Sometimes at the Endpaper Blog we get the unique opportunity to offer a platform to creative journallers from around the world. We’ve recently partnered with Natalie Carranceja – a mental health advocate and avid journaller – here in our home province of British Columbia, Canada. We’re so excited to welcome Natalie to the Paperblanks family. She has a unique and inspiring perspective on the therapeutic benefits of journalling, which you can learn about here and on her website (nataliecarranceja.com).
Stay tuned to the Endpaper Blog for more from Natalie, including future promotions and giveaways!
Journalling: A Way Out of Anxiety
Since my late teens I had a very turbulent relationship with anxiety. It monopolized my decisions, the way I would communicate and what I believed about myself. I was in a constant tug of war with my mindset, and it was exhausting.
My anxiety would often stand in the way of me being able to communicate efficiently with my partner, which resulted in arguments being a weekly occurrence. Anxiety-fuelled arguments are the WORST because you know they have no validity, but you can’t seem to let go.
Anxiety had me SO fearful of losing my other half that I always felt like I needed to have control in my relationship, because if I didn’t it would fail, or so I believed. The montage of “what ifs” that would happen in my mind led me to believe that maybe I wasn’t worthy of such a beautiful and loving relationship. I always needed my partner to reassure me, time after time, that he wasn’t going to leave me, which in turn just left me riddled with self-doubt and lacking in confidence.
As you can imagine, I would venture down the rabbit hole of self-sabotage regularly and my relationship suffered greatly.
Four years ago we hit a massive wall. A gut-wrenching moment when we had “the conversation,” questioning if our relationship could go any further. After being together for six years, this was a really tough place to be. The hardest part was realizing my anxiety had driven this big wedge between us.
Something had to change. And in those moments of fear and understanding what I might lose, I decided to do everything I could to navigate our relationship back to health and happiness.
You can read more about my story and how I turned my life around here.
THIS is when I discovered journalling.
I remember listening to a talk by Gabby Bernstein, and she was talking about her own personal growth journey. At the time I wasn’t spiritual or clued up on what “personal growth” really was, but she talked a lot about anxiety. So I listened. Towards the end of the talk Gabby began talking about gratitude journalling, and how it impacted her life. A light bulb lit up inside me and I figured I would give this a try. PLUS the idea of buying new stationery excited me (anyone else love buying new pens and journals?!).
And so it began: I put pen to paper and started journalling.
Every day I woke up and wrote down THREE things I was grateful for. From the ripe avocado to the walks outside with my other half. It all went into my gratitude journal. At this point, I didn’t realize the impact it was having on my brain and the way I was thinking.
I began to experience an immense sense of gratitude when I was just out and about. I would look over at my partner and feel a surge of overwhelming appreciation for him and our relationship.
My gratitude journal was giving me the ability to actually SEE the proof of everything good in my life. It was giving me the strength to disempower the anxious thoughts and begin cultivating a confidence I had never experienced before.
It’s been four years since I started journalling, and me being the nerd that I am (and love), decided to start studying Neuro Linguistic Programming. This is the art of learning the language of your own mind. It teaches you how to reprogram the way you think with the words you use… and WRITE with.
BINGO! I began to understand why gratitude journalling was so powerful.
When we put pen to paper we activate a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). This crucial part of our mind is responsible for filtering the 3,000,000 bits of information we receive every second, into the 120 bits we can actually process. Isn’t that nuts?
By journalling we are turning the attention and focus to what we are writing, and we are able to control what the RAS essentially filters into our perception. The more focus we have on gratitude, and the more we repeat this kind of practice, the more we begin to notice the areas of our lives to be grateful for. This can then displace anxiety and give space for feelings of happiness and confidence to grow.
Your pen has the power to rewire your brain.
I am now an avid journaller (is that even a word?!), and I truly believe that I can reframe the way I think by just writing down what I want in my reality and showing appreciation for what I already have.
My relationship has now done a full 180, and I no longer battle with anxiety the way I used to. I can have incredibly deep communication with those I love because I am so good at communicating with myself. This is all thanks to journalling.
Since those first few months of my journalling journey, I have built a successful global coaching practice that is highly powered by the art of pen to paper. I now get to help other amazing women, who have shared a similar story, find their confidence, rediscover their independence and finally disempower anxiety.
With powerful journalling prompts and questions I believe you can take the action you need to live the life you desire, one without anxiety.
Would you love to learn how to communicate with your partner better, minus the anxiety?
Would you love to start saying NO without anxiety flooding you with fear of judgement?
Would you love to let go of the negative “what ifs” and start jumping out of your comfort zone?
Would you love to experience that sense of achievement from something you’ve accomplished on your own?
Well, I have something VERY special for you…
Grab your FREE guide “The Keys to Confidence” where you will uncover what you value, unleash your confidence and finally see the ways to disempower anxiety.
You will want your journals out for this one!! And if you don’t have one, well, I know a pretty amazing company that creates the very best journals…
Natalie is a mental health advocate, self care extraordinaire and lover of ’90s dance hits (Vengaboys anyone?!). Natalie’s experience with anxiety, relationships and mental health led her to build a successful global coaching practice that provides women with the frameworks they need to build habits and mindsets that cultivate confidence and disempower anxiety. Natalie is fierce and 110% committed to helping women relearn how to be independent within their relationships and how to jump feet first out of their comfort zone.
If you don’t see Natalie busting out her dance moves on Instagram then you will find her over on The Choosing Confidence Podcast (available on iTunes and Spotify).
For many years, I’ve known from personal experience the power of personal journaling and the power of it to help me cope more positively with the ups and downs of life. I’m thrilled to see that Paperblanks is adding this type of information to its blog. I look forward to learning more from Natalie.
Thank you sharing, Crystal!
We’re so happy to hear of the positive role that journalling has played in your life 🙂
Robyn @ Paperblanks
This is so fantastic to hear! I am delighted to be working with Paperblanks to open up this beautiful conversation.
More to come soon.