The Anxiety Diary
A well known and often used technique to fight anxiety, depression and burnout is keeping a diary. There is no doubt in my mind about its benefits, however it is worth to discuss exactly why it can work for you. Knowing the process behind it means you've won half the fight already, even without penning anything down yet. So, let's explore.
Although the body is an integral part of it, anxiety, burnout, trauma, grief and depression all play themselves out in the mind. To be aware of these thoughts, how they work, where they come from and when they come up, is crucial in overcoming them. And one of the best ways to understand them is to write them down. Writing is like having a conversation with yourself, forcing you to gather your thoughts in a coherent manner, clearing your mind from the emotional clutter. This is how it works: your symptoms come mostly from the mind. Writing about them clears that mind. It makes you see, right in front of you, what your mind thinks at times. See what I'm getting at here? You become mindful of your mind. And when you know what's going on, you take control. My book Restart is the ultimate example of this. I wrote it for two reasons. The first is I felt only half the story surrounding our conditions was being told. We are too focused on the mental, and we're forgetting we are physical, emotional animals first and foremost. The second reason was personal: by writing about it I was alleviating its symptoms. I was hitting two birds with one stone: by writing I helped both other people as well as myself. So, let's keep it short: start a diary. Just trust me on this one and do it. Don't worry about style or perfection. Just write about how it all feels. And it's okay if it feels bad. That's part of it. Do however, add one or two things that you are thankful of. That's key to the success. Write, and let your symptoms fall off of you like your words. Take it easy, as always, Love.
(Check out the book Restart here)
Rogier van Kralingen