two journals stacked on top of each other with a leaf next to them
Health Mental Health

How to Journal for Anxiety and Stress

How to journal: 5 key steps to help you release stress and anxiety from your life through a journal. Release negative thoughts through journaling prompts.

woman journaling with a coffee and half eaten pastry next to her

We’ve all felt it at some point. That feeling of anxiety or stress. Where thoughts just swirl around in our brains, and that internal voice just doesn’t want to quit.

Whether it’s stress about your job, your relationship, your weight, your home life, your ‘you-fill-in-the-blank’ there’s a way to start working through it.

It wasn’t until I started seeing my acupuncturist, Kathleen from Metamorphosis Holistic Health, that I realized there was a way to make all those unhelpful thoughts go away.

She introduced me to what she calls “Write and Release”, but what you might better understand as how to journal for anxiety and stress.

There are a few simple steps to this journaling practice that will help take you from anxiety and stress filled, to calm and free.

How to Journal for Anxiety and Stress

Step 1: Recognize your thoughts

This may seem like an obvious first step, but how often have you stopped your inner voice from running all of your thoughts?

You’ve likely heard this voice so often, and become so accustomed to it, that you don’t even think about those thoughts as being ones that stress you out. They continue to repeat over an over, to the point where you actually start to believe them as truth.

Well guess what? Those thoughts aren’t actually truth, and you can turn them around by starting to pay attention to them.

This first step really came into pay for me when we were getting ready to go through the IVF and egg retrieval process. I would have thoughts like:

  • What if we don’t get any viable eggs?
  • What if we spend all this money for nothing?
  • What if I’m not able to have kids?
  • Will we adopt if IVF doesn’t work?
  • What if IVF doesn’t work?
  • Should we be doing this when I don’t have a full-time job to help support what we’re paying for this procedure?

And the list went on and on. Sometimes thoughts would just compound on top of each other and I would find myself spiraling out of control.

Once I started to recognize those thoughts, I was able to move on to step two of the journaling for anxiety process.

Step Two: Journal out all your thoughts

When all we do is think about the things that are stressing us out or giving us anxiety, it’s easy to see them as truth. But when you take time to sit down and journal or write those thoughts down, you start to realize that they don’t have as much hold or power over you as you may have once thought.

This is your time to actually write out everything that’s going on in your head. Every single little thought that might be causing you stress, or anxiety in your life.

woman sitting on a couch writing in a journal

No thought it too small, or too big to journal about. Get it all out on paper. Do a big brain dump and begin to release all of those thoughts from your head to your journal.

When I first practiced this write and release exercise, it was about two to three pages long. I didn’t hold anything back. Everything I listed in step one, and then some, was written out. I intended for all of those thoughts to drain out of me, and with each written thought I acknowledged them, and that they were no longer keeping me locked in a state of stress and anxiety.

I think it’s important in this step to physically write, and not type, all of these feelings out. It can take longer, but there’s something more personal about putting pen to paper and seeing your own handwriting that makes this step so much more powerful.

Step Three: The release prayer

Before we get to the actual release part of how to journal for anxiety and stress, it’s important to engage God, The Universe, The Creator, whoever you believe in.

Ask your higher power to take all of these thoughts and beliefs from you. You now know that all of these thoughts and beliefs are not your reality, and that you’re surrendering them all to this being.

By surrendering, you’re giving everything to God for clearing, release and healing.

Doing this step releases all of those feelings from you on every single level and helps clear those feelings of anxiety and stress.

When I did this step, this is exactly what I said: “God, take all of these thoughts and feelings from me. I know this is not my truth, and I’m surrendering it all to you for clearing, release and healing. Please clear and release these thoughts from me on on levels of my being.”

You can say whatever prayer you would like, but make sure to include that you want this higher power to take these thoughts and feelings from you on all levels of your being.

Step Four: Destroy the paper

This is another key step to the powerfulness that comes from journaling.

Initially, when I had written down all of my thoughts, it took me awhile to get to this stage of destroying. I don’t know if I was waiting to write down more thoughts, or if I was somewhat afraid of what would happen when I destroyed the paper, but once I finally did it, I felt so clear.

burning a paper book

I simply tore the paper into tiny little pieces. Each tear I knew I was releasing one thought after another. That God was taking all of those thoughts from me, and they no longer had truth or space in my mind or heart.

You can do whatever you like to the paper. Whether you burn it, shred it, or simply tear it up and throw it away. There’s no wrong way to destroy it {it just needs to be more than throwing, or crumpling it up}.

Again, tearing or burning the paper signals to your mind that those thoughts no longer exist in you, and the Creator has taken them from you.

Step 5: Fill yourself with light

Now that your paper is destroyed, take a deep breath.

Ask your Creator to fill you with the truth and all of your good. Doing this step signifies to the universe that those thoughts are no longer your truth. That they no longer have a hold of you.

You're not lost, you're here sign

When I practiced this step I took a big breath and said, “God, fill me with the truth and all of my good!” Then I took one more deep breath.

By doing this I felt so much more at ease, so much calmer. I understood that many of those thoughts were things that were making me scared, but didn’t actually have any truth to them.

By following these simple steps, I was able to release so much from myself and keep myself from letting that internal voice run everything.

These ‘how to journal for stress and anxiety’ steps should help you to begin to do the same. And don’t worry if those thoughts start to creep back in from time to time. Just follow the process from beginning to end every time, and you’ll start to clear and release so much anxiety and stress.

Follow these five simple steps to help you quickly and easily release negative emotions from your life. These journal prompts can help you get rid of stress and anxiety simply by writing and releasing all of those negative thoughts. #negativethoughts #writeandrelease #journalingprompts #howtojournal
How to journal: 5 key steps to help you release stress and anxiety from your life through a journal. Release negative thoughts through journaling prompts. #journaling #intentions #journalingprompts #howtogetridofstress

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