Writing Lists is the Most Effective Way of Dealing with My Anxiety

If you were to open the “notes” app on my phone, you might giggle a bit. I know I sometimes do. I see the ridiculousness of my notes. If you were to open my notes, you would see (out of my 200 notes) about 1/3 being grocery lists, multiple bucket lists, notes containing information that I would write down when I was afraid I would forget, to do lists, lists of songs and lists of ideas for a variety of categories. I make a lot of lists.

I’m not entirely sure of when this list-making began, but I noticed when I started that I couldn’t stop and I don’t think I should. And the way I’m describing this makes it sound like an addiction, which is absurd. But it really, really helped me. When I first began struggling with my anxiety, I had no clue how to deal with myself or how to settle myself down. I had no method. But for some reason or another, I stared writing things down to calm myself. My anxiety roots itself in organization, or more so, a lack of organization. I begin to spiral when I find myself particularly out of sorts, which is then paired with my mind’s impeccable ability to be overwhelmed quite easily, therefore hindering most of my ideal aspirations at becoming organized. Ironic.

Writing lists is a shortcut. It tricks my brain. Lists keep my anxiety at bay and devoid feeling overwhelmed. And this might sounds a bit odd, but the notes app on my phone is definitely the most important piece of this equation. I would never allow myself time to, nor would I be happy with the messiness of my handwriting to create handwritten lists. And frankly, the notes app is just a go-to now. When feeling stressed about not being in control or not having the ability to straighten or tidy my surroundings, the notes app will always appear clean and in order. Everything will always look organized.

It is okay to be a little silly while dealing with yourself. I’ll admit that my making lists feels frivolous to write about, being that I’m an extremely unorganized person. But your coping methods are important and incredibly valid. If they work, then they work.  Don’t let anyone scoff at your self help. May 2018 be the year of finding your weird coping methods.



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