Writing your way to relief

How journaling can solve your problems

Ayesha Tariq

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Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

I’ve had a journal since I was a teenager. Fourteen, I think. But even then my journal was never a “Dear Diary” type of journal. It was always more of what I felt from the day. So, when I look back at all the journals that I have, I mostly pages and pages filled with my feelings, sprinkled with important life events.

My journal was never a place for whether a crush looked at me or talked to me. It was always a way for me to process my feelings. It was more an internal reflection of my thoughts and often words of self-reproach for not doing the best I could.

The one that’s changed in all these years is the fact that I no longer care what’s written. There was a time that I was worried about someone reading it, or what would happen to them if someone else found them. I don’t care anymore. I write freely and without hesitation now. I often even rant in my journal and that helps.

So how do I process my anxiety through journaling?

  • I start with a note of gratitude — something, anything I am grateful for
  • I write about what’s bothering me or what’s causing me anxiety
  • I write about all the negative things that could happen
  • This leads me to write about what I could do to stop those negative things
  • So, I come to possible solutions that I could look at
  • Finally, I write about what I think I could or should do

It feels almost as if when I write out the problems, they don’t seem daunting anymore. And, as I keep writing, I find possible solutions myself. I think the act of writing can open up certain parts of your brain. I have no idea whether that is true. It certainly feels like it is true.

But, more than that, journaling helps me with my problems. It’s always helped me with my problems. I don’t have to do it everyday but I do realize that when I give it a long enough break, I don’t do so well.

I love writing. I love journaling and it’s definitely a cathartic experience.

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Ayesha Tariq

Mother | Macro & Investment Strategist | Co-Founder, MacroVisor | Contributor on Bloomberg & Fox Business | Ex Corporate Banker