Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A simple # Cure for Anxiety--# Journaling

A patient of anxiety is often advised to keep a journal but few take it up because it does not come naturally to many,and also because the benefits of keeping a journal are not enunciated in detail.But keeping a diary is very effective in curing anxiety and Hypochondria.It is a therapy which does not cost money and has no side effects too.I myself have seen the benefits accruing from journaling and would like to share them with you.

For best results,keep a separate diary for your mental health concerns and enter the details at the end of the day.These are the facts which should be entered daily:--

  1. A list of the anxious thoughts experienced during the day.
  2. The physical symptoms which troubled you.
  3. The time when distress was at it's peak.
  4. The possible triggers.
  5. What did you do to get rid of the stressors?
  6. What did you do to feel better?
  7. Did you feel better or worse than yesterday?

After a week of starting, review the past entries and evaluate them on the following grounds:--
  1. Are your fears decreasing or increasing?
  2. What about the physical complaints?Were they the same all through the week or did they keep shifting?
  3. Can you see a pattern in your worries?What usually triggers them?
  4. Were you able to eliminate those triggers?
  5. Which steps did you take to feel better?
  6. Did your efforts show positive results?If not,then what else can you try?
  7. How many of your fears were unfounded in reality?
  8. Did any worst case scenario actualize?

When you write down your daily experiences you are better able to recognize the negative thoughts which produce painful emotions and lead to maladaptive behavior.You will realize that the worries which were driving you nuts a week ago are no longer so frightening.This will motivate you to exercise greater self control and assimilate effective coping skills.

A hypochondriac too can benefit immensely by reviewing a week's entries.He will realize that the back pain which was tormenting him on day one gave way to gastric troubles after two days and then it was a sore throat which petrified him with thoughts of a throat cancer.He can actually read in his own words that his complaints vanish without any medication and therefore,he cannot be suffering from a severe illness.

Keeping a diary introduces an element of regularity in
your schedule.It also helps you to gain a better perspective of your condition.It clarifies your thoughts.You understand what your main problem is and can then prioritize the corrective measures accordingly.You get to recognize the triggers and learn ways of controlling them.Putting down your thoughts,recording your agony,also reduces stress.

A recap of your journal will tell you as no one else can;whether you have done anything to improve your condition or not.If it tells you that you have not been able to make any progress then that is a red flag for you to consult a specialist.If however,you find yourself improving,then rejoice;it means that your stress management skills have improved and you are finally in control of your life.

For some practical tips for curing anxiety you may read 
http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2015/04/three-ways-of-defeating-general-anxiety.html

Image courtesy google.

23 comments :

  1. I'm so grateful Indu ma'am for this great write up personally:) Thanks a lot!
    (Don't ask me why..I know you won't, for who can keep any secrets from you:))

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    1. I am glad if i have been of any help to you Amit ji.
      You leave me speechless.

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  2. Great post.Very useful for all.Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Good suggestions, requires lot of self discipline to keep track of these facts.

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    1. Yes regularity is the essence.
      Thanks Indrani.

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  4. Hi Indu the thing with me is I find it very difficult to say or write certain things that trouble me emotional ly ...its like a phobia and so there we have An endless circle :) ha ha ...but I agree a journal is a great help to deal with stress or anxiety

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    1. Hi dear,long time no see.I know it is hard to be candid on paper for fear of it getting into someone else's hands.But this diary is different because the family knows what.s up with the sufferer;at least i hope it does.

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  5. This is a very helpful post Indu. Writing down can help in clearing the thought process and analyzing the reasons/ triggers behind the causes of anxiety. Thanks for sharing,

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  6. So glad you liked it Somali.
    Thank you !

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  7. I used to have the habit of writing a diary, but then stopped. I realized that even if I read something that I wrote 2 days back, I would see it from a different perspective. So these days when I have some nagging worry, I write about it to make things clear and then take a decision, if I have to!

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    1. It is true that our perspectives change after a passage of time--at least of those who keep an open mind.And you are right writing does clarify thoughts.

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  8. I have never written a diary. Perhaps am not that disciplined. But it does sound like great therapy advice especially if one worries a lot. Great post, Indu.

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    1. Me too.But recently i advised someone to do this and seeing it's benefits set off this post.Thank you Rachna --your praise counts a lot.

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  9. I just wrote a poem on anxiety and here i am with an super antidote for it, thank you so much for sharing such a valuable post :)

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  10. This is of real help. Had no idea that keeping a journal in this way could be so helpful. Heartfelt thanks for sharing... :-)

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  11. Good Morning Maniparna,you just made my day.
    Thanks a ton.

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  12. The title of your post really caught my attention. How interesting! I have thought many times the ways people try to gain mastery over their anxiety but this idea has never crossed my mind. After reading your post, I can understand how this would be helpful. You really are giving your fears a name when you do this and maybe by doing so, you can reduce them to their proper size in time.
    Thanks for this post!

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    1. It makes me very happy to see you here Colleen :).
      Yes,anxiety is so nebulous,it is hard to pin it down.I am glad you liked this post.
      Good Night!

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  13. Thankfully, I seldom lose perpective and can think rationally about what bothers me. Above all, I think that journaling helps in reducing the anxiety to its proper proportion - instead of making it loom like a dark cloud - and enables you to see what you can do about the underlying cause.

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    1. You nailed it well and proper Suresh.

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