Sometimes you're a week behind on a big project, your train has been late three days in a row, and you got approximately three hours of sleep last night (between car alarms). So when anxiety makes its presence known in your day, you know exactly why. But at other times, that tightness in your throat and knot in your stomach seem to come out of nowhere. That's why many people with anxiety find it helpful to keep a regular diary of their thoughts and feelings.
And the simple act of putting those thoughts on paper (or phone) can sometimes even diminish their power and make them feel more manageable. But journaling can also help you look for the (sometimes subtle) patterns in your reactions.
For instance, does being overwhelmed at work make you more anxious than meeting up with visiting cousins? Or does the thought of getting drinks with a Tinder date send you into a negative thought spiral that makes you yearn for the simplicity of cleaning out your inbox?
Whatever your situation, keeping tabs on your emotions can clue you into your go-to thought patterns and major anxiety triggers. Armed with that information, you'll be able to dig deeper into why those triggers resonate so strongly with you — and be prepared to deal with them more effectively.
But if lugging around a big ol' journal isn't really your thing, don't worry — there's a huge variety of emotion- and trigger-tracking apps out there that make this process as easy as ordering your morning Frapp. Although they all accomplish the task of mood tracking, they do so in slightly different ways. So continue on to see a few of our favorite apps and how they make journaling way more exciting.