Our minds have an incredible power to steer the rest of our lives. Thoughts are the captains of our actions, dictating where we’re going, how soon we can get there, and when to anchor down. Dropping our mental anchors happens when we access a situation. It’s the time we spend analyzing our next cognitive response. Right now, as America welcomes another four weeks of social distancing, we are all anchoring down.
But what to do during this down time leaves many people anxious, left alone with their own inner chatter, creating doomsday-like scenarios of where this new world is heading. Like the rest of New York, it’s time to pause. Breathe. Now, begin to write.
Journaling during times of crisis can be extremely therapeutic, and therein a sort of saving grace for anxious patterns. Anxiety oftentimes comes about when we feel powerless or out of control. Right now, that’s true for all of us, even our honored frontline responders. Writing down thoughts on paper manifests them from hovering emotions above our heads to tangible words we can see, giving us a new sense of power over them. Therein, journaling allows us to take control over where our thoughts are headed.
When it comes to journaling, there are three very important things to consider. In order for it to be helpful — be honest, be consistent, and be grateful.
A journal is for you and you alone, unless you choose to share it. So, when writing down your day-to-day experiences and thoughts, it’s important to let it all out. The more open you are with your expression, the less weight you will feel internally. It can be hard to admit to ourselves how we feel. And, as I mentioned, writing down thoughts suddenly makes them real, but in accepting what’s really going on, the good and the bad, and reading those words aloud, it makes it easier to handle certain realities.
Keep up with it every day, at the same time each day, and commit to a few sentences. The more time goes by between your writing sessions, the more journaling will feel like a chore, rather than an outlet. This is for you. No one else can hold you accountable.
Write down something you are grateful for. In gratitude, you will find happiness, even if just for a moment. Gratitude will also make you focus on the positive amid a tidal wave of negative news headlines.
If this helps you, the way I hope it does, please share your experiences or writing with me either via email or on social media @NikkiOnTheDaily. As always, stay healthy everyone.