Concept 3: Anti-Stress Book

While chatting to Sarah about my second concept and discussing how it could (or couldn’t) pan out, she pointed out to me that I had done some doodles in my sketchbook that could lead to something else. She also saw these two pages that I had sewn lines onto for relaxation purposes and told me to think about how I deal with my own anxiety. So I did.

There are many different things people do to fight their worries and anxieties on a daily basis – some need a pint after a stressful day, some smoke, some watch TV until they zone out, some get into doing drugs and some do avoid the problem altogether which, surprisingly, is also a way to deal with anxiety. I personally have experience with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other “remedies” from a professional side, both from attending therapy and from studying psychology for half a year. In CBT your therapist will teach you different coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety, one of which is writing all your worries down in a journal to evaluate the situation and its severity. I have previously applied this specific tactic when I was attending therapy and it was really useful to me, but others might need a different approach, so I searched what else is out there in the CBT field.

CBT also includes approaches, such as challenging your anxious thoughts, exposure therapy, learning to recognise when you are anxious, relaxation skills and others. Most of these (except for exposure therapy, I suppose) do employ the use of pen and paper to aid the process. I tried to think of something that could encompass these coping mechanisms and I think I have come up with something interesting. A journal for the user to fill in about their anxiety.

It would be used in conjunction with attending therapy, or having previously attended therapy (even for a short while), or even before starting therapy. It would include different sections with directions of use, sort of like a manual that would tell the user how to fill it in and deal with feelings of anxiety through this medium. Most people just use regular notebooks or scraps of paper to do these sheets, but it’s pretty hard to keep up with it, especially on a daily basis, if you have a bad memory and can’t remember what goes where. It would be designed nicely to include various CBT approaches, a space for notes and other bits.

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