive outlook and train the mind to recognize and appreciate the positive aspects of life.

The Three Good Things exercise is simple, but effective. You can do it like this:

  1. At the end of the day consider: Before you go to sleep, take some time to think about your day.
  2. Recognize three positive things: Think about three good or positive things that happened during the day. They could be situations, events, social interactions, personal accomplishments, or anything that was positive and made you feel good about.
  3. Write them in a journal: Write down these three positive things in a diary or notebook. It is important to write them down, because the act of writing them down reinforces the experience and facilitates later reflection.
  4. Why in detail: Next to each positive thing, include a brief description of why you think it happened or why it was meaningful to you. This helps you deeply understand the reasons behind positivity.

Its regular practice has a positive effect on emotional well-being, reducing depression levels and increasing life satisfaction.

Seligman mentions that repeating this exercise can have positive effects on long-term emotional well-being. By focusing on the positive and expressing gratitude, people can develop a more optimistic outlook and improve the quality of their lives.

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