5 Journal Prompts To Process Anxiety
Anxiety comes in many forms, and processing our emotions, and anxiety can be difficult without a little help sometimes. Writing can be the most therapeutic way to think through and process emotions, cope with anxiety and make a plan for how to approach this when it rears it’s ugly head again!
A simple journal prompt can help you to connect with what is lying beneath the surface and creating emotional turmoil. Don’t let that noise ruin your day! A quick process can bring you through to the other side, and allow you to go forward and kick ass like usual!
Find your CALM to CRUSH your day!
Click Above For The Full Interview with Author, Emma Dhesi.
1.) Today I feel…
Remember not to limit yourself to one emotion. We are complex and frequently have more than one emotion happening at a time. Feel free to bust out the big “emotion wheel” if you need to identify what you’re feeling. Pick them apart a little and know that it is very normal to feel many things at once! Sometimes it can be scary to muddle through a sea of emotions and the default is to “turn them off”, or try to distract yourself or numb yourself. Anxiety can creep up in this area too, as part of the emotions or as a reaction to so many emotions.
NAME IT, FEEL IT , WORK BENEATH IT ..
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2.) I feel ____, _____, ______, because …
Even as a child – I would have moments when I was getting too wound up. I was very aware of this, and I would stop and ask myself “why do I feel this way?”. Sometimes I clearly knew – “ahem!, Why can’t I go to the movies for the 100th time in a row, mom?”
However, the truth is sometimes we don’t always know where these emotions pop from. But, there is a reason and a root to all of it, if you take a few minutes to have a convo with yourself.
I personally like to start at the beginning of the day. Do a quick scan of scenes and interactions to try to identify where this is coming from. Sometimes it can even be something I read or a post I came across – (the unfollow/unfriend button is always an option, peeps).
3.) When I have felt this way before, what helped was …
Do a quick review of what things worked for you in the past to get yourself back in the “challenge” mode of overcoming what is in front of you.
See related articles here…
4.) What I’m going to do this time is …
Make a plan for now, once you’ve looked backwards. Now continue your previous plan or add to it!
5.) I am in control of my reactions to life, people and situations. Next time this happens I will…
Being realistic and acknowledging, “this may happen again” is also a good place to help quell anxiety. The “if this happens again” discussion helps us to look forward and feel prepared for what is coming next.
Having writer’s block? You can always read a prompt and record it in a voice memo, or voice to text on your phone. The purpose is to think through and get to the bottom of the “why”, so you can allow the puzzle to slide into place and form a picture your mind and soul can understand. The “how” doesn’t matter, only the act of getting it done, and allowing space for you to understand your complex self!
Hello everyone. We are here today with Emma Dhesi, and she is a mom of three, and an author. And so, we are embarking on a resilient mother series, and we’re delving more into all those good stories that we are really learning so much from. So far we have talked about so many things that can impact our feelings as a mom and our anxieties that happen along with that, we have talked about how to use productivity to kind of encapsulate what you’re doing each day and time block. We’ve talked about having positive thinking, and today we’re going to touch a little bit on something that’s so common for so many moms. And we’re going to talk a little bit about postpartum depression and then how someone who has gone through that has then taken that and turned it into a positive in their life and so we’re going to hear a story from Emma today and I can’t wait so Emma, and I’m going to let you tell us a little bit about yourself, thank you so much for being here. We’re so happy to have you.
Well, thank you for asking me, I’m delighted to be here and to kind of share a little bit in the hope that it will help someone else. Yeah.
Yeah. And now tell me so. Emma has three children. Right. And tell me a little bit about your experience. Now, you have two children by birth and then you adopted a third child, and so tell me kind of what was your experience in your, your part but that you needed to pull your resilience through, and to kind of build up some of those. Those mindset changes and things Tell me what that was like for you.
So it was quite a little, I’d say quite a long process because I had my first child in 2011. And that was a slightly strange time, I was kind of conflicted about it because I hadn’t always wanted children, but if I’m honest it was my and my biological clock was ticking and said, this is your chance, do you want to do it or not. So we decided to have a family, and I was quite anxious throughout my first pregnancy because I didn’t know how I was going to respond to having a child in my life. But she, she appeared and changed everything and I fell in love with her. You know, that kind of romantic image as soon as she popped out I completely fell in love with this child and it was, it was marvelous and I knew immediately that I wanted to have another one. So, a couple of years later, her sister was born. And I didn’t notice at the time, but only kind of looking back, did I realize, actually, When her sister was born and didn’t have that same wow factor didn’t have that same immediate, I kind of looked at her and I loved her and I knew that I loved her, but I didn’t have that same and excitement that I had the first time. And at the time I just put it down to a well, just because I’ve been through it once before it’s you know it’s lost as wow factor a little bit. But looking back I know realize that actually I think it was that that was the first indicator that I was developing postnatal or postpartum depression. Okay. So over the next two or three years it started to get worse and worse. And I became more and more unhappy and slowly ease into the role of motherhood because I was a stay at home mom, as well. And I felt that I had lost my way I’d lost my personality I’d lost my identity. As I should probably point out within the space of 12 months in 2010 2011. I emigrated to the other side of the world I got married and then became a mother, so it was a lot in my gut. So I was kind of trying to wrestle with the whole change of name change or status from independent person to mother, and then also going from a financially independent person to someone who had all of their spouse out to another part of the world and I was a stay at home mom. There was a lot going on, which I think I guess they don’t really know exactly what contributes to postnatal depression but I think there was a bit of fat, and then also just that chemical imbalance that can happen. At age, after the birth. So for me, that was it was quite prolonged for two to three years, and I didn’t recognize that I couldn’t see that I was depressed I just thought oh I’m a bit down. I live in a tropical island. I have a very privileged life, I’ve got beautiful children a loving husband, all the things with me comparison happening. So I couldn’t accept that there might be something else going on. And that’s not new, I’m just a bit down. I’m not depressed and just a bit down and I just need to snap out of it, and sort myself out. So, I think not accepting that or not recognizing it will actually contributed to it, the depression possibly lasting longer than it needed to.
