Worries are an unfortunate fact of life. Whether it’s your everyday life or bigger worries such as health and financial woes, it seems like there’s always something to worry about. However, you don’t have to let your worries get the best of you and become overwhelming. Start a worry journal and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the benefits to your overall health and wellbeing.
What is a Worry Journal?
A worry journal is a private place where you can write down all of your worries. When used correctly, a worry journal can help to get the negative thoughts out of your head. When you worry too much, it can often lead to more anxiety, stress and depression. If we keep them bottled up, it can lead to a range of mental and physical issues.
How to Write Your Worries Down
The first step is to begin writing down all the worries you have at the moment. You’ll notice that as you write each thing down that’s worrying you, it will help to release the power that it has over you. This step in the process only takes a few minutes.
The next step is to begin to evaluate your worries. Ask yourself some questions to determine why you have these worries, and what you think could happen. Once you have defined your worries, you can go to work on reducing them. Here’s some questions that you can ask yourself in your journal:
• Is there any evidence to support my worries?How
• What is the worst thing that could happen?
• Could I look at the situation in a different way?
• What evidence do I have that could argue against the worry?
What Should I Journal Before Bed?
If your goal is to sleep better, experts suggestion writing in your journal about three hours before you go to bed. This will give you plenty of time to both list your worries and then analyze them. It can takes some time to process everything and you may not feel better right away. But after a few hours, your brain will feel more relaxed and it will be easier to get to sleep.
The Mental Health Benefits of Keeping a Worry Journal
When you have a lot on your mind, it can become very overwhelming. Writing it down is the best way to release them from your mind. Many times we’re not aware that we are bottling things up and over time, the things that we’ve been holding in start to come out in unhealthy ways.
Here’s some health benefits you may experience by writing in a worry journal before bed.
- You’ll sleep better.
- Journaling is a positive outlet that can help with weight struggles.
- Reduce anxiety
- Improved immune system
- Boosting happiness levels
And once you’ve written down your worries and analyzed them, create a gratitude list. Gratitude can help to increase happiness levels and thinking about what you’re grateful for is a great way to fall asleep.
Journaling Tips for Beginners
Have a dedicated space. Set aside a small space with your journal, pens and whatever helps you to feel focused and relaxed. Ideally, this should be away from the noise going on in the rest of the house!
Try morning pages. While we’ve been discussing journaling before bed, morning pages can also help you set the tone for the day. This is how morning pages work:
- You must do your morning pages immediately upon waking up.
- You write until you’ve completed three pages in your notebook, which is about 750 words.
- Morning pages must be handwritten.
You can write about whatever comes to mind. For the first half-page or page, you may find that you’re filling the page with random thoughts, but if you stick with it, you’ll likely end up with some gems in the rest of your writing. It’s all about being patient and committed to the process.
Keep it simple. While’s it’s important to analyze your worries, it’s also important to take care not to go into a lot of depth with them. Spend just a few minutes writing about each worry that you have.
Write about your day. This can help with stress because you’re not bottling things up. It’s a great way to free up all of the tension, anger and frustration that you might be experiencing.
List your fears and concerns. If you can, try to organize them into chronological order. Focus on the worries that are affecting you right now. Many times our worries are focused on the future. Just think about what’s troubling you today.
Create to do lists. If you worry about having too much to do, creating a to-do list can really help. Every night write down the main three things you want to accomplish the next day.
Begin with your most pressing worry. It’s always a good idea to start with the most pressing worry. As you focus on your most pressing worry, it will help you to better deal with the smaller ones. Not only that, you’ll experience relief faster if you start with your most pressing concerns.
Don’t judge yourself. One thing that you may struggle with is judging yourself harshly. You’re not weak. Your worry journal is a safe place to vent your worries and concerns. If you censor yourself, you won’t get the full benefits of the journal.
Identify ways to look at your worries differently. For every fear or worry that you’ve written down, try to identify at least one way that you could could view the situation differently. If you tend to fear the worst, try thinking about something positive that could happen from the situation.
Bring a journal everywhere with you. It doesn’t have to be your worry journal, but having a smaller journal will allow you to write in your journal as things come up, like when you’re having problems at work or are nervous about an upcoming appointment.
The majority of the time, you’ll find many of the things you worry about often resolve themselves in time. They may not be as bad as we perceive them to be. By questioning and analyzing your worries, you’ll be taking away their power and seeing for them for what they really are, rather than what they could be.
These are some of the best ways to journal in order to take your power back from worries. By facing your worries head on and gaining a better understanding of them, it can really help to reduce the worry and help you live a more intentional and less stressful life.
If you follow the method above, you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel. A worry journal is a very simple, yet very effective tool for reducing anxiety and preventing excessive worry.