Effective Anxiety Journal Prompts:
Are you still feeling anxious even after putting into place the most brilliant morning routine, night routine, self-care techniques, and aromatherapy? You feel better in the moment, but then a thought comes up that makes you feel anxious and you are right back in that state of mind.
You might wonder what you are doing wrong, or how you can make it through the moments when you can’t do something enjoyable to distract yourself. These anxiety journal prompts can be helpful to get to the root of your anxious thoughts and feelings.
This is anxiety: that unshakeable feeling that something is wrong. Maybe you know what is causing it, or maybe you don’t. But regardless of whether you do or not, that feeling is still there in the background. It can be so frustrating when all you want to do is make it go away!
Anxiety Loves Both Under- and Over-Thinking:
Anxious feelings thrive when you try to avoid them. They also thrive when you obsessively think about them with the intention of somehow solving these unsolvable problems. It’s natural to want to solve problems and to continue thinking about them until we come to some sort of solution.
How do you solve the problem, “I’m going to say something stupid in front of my boss”? You may try to rehearse this conversation in your head over and over again before it happens- but do you really get any closer to solving it or feeling better about it? Probably not. You may think you are getting somewhere, but really you are just bringing a future moment into your present experience over and over and over and over again.
On the other hand, you may avoid anxious thoughts about your mortality, for example. “I’m really scared of dying one day… but if I don’t think about it, then I won’t have to feel uncomfortable or fearful about it.” This may sound good in theory, but in practice it usually never happens that way. Those anxious thoughts and feelings are usually somewhere under the surface, just waiting to pop up.
So… thinking about anxiety-provoking thoughts too little or too much is not good. What is the Goldilocks just right amount?
How To Get To The Root Of Your Anxiety:
It can be easy to get stuck in the weeds obsessing over what is the right amount of focus you should place on your anxiety. It can be different for every person, which I know nobody likes to hear.
The most important first step is to acknowledge your anxiety and that you are feeling it. Something as simple as saying, “I’m feeling anxious now” can be helpful to stop the anxious thinking cycle you may typically get stuck in.
This is so simple, yet so powerful. This one statement shows awareness amidst a sea of thoughts running non-stop in a hamster wheel.
Once you have identified that whatever you are experiencing is truly anxiety, you may be ready to journal. Journaling can be so helpful as a way of getting all of those thoughts swirling in your head onto paper.
Sometimes it can be so confusing to have the plethora of thoughts repeating over and over again in our heads, and no way of really processing or reflecting on them concretely. The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. This is no exaggeration. Often, these thoughts are the same thoughts and patterns repeated over and over again. How can we decipher which thoughts are helpful and which are not? How can we even be aware of all of these thoughts we are having??
This can be overwhelming. When I get overwhelmed, it helps me to write things down and break it down step-by-step. This is how we will be approaching your anxiety- breaking down all of those little components and features piece-by-piece to find clarity and get to the root of the problem!
Anxiety Journal Prompts:
Grab a pen and paper, pick one or more of the prompts below, and write until you feel better, have more clarity, or you just feel like stopping.
* When did I first start feeling anxiety? Was there something that triggered it?
* Does anxiety run in my family?
* What does anxiety feel like for me? Are there physical symptoms?
* What is my biggest fear?
* What thoughts and fears have filled my head in the past week?
* What keeps me up at night? Do I have bad dreams that cause anxiety?
* What has triggered my anxiety?
* Make a list of my most recent worries. Which of these do I have control over, and which do I not? Write a to-do list of the worries that I have control over and break them down into smaller actionable steps.
* Write a letter to my anxiety and how it affects my life.
* What makes me feel worse when I’m anxious? What makes me feel better?
*** Fill out the form below for a printable and fill-able worksheet of these prompts!
Let me know in the comments below if journaling helps you when you feel anxious. Keep in mind that this is not a replacement for seeing a mental health professional. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, we all need help sometimes!