So, think about the amount of change the amount of change that you’ve gone through and they always say that there’s the trigger there for the potential to develop any sort of increasing anxiety or depression with one life change, and you had multiple all at once. Oh my goodness. I’m so as you started kind of recognizing it more. Where did you get to that point where you knew, either that you had to do something or have to change the way that you were addressing it.
It was because my, then the relationship between me and my husband, Obviously they took a slide as well. He was very busy at work, and we didn’t see a lot of them during the week and then I had this domestic life going on at home. And so our life seemed to be quite desperate for quite a long time. And we got to the point where we were discussing Well, you know, is this the end of the road for us is it just you know it’s no longer there. But we decided to go for and marriage counseling. And that really was the turning point for us because, she was she was marvelous, she managed to she talked to us both independently and then together and helps us realize that we still loved each other very much we still wanted to be a family. But we really just needed help and kind of making a change in our life that would then allow us to get back together and become more of a unit. And then, but it was no individual sessions as well but she’s the first person that says to me you know i think that you might be depressed. She’ll do I’m not gonna mention it I’m just a bit down Don’t be so silly and she say no no I think that you might be depressed, how would you feel about going on antidepressants and I said no, I’m not a big fan of it so I would rather go and I want you to take an alternative route first before medication. But in fact, I think about it. No, it was a long road out of that depression but I think having someone recognize it, name it and see it to me. That was kind of a wake up call and thinking well, if she’s a professional and she’s saying this, then maybe there’s something to it, and need to give it a bit of thought and sort of surprise her, just naming something can be so beneficial. And so, make you feel what made me feel that less abnormal make me feel less weird and strange made me feel less than grateful for the life I had, and then start piecing things together. And for me a big part of that was, was writing. So I started journaling that was kind of a way for me to figure out what was going on in my head. And so it just started off as journaling and I wouldn’t like to read it back now i mean i’m sure it was just complaint after complaint and war with me and how miserable is my life, but it was just as a way of getting it out of my head and onto the paper and just trying to find some balance in it you know some people probably exercise that’s a great way for them or meditation, but for me it was definitely journaling and getting it down on paper.
I think that the simple act of putting that to paper is so powerful sometimes, saying it out loud I think people will be feel so relieved to be able to say it out loud and talk about it to people but there’s also something when it’s hard to say out loud. There’s such power and being able to put it in words on paper. And I think that that’s true for. If you’re using it as a therapy mechanism to be able to unload it there, or if you were focusing on gratitude to and trying to put yourself in a positive place, putting that on paper to be able to flip back to it, look at it, what did I say yesterday I think that that’s so powerful, and for you. Look at what it turned into, I mean look at. That’s amazing. So tell us a little bit more about what that ended up unfurling into further. You were starting to journal. Did you write before that?
Yes, as a hobby, actually yeah, one of those people who’s kind of dabbled in and you know wanted offers writing for as long as I can remember, but have never managed to complete and finish projects, and you know it always kind of got to where it got difficult. Then given up from the way and all those things. So yeah, so the journaling then was the sort of the way that I could then take home. What would, because I was never suicidal during the during the depression but I did often I just wanted to leave this one day. I believe that they would be much better off without me. I’m just dragging everybody down. And it would be easier if I just got off and left and they could get on with their lives. And, and certainly the resilience element of just getting up every day and just carrying on. I really had a choice of just have to get on and do it, they couldn’t land around in bed or the cause was to sit there wanting to be dealt with. We share with experience. So I was able to kind of live vicariously them through my racing what would happen if I did the, what would happen to the mom if she did just couldn’t take any more and she did leave. And so then that evolved into my first novel which was you know what happened when this woman just get up and leave and she left her towards her son with her husband and she disappeared for four years. And then it kind of picks up on. Four years later when she returns. What would that be like or kind of a response that you get, because by then she’s caught her head sources, she still loves her child she’s always loved her child she thought she was doing the right thing by leaving. But how do you how do you try to reestablish a relationship with your partner is not alone your trials and so how would that play out and so that was kind of basis then from my personal volunteer.
