Real Talk

Journaling got me through 4 years of anxiety and helped me find my passion

When I was first hit with anxiety, I was only 22-years old.

I was so confused at the time.

I was inundated with feelings of worry, nervousness, dread and insecurity.

It was something I couldn’t really admit to or understand. But I think we are all anxious human beings naturally. Life can be fucking hard. It’ll take you for a spin and throw some crazy hurdles, but it’s how we react and bounce back that makes all the difference right?

So four years ago, I decided to try putting pen to paper and upon reflection, it’s honestly transformed me. What started as a blank 365-journal from Kikki K slowly turned into a few sentences and eventually – full-blown daily journal entries. I knew this was the beginning of something greater than I had anticipated…. it was transformative. 

✨Reflection ✨I've been journaling for over 3 years now as a result of anxiety. Life is fragile and it can be so damn hard at times. It'll take you for a spin, throw some crazy hurdles, but it's how you react and bounce back that makes all the difference. As a coping mechanism, everywhere i go, I carry a journal or take notes. Now, when I'm sad, happy, angry or experienced something significant, I write. I used to hand-write daily (personally) and it dropped over time as I began focusing on my travel writing professionally at Contiki (which has honestly changed my life and opened the door to actually making a career out of this). So, I made some rather radical decisions I thought would help me (which to a degree, has). But after Sri Lanka, a work trip to Malaysia and Thailand with some incredible humans AND one of the best life-coaching lessons I've ever experienced by Catherine Devine, I found clarity and deep understanding of my path. Isn't it funny how the struggles we face, can also be our treasure? Choose your words carefully. What you think you become. What you write, may even help you find clarity in the darkest of times.????✨ More of my journey, link in bio. • • • #travelwriter #travelblogger #write #gltlove #travel #dametraveler #doyoutravel #sydneyblogger #wildlingwriters #journaling #life #journal #igquote #igwrite #girlpower #travelblog #thoughtcatalog #travelquote #inspired #mentalhealth #writing #travelstoke #roamingon #lpfanphoto #contikisixtwo #elephantjournal

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What you think, you become. What you write, becomes reality. So why do we dance with such negativity? Tease the idea with great speculation. It’s as if we have let the bad monsters become us. You’ve got to find your inner strength again because this journey ain’t gonna be easy.

It ain't gonna be pretty every day. You will lose things. You will lose people. You will lose time. But never lose sight of hope. Never lose yourself in the process of becoming or allowing it to find your passions.
Journaling

Of course, I don’t owe it all to journaling – along with this, I exercised frequently and made a life-changing decision to travel solo on a one-way ticket to South East Asia. I still journal most days now and have been for the past four years as a result of anxiety but I do believe that it’s improved my health in a lot of ways. Here is some of what I have observed about journaling over the years. Take note: 

  • It allows you articulate your feelings, thought process and emotions clearly
  • It reduces stress by helping us become more mindful
  • It makes you a better problem solver by engaging with the right side of our brain which unlocks our creativity and intuition
  • It boosts our memory and comprehension skills
  • It allows us to heal and slow down time

And generally? Just relive the good days of our lives that are otherwise lost, which has helped my self-confidence a great deal.

RELATED: TRAVEL HELPED ME OVERCOME DEPRESSION & ANXIETY AND IT CAN DO THE SAME FOR YOU

Journaling
Journaling

Now, everywhere I go I carry a journal or take notes. Now, when I’m sad, happy, angry or experienced something significant, I write. I used to hand-write daily and it dropped over time but I have many weathered books, from all over the world. Whenever I travel, I like to carry a tiny little book where I’d have people that truly touched my life write something in there.

Over time, I’ve realised two of the most important things in life can never be taken back: words and time. Why waste words? Why waste time? Write more. Feel the sadness. Feel the happiness. Scribble your learnings. Open the conversation. Connect. Break the stigma. 

As I sit here on the #London tube furiously, and drunkenly writing, I feel compelled to think about how many things I have let go of tonight just through conversation alone and particularly the past 6 months. Just as the saying goes "out of sight, out of mind" so is a newly invented phrase, "out of mouth, out of head." • It's easy to dance with the devils in our minds, but it's actually much easier to let go. When we let go, we allow room for new ways of thinking. New people. New energies to enter our state of mind. Perhaps that is the best thing about letting go – making room for the new and unknown. • • • #mytravelgram #wildlingwriters #myramblings #writersofinstagram #wordsoftheday #wearewildlings #thegoodquote #journaling #notebookdiaries #documenting #lifejournalist #thoughtcatalog #instaquote #journal #handwrite #intransit #igdaily #thedailyquote #radlivin #elephantjournal #passionproject #gltlove #passionpassport #write #foodforthought #creativespace #iamhertribe

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I guess I’ve learned many lessons through my journey and those around me. Many tales and stories that I would never have remembered if it wasn’t for the fact it was written. Some of the entries from my journals are from some special people I have met throughout my life. I’m very passionate about people. Curious to the human condition.

When I’m sad or feeling bouts of anxiety, I go back to these fractions of time, ramblings sprawled throughout my diary and I am reminded of all that is good in life. Friends, memories, experiences, thoughts, feelings - you know? Life generally isn't all that bad.

Journaling, to me, is more than just a passion. It is my therapy. Although our words and articles may not all be read or felt by all, we can only try to break the stigma by allowing ourselves to feel and open up to one another. So reach out, ask questions, get out amongst nature, ask someone if they are ok, or find a creative outlet that allows you to heal along the way.  It might take time but it just may be what the Doctor prescribed…

RELATED: I TRAVELLED TO NORWAY TO FIND OUT WHY THEIR ALL SO DAMN HAPPY

Read more of my ramblings over on my blog, We Are Wildlings. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, please visit your local GP or head over to Beyond Blue for a confidential chat.

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