I make no secret of the fact that I live with anxiety. I am well-acquainted with those days when you wake up, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and endless opportunities are at your fingertips. Except there is a pit of doom in your stomach and a deep conviction that something is wrong, even though there is absolutely nothing you can pinpoint that is immediately “wrong.” You’re Eeyore, navigating your day with a dark cloud over your head, expecting the rain to pour down at any moment.
I hate those days.
I had one a couple of Saturdays ago.
It was, in fact, a sunshine-filled morning. I taught two fantastic back-to-back barre classes. I had a good snuggle with my dogs, the afternoon free to do whatever I wanted… a great day by all accounts.
Except I was certain something terrible was amiss.
I couldn’t think of anything that was wrong – not for lack of trying – and there was no pending disaster on the horizon (despite the many “what if” scenarios I managed to dream up). Thanks to therapy and a lot of self-reflection over the last couple of years, I had an arsenal of tools to pick from to navigate my anxiety.
My personal favorite?
No surprise there, huh?
So I cracked up my journal and worked through a couple of my tried and true journal prompts for anxiety. Now I’m sharing some of them with you in hopes that they can help you as much as they have helped me.
Here are my favorite journal prompts for anxiety.
- Why am I anxious in this moment?
- Is the thing I’m worried about something I have control over?
- If not, release it – write a letter releasing it, telling it goodbye.
- If yes, what can I do about it? List out action items.
- What is the worst case scenario? Naming it often releases the fear of it.
- What is the best case scenario?
- On a scale of 1-10, my anxiety is ____ because ______. I want to bring it to a _____ on the scale because _______. To do this, I will _______.
- How can I relieve my anxiety right now?
- List 10 things you’re grateful for and why.
- Write a letter to your anxiety letting it know how you feel about it.
While I use all of these journal prompts for anxiety as needed, the first four – why am I anxious, is it something I can control, and the yes/no prompts that follow – are the ones that help me the most. I also especially like the gratitude list as well as the “fill in the blank” prompt. I find those helpful because one reminds me of what I have to be grateful for despite my anxiety while the other gives me a solid action plan to navigate through my anxiety.
How do you approach your anxiety? Are you a journaler? Or do you have another technique that works for you? Share your tips with me!
Save this post to reference when you’re having “one of those days” and want to turn to your journal to work through your anxiety.