We really have been able to use some of your own personal thoughts, as I’m sure that’s how those things develop. I am not a writer but I would imagine all of the stories that you start to ask yourself “what if”, and and tell me a little bit about kind of the strength that you developed, knowing that despite how you felt had to get up every day, you had to keep going you had to keep going.
That really is kind of like to talk about the steps to resilience really being that first you’re looking at it as a struggle. And you know if I’m struggling I’m struggling with this and then you kind of switch it a little bit to this is a challenge like I need to keep going, I have to , how can I keep going. How can I keep going. And did you get to a point where you finally said like, I am going to overcome this I’m going to keep going with this or that you’ve that you decided that you were going to enter into more of like a growth mindset at any point in that time thinking like, I’m, what can I do to get better now, or how can I truly overcome. Was that any at any point in your journey with that as well.
I think actually, so we decided what we would do is we would move back to the UK, so that we could then try and my husband’s job would be less stressful and we could try and be more of a unit. And I think that transition that change that change of circumstance. I think just clicked something in my brain needing some “Okay, this is a fresh start.” This is something new. I’ve got an opportunity now to get back into the workforce I think for me that was a big thing as well to start working again and use my mind again and feel that kind of world again.
Then, so that was then the kind of solo, I didn’t enter this traditional workforce, I did start a business for myself and felt like I was contributing again. And that, then was the start of that gradual shift back into normality and feeling like I’ve watched my friends with their kids never understand why they enjoyed being a kid in so much finding enjoy being with your kids so much to give us this weird thing you know, and I was able to start experiencing that and enjoying these and enjoying spending time and doing all those normal things that I can no kind of take for granted. But again, it took a bit of time. It took a year or two to fully kind of come out with that. But for me, having that physical change of space being able to feel like I was contributing to the world again made me realize okay. You can control this to a degree, you have to say no and start taking those small steps forward and what’s going to make me happy okay what’s going to keep me sane and for me was the writing and I knew I wanted to take that forward and that that would become my business. So small steps I think but it did, though. Yeah, there was that sort of change in. I’ve moved from just surviving to having an attitude okay I can start to thrive again and how am I going to make that happened.
Well, feeling like you couldn’t get out of bed, or you didn’t want to, to starting a business, I mean that’s such a giant transition, and I’m sure there’s so many factors and everything’s so individual but I think that’s inspiring and I think that a lot of people. If you’re feeling that way, feeling like you can’t go forward and feeling like you’re stuck. Just kind of knowing that there are so many people that have been through it so many people that have been there. I think that it’s talked about maybe not enough. I think that people are trying to kind of talk about this type of thing more. And so I think that that’s amazing and awesome. And so, do you want to tell us I think that you’ve just published a book right. Do you want to tell me about your book.
Yes, I did. So, again kind of following on from personal experience then So, as we have adopted a little boy, and kind of through the trials and tribulations that come with that. I’ve been wondering about him and what will his future look like, how will he respond as he gets older, to being not part of his birth family and what might be the repercussions of that because I know that when kids get to the sort of tweens teenage years they really start to question their identity, who they are, where they come from. And so I start seeing what with what my son is doing when he gets to 16, and so the story is about a mother and a son and how they, their identity that suggests that is the theme, and they both live in the small tone and do they fit in, where do they fit in. And so this young boy is trying to find a space in the world and reconcile the fact that his life is what it is. He’s got to make the most of it and try and move on from there. So it’s called the looming, which I guess kind of fair fits the theme of identity that everybody wants to belong somewhere. So some of the things story is my favorite story to date, because then obviously it’s got that personal touch. But if your listeners ever decide to read it I hope they enjoy it.
Perfect so anybody can look at that, and it’s on Amazon or where can they find it.
Yeah, besides only an E book yep so it’s on Amazon. Yeah.
That is wonderful. And the other thing I wanted to say is that, Emma not only has now offered her own book. She’s also her businesses helping new writers that you know need to gain their confidence and find their ideas and so she’s not only gone through this, you know, transition for herself. She’s also now put herself out there to be a guide and a helper for other people who are starting out and I think that there’s just so much to be said about that I think that, you know, to have the difference in knowing a person, sometimes people say that’s, they’re starting out and they’re now like that, the guide. They must have always been that way they’ve always had it together they must you know what I mean. And I think that it’s always good to see the backstory and to see that not everybody is always had at one certain way their whole life, you know, and then life is has ups and downs and ins and outs and, you know, that everybody is just people too so yeah that’s really,
ya know, writing and publishing a book has literally changed my life and so I really want to help other women in particular who are perhaps in the second half of life or they’re feeling a slight loss of identity, they know they have this passion for something creative and really want to help them fulfill that because it will change your life.
Well, thank you so much for not only joining us but for being so open and telling us your story and sharing that with us. It’s so much, you know value added when people can look and see their own issue and their own struggle reflected in another person’s story. And thank you so much for joining us today. And if anybody wants to check out Emma’s book “The Day She Came Home”, you can look for that, on Amazon. And so thank you, Emma, and we will be continuing our resilient mama series, and so please tune back in and you can check out all of our posts to see who’s coming up next!
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