What is art journaling and how can it help with my anxiety?
I have art journaled for the past 20 years, and I highly recommend it! I have always had a lot of anxiety and it really helps me relax and get control of my feelings. The best part is that you do not have to an artist and THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!! Expressing feelings through journaling can help you relieve stress, fear and anxiety. It can also be a helpful way for them to work through problems. Follow these tips to get started:
A special notebook can help you capture your experiences. I have an area set up in my studio that is easy access and is ready to go at any time for my journaling. I also have a "to-go" bagged packed with my journal, watercolors and pens. Have extra time at a doctors appointment? Get your journal out and get some drawing or writing in! Sitting on the ferry? Get some journaling in!
If you don’t like writing , you can always doodle words and clip out magazine articles about how you feel. You could even just do some drawings in your journal.
3. You may want pictures, photographs or stickers to add to your journal entries.
What do I need?
An art journal, I like to watercolor in mine and use a Pentalic Watercolor Journal.
Watercolors (if you like that medium, but you can use what you want!
Permanent ink gel pen. I use Uniball Vison pens.
Crayons or markers, stickers, pictures (optional)
When to journal?
When you have a lot on your mind.
When you are feeling scared, nervous, upset, sad or angry about something.
When you want to talk to someone else and have something to say to them.
When you are excited about life.
When you need someone to talk to.
How do I do it?
You can write or draw your feelings, sometimes I use more pictures than words, and other times it may be a full page of writing.
Be open and honest.
Consider writing about an upsetting emotional experience, especially if it is something you haven’t talked about before. Your journal is your private book and you don't have to share it with others if you don't want to.
It is helpful to keep a balanced view, writing about both the positive and negative feelings you are having. I often times write a page about all the "Good Things" if I have drawn a page about things I am sad or anxious about.
You can also talk about things you are looking forward to, things you are proud of, or goals for your future. I often times make lists of things I would like to work on, sometimes even lists for things I need to buy. It is fun to look back on it and see exactly what I was thinking at the time.
Writing about your feelings is what really lets you let of go things and its kind of a "release" as it gets written down.
Try to journal for about 15 minutes each day for 10 days, and then twice weekly for the next month. You can write about the same experience for several days or about different emotional experiences each day. It is fun to set up a schedule or a goal to see if you can maintain a habit of daily journaling.
Stuck on what to write or draw about? Pinterest is full of art journaling prompts!
How can this help me? Getting your feelings out, as you can through journaling, can help you better understand the problems you are dealing with and find good solutions that can help you feel better. Stress has such a huge impact on our health. Art journaling is a great way to let that stress out!
Art journaling may sound like serious business, but don’t forget to include time to play in your journal. It is a great place to try out new art supplies and practice drawing. One of my favorite quotes is perfect for remembering to play in your journal.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old....we grow old because we stop playing" - George Bernard Shaw
I hope this post inspires you to start an art journal! If you have any questions on how to get started, shoot me an email. I truly feel like art journaling to help my anxiety has been life changing!