Finding a way to control your anxiety? Here’s one trick that might greatly help you: write down your thoughts. Keeping a ‘stress journal’ can be an effective tool as part of an overall treatment plan for those who struggle with anxiety, according to new research.
The study, presented during the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s 2017 conference, involved 51 individuals with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) over the course of 10 days and then again 30 days after the experiment to measure levels of worry in order to reach their conclusion.
The group which used a journal were instructed to write down their worries and make specific predictions about the future as it pertained to those worries. They were also asked to rate their worries based on the level of distress they caused and how often they thought about it. Then, they were asked to record the outcome of the specific worries and whether or not the events in question turned out better than, as bad as or worse than they thought.
All the participants were prompted four times throughout the day to write down their entries. They were also told to write in either the thought log or the worry outcome journal at the end of each day.
The study found that all participants noticed that a majority of their worries or negative thoughts did not come to fruition. But those who used the worry journal method, showed a more significant decrease in worrying following the experiment compared with those who used the thought log.
While the study shows promising results, it is too early to make a conclusion that journaling can really help curb anxiety. The researchers also stressed that anxiety conditions typically need more complex treatment overall. It may be best to use the journal as one component of therapy in order for it to have the biggest impact. It is notable to mention, however, that this isn’t first study to show the mental health benefits of keeping a journal. Previously, it was found that writing down negative thoughts and physically tossing them away may clear the mind. Other studies also show expressive writing might help with both physical and emotional wounds following a trauma.
So the next time you find yourself feeling anxious, why not try this hack? It’s safe, easy and certainly cost-free.
Source of this article:
’Worry Journal’ Significantly Eases Anxiety
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