How To Learn More About Your Anxiety And Stress By Keeping A Diary

Anxiety disorders along with stress and even depressive disorders are often difficult to understand, by keeping a daily diary you will be able to recognise when you are feeling more anxious or stressed than usual, be able to pinpoint the symptoms you are feeling and over time you will be able to recognise the stressful situations and triggers. By avoiding situations that trigger stress and anxiety whenever possible you will be able to minimise the amount of suffering you have to endure. There are of course situations which simply cannot be avoided and have to be faced and we have to deal with them in the best way we can, but by keeping these situations to a minimum we will reduce our anxiety and stress levels.

Here are some tips to help in planning and keeping an anxiety and stress diary:

 

  • Choose a diary with plenty of space for daily entries, preferably a day to a page in A5 or A4 format, you could also just use a notepad or writing pad and date the pages as you use them

 

  • It is very important to try and make an entry everyday, by being consistent you will get the best results from your efforts

 

  • Write down what happens in your day, whether it good or bad. You can list symptoms and how you were feeling at a certain place or in a certain situation. If you felt terrible and you panicked, write it down in detail, why you felt that way and what triggered or caused you to react in that way. Remember to also write down the good times during that day, it is      important not to dwell only on the negative feelings you had. If you have felt bad all day just think back to one moment that maybe something made you smile for a few seconds or perhaps you received something nice in the mail. Write it down, there’s usually something good you can include each day and it will help to balance out the negative entries.

 

  • When you have had your diary for 2 or 3 weeks you can begin to go back over it, study each day and each entry you have written. Write a separate list of triggers that appear time and time again, situations that regularly make you anxious or stressed. Keep this list and add to it weekly or monthly, you will soon begin to see a pattern emerging. After a period of maybe 6 months you should have a list of most of the stress inducing situations, you should know what symptoms to look out for and you will recognise your individual triggers or anxiety provoking conditions.

 

If you follow the above consistently you will then be able to use your findings to make a drastic reduction in your anxiety and stress levels. Avoid stress inducing situations as much as you possibly can you will then have more strength and mental coping skills to deal with the situations that are unavoidable in our everyday lives.

 

© Andrew Tudor Jones