Health Q&A: Anxiety, Journaling, and Stress Relief
Marriage and Family Therapist, Yaritza Zayas, MS, answers your questions about anxiety, journaling, and stress relief.
Q: What is journaling and what are the benefits?
A: Journaling is the act of writing down your thoughts on a regular basis. It’s a great way to express your emotions and clear the mind of clutter. Studies have shown that regular journaling not only strengthens the immune system, but it also decreases asthmatic symptoms, helps prevent overeating, and can even help you sleep. Journaling each and every day isn’t necessary, although many people who do journal on a daily basis find it very helpful.
Q: What’s the difference between anxiety and panic attacks?
A: Panic attacks are sudden and extremely intense. Many have described symptoms of a panic attack as being similar to a heart attack. You begin to sweat, become short of breath, and experience intense heart palpitations. The panic typically sets in out of the blue and then goes away relatively quickly. Some attacks may last for more than 10 minutes, while some people experience panic attacks back to back.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a constant state of worry that can intensify over time. Anxiety can cause restlessness, irritability, weight gain, and trouble sleeping, among other symptoms. Prolonged anxiety can develop into serious medical conditions that impact the heart as well as the digestive system.
Q: How can I relieve stress?
A: It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with work, school, deadlines, bills, and life in general. Here are some quick tips to help you slow down, get organized, and feel a bit more relaxed.
1. Write a List: This will help you prioritize your tasks. Sometimes an errand or project that you think is incredibly important can actually wait a day or two.
2. Organize Your Time: Once you complete your task list you must stick to it! Procrastination can breed stress.
3. Relax: Do something that you simply enjoy--take a nap, write, take photographs, read, go for a walk, sip some coffee, the list is limitless. Whatever you decide to do, remember to use that time to forget about your troubles.
What are your thoughts on journaling?
Yaritza Zayas is the CEO and founder of Buena Vida Coaching, a site focused on empowering Latinas and other minorities on their road to wellness.
Photo Credit: Flickr/marsmet481