Friday, 8 May 2015

Writing to Combat Anxiety - Pen Heaven

- Pen Heaven

Do you ever feel isolated and detached from others when your anxiety is at its worst? We all need some time alone, but this brief time can easily turn into days and weeks, separating you from people you’d normally see every day. If you find this happening, consider putting pen to paper. Pen Heaven spoke to four bloggers who use writing as a way of dealing with their anxiety.

Keeping Journals

Devoting just a short time every day to chronicling what you’ve been through can have great long-term effects. Buying a dedicated journal can help you to channel your energy and form a routine, such as unwinding at bedtime. You can write as much or as little as you want, and look back over time to see how you’ve dealt with problems in the past and learn from mistakes. This means that the next time problems arise, rather than feeling overwhelmed, you’ll feel more self-aware.

Paige Kylee, who is a lifestyle blogger, shares her thoughts:

“I took to writing as my main source of anxiety relief almost immediately. One of the main problems I experience, as someone with panic disorder, is that I sometimes struggle, when I am anxious, to be rational. Normally, I haven't a single problem sorting through how I am feeling logically, rationally, and reasonably. Being anxious changes that entirely but writing forces me to break everything down into easy to understand parts. It makes me think in terms of a beginning, middle, and end and this process is nothing short of liberating.” 

Creative Writing

If you need time to take your mind off things, consider creative writing as an outlet that you can pour your energy into. Whether you see it as cathartic or just a distraction, you could start with writing poems or stories, drawing out a comic strip, or simply doodling and making up characters. If every time you need a break you spend five minutes creating a new character, you’ll find you’ve created a small host of people to use in a short story. Using these characters in different stories builds your own collection of short fiction and before you know it an exercise to take your mind off things has developed a life of its own. 

Author and poet, Dane Cobain, talks about how poetry has helped him:

“When I was well enough to make it through a full work week, I started making sure that I took proper breaks to try to keep my stress levels down, and so I started writing a series of poems called ‘Anxious Words’ on my lunchtime. That actually inspired me to start memorising my poetry and performing it at open mic nights, but at the time it was all about getting stuff out of my system.” 

Blogging

Sites like Wordpress and Blogspot make setting up your own blog a breeze, and can be the first step towards creating a conducive atmosphere if you choose to blog about what means most to you. Simply having space that you can dedicate time and energy into the things you love can turn your blog into something of a ‘safe haven’ you can turn to. Regularly blogging can generate a loyal readership that you can get to know through comments and emails. If you choose to blog about your anxiety, you may just find that similar people getting in touch with you to share their stories as well.

Jessica Harquail from Health Fitness Boss has benefited from keeping a blog:

“Since I've been writing my blog, I’ve been more open about my struggles and people reach out to share their stories with me. We try to help each other out and it makes both parties feel like they are understood and are not alone. When it comes to anxiety, feeling like you belong somewhere is everything.” 

You can hear more from the bloggers in this post from the Pen Heaven blog.

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