Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How Journaling My Anxiety Put ME in Control

As I am on vacation, this is a repost of an older post that resonated with a lot of people. I hope it still does.

How Journaling My Anxiety Put ME in Control

I have talked before about my sporadic bouts of anxiety and depression.  Many of you experience that too, and have left me the kindest words.  

Since the start of 2016, I have felt overwhelmed by the many obligations I have - and the ones I put on myself.  

The other night, I had lists of my many "to dos" swirling in my head. I had the image of myself slumping down the wall in a long hallway with doors.  Behind each door was an area of my life calling to me.  My inability to prioritize, to eliminate, to say no, threatened to engulf me under the weight of letting people down, not fulfilling expectations.  I quickly sketched it out, writing down, on each of the doors, a list of the things that were "calling" for me.   After I did this, I was able to fall asleep.

When I woke up, I immediately took to painting my page.  The first thing I did was CLOSE THOSE DOORS!  I even stenciled hands on them to hold them shut, and one to stroke my head.  When I was nearly done, I gave the hallway stenciled windows to the outside, to light, sky and fresh air.  I can prioritize, say no, pause and take some deep breaths.  I am in control!

Here's a fast forward video of me painting this page, from start to finish.


You can also watch "Journaling My Anxiety" on YouTube here.

Creating this page helped me regain control of my feelings and thoughts.

Do you have a journaling or other practice that helps you with your inner demons?  Please share!

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  1. You are a very kind, generous soul and I am so sorry that you have such anxiety. Wanting to do it all, not wanting to disappoint others, can be so difficult. But you have found a way to help manage those feelings, share your talents, and create a beautiful painting all at the same time!

  2. Excellent post, Jessica!! Exactly what I needed to read this morning :)

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post. I have used art journaling for several years now to help my younger daughter deal with the onset/recovery of severe mental illness. I art journal to reduce anxiety and stress as well and she art journals to manage symptoms. My older daughter art journals when she gets overwhelmed at work. I've linked a number of posts as "art journal" on my blog. https://outofagreatneed.wordpress.com/ Thank you for your wonderful post. :)I enjoy following you on instagram...lovely work.

  4. I had no idea, Jessica! Thank you for sharing your battle, it sounds much like my own. We have met at AIY Stamford and even took a class together, but you might not remember me. When I saw you, you appeared confident and happy, loving life. I suppose that everyone has their struggles, thank you for reminding me of that.


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