Non Fiction Review: Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal

Cultivating Calm by Brandi Matz MSW LCSW (Author)
Cultivating Calm: An Anxiety Journal
by Brandi Matz 

3 out of 5 stars

This book is divided into two sections: one with journal prompts and space to write, and one with meditations to try. Each page begins with an inspirational quote, and a short paragraph describing a situation or theme for you to journal or meditate about.

The themes include things like financial stress, being alone, being late, getting rid of clutter, taking an exam, family relationships, crowded spaces, conflict with others, housework, social media stress, fear of driving, fear of dying, and fear of public speaking, among many others.
Each of these are addressed, acknowledged, and then the reader is guided into a more productive and calm attitude, along with tips for dealing with each situation and handling anxiety in a healthy way.
I think the journal prompts are good to unpack your feelings and acknowledge your anxiety, but it also makes you focus on that anxiety or fear. In the journaling pages, it seems like the anxiety is emphasized a lot more than the calm. So it would be best to always follow up the journaling portion with one of the meditations in the back of the book. That is where the real calming and soothing happens.

My feelings about this book are half and half. I like the journaling prompts but I wish they emphasized more calm, and provided more guidance in how to manage tough emotions. There are some helpful and practical tips, but I was looking for more. The meditations are wonderful though!

I don’t like how the book is organized. I think it would have been more helpful to mix the journaling with the meditations, instead of having them in separate sections. It would be a better experience to face your fear, unpack those feelings and journal about them, then immediately do a meditation on the next page as a way to calm down and find your balance after facing those tough emotions.

I do really like the quotes at the beginning of each page! They are encouraging and beautiful! I also really love the artwork and designs on the pages, with gentle drawings of rippling water, fish, plants, trees, clouds, and birds. The art is really soothing and every page is a soft color.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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