100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

100+ Journal Prompts for Your Mental Health

As someone who has struggled with mental health for a long time, without ever going to therapy, I have found that journaling has been a bit of a saving grace for me.

It’s free, it’s easy when you have the right prompts, and it’s something that you can do again and again. 

If you have read any of my blogs or are a member of my free wellness and self-care portal, you’ll know that I love worksheets and journal exercises, and I like to use them as a way to re-train problematic thinking that can lead to anxiety, procrastination, low self-esteem and really anything else that inhibits you from living your best life. 

That’s why I have compiled a list of the best journal prompts to help reset your brain, get you out of a negative thinking pattern, and dig a little deeper into your psyche.

If you want a printable version of these prompts plus way more self-care resources, you can sign up to get them below for free!

Here are my top 100 journal prompts for your mental health!

I’ve organized them by category so you can go with what suits your mood!

Gratitude Journal Prompts

What do you appreciate most about your life right now?

What do you appreciate most about your parents?

What do you appreciate most about your friends?

What do you appreciate most about your occupation?

What do you appreciate most about your home?

Digging deep

Write about the worst day you have had? (if you are willing to go there, don’t worry if you don’t feel like writing about it)

Why was it so bad?

How did you feel about yourself that day?

How can you give yourself love for that day? 

Can you give yourself forgiveness? 

Write about how it makes you feel. And feel free to let yourself express those emotions out loud as well (cry, scream, punch a pillow – whatever you need to help release those emotions)

Digging in to recent emotions

What was the last thing that made you happy?

What was the last thing that made you cry?

What was the last thing that made you feel confident?

What was the last thing that made you angry?

What was the last thing that made you feel lonely?

Self-image and self-love journal prompts

Write about a protagonist character you admire and write 3 ways that they are similar to you

What would your best friend say was your best quality?

What do you think your best quality is?

Write a love letter to you body (even the parts you “don’t like”)

Name 3 cool skills you have

What is one thing that makes you unique?

Physical Feelings

Often times, our physical health is very connected to our mental health. These prompts can help you find the connections between your physical feelings and your emotions.

When was the last time you felt exhausted?

When was the last time you felt sick to your stomach?

What situations, activities make you feel shaky or dizzy?

What situation made your heart race (in a good way)? 

What situation made your heart race (in a bad way)?

The top 5s (good)

This exercise is just a good way to think about the good things that are in your life! It’s ok if you can only think of 3 or so!

So think about the top 5…

– songs that make you feel good

– activities that make you feel good

– smells that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel good

– foods that make you feel energized

– people you have fun with

– people that make you feel good about yourself

After going through those, write 5 ways you can incorporate more of these things into your life.

The top 5s (not-so-good)

It’s also a good idea to reflect on the things in your life that may not be so good for you.

So write down the top 5…

– foods that make you tired

– behaviours that make you tired 

– things that make you anxious

– things that make you sad/depressed

– people that make you feel bad

– comments about you that make you feel bad

Now write 5 ways that you can decrease how often these things appear in your life.

Exercises For Specific Fears and Anxieties

The 5 why’s Journal Exercise

I love this exercise and I always recommend it when you might be unsure of the cause of your emotions. This is one of the exercises from my 10 minute journal exercises to reduce fear.

Write down the anxious thought, fear, on mental hold-back that is causing you pain, uncertainty, or that is just negatively impacting your life.

Then, ask yourself “Why am I having this thought or why do I feel this way?”

Based on your answer above, ask yourself why you feel that way again.

Ask yourself why again 3 more times, each time trying to dig deeper and further into your thoughts and feelings.

Based on those answers, you should hopefully have an idea about the root cause/trauma/reason behind your fearful/negative thought or feeling, which you can then write down,

Now, based on this root cause, ask yourself the following 3 questions:

Is this how I should feel about this now?

Can I reframe the way I think about this past event? i.e. stop blaming yourself or others, forgive and accept it for what it was.

If/when I have this thought again, is there a better way that I can frame it?

Anxious Thought Analysis

Write down all the fears and anxieties you have right now. Don’t hold anything back. Write about how your fears make you feel.

Ask yourself if you are amplifying your fears with the following cognitive distortions:

Catastrophizing – irrationally assuming the worst-case scenario

Overgeneralizing – assuming that since something bad happened once, it will happen again under similar circumstances

Magical thinking – assuming that a specific, unlikely, and unrelated negative consequence will result – even with no evidence to support it

If you believe you are distorting reality, ask yourself what the most likely outcome of your feared event is

How likely is your fear to happen?

Take a moment and write down the likelihood of your fear. If it is most likely not going to happen, the fear is probably more of an irrational fear (and I’ll give you some prompts to deal with irrational fears shortly).

First, take a look at the fears that could actually happen.

Brainstorm some ways that you could lessen the impact if they happened. Think about what you could do even if the worst-case scenario happened. Chances are, there is a solution that will work.

Now write down a list of your strengths to handle the situation.

We often forget that we are very capable of handling tough situations.

Now, to deal with your more irrational thoughts and the thoughts from above that might still be worrying you, you can implement a Thought Safe Room. 

The Thought Safe Room will help you determine thoughts that are not helpful and turn them into thoughts that are helpful.

Thoughts like negative self-talk, what-if scenarios, catastrophic thinking are NOT allowed in your safe room. The thoughts might knock on your door and you can acknowledge them, but don’t let them in!

Thoughts like positive self-talk, aspirations, confident thoughts in your abilities (i.e. “I can handle this”), gratitude are always allowed in your safe room!

For other thoughts, like constructive criticism, fear about things that could actually harm you or affect your life, you can greet them at the door of your safe room and choose to allow them in sometimes if you feel like they will improve your life and you won’t get anxious about them.

Some final questions about these fears:

In what ways are you missing out on life by being afraid? 

How would your life be better if you didn’t have these fears?

Thought on Trial Journal Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to analyze an anxious thought from a logical perspective, as if it were on trial. The idea is to find evidence that supports or rejects your thought.

Write down the anxious thought

Is there evidence that supports this thought?

Make sure that this evidence is not based on random information you find from misinformed people on the internet or based off of what you think the situation is –these things are not actual representations of the truth.

Now ask yourself, is this based on facts or feelings?

Is there someone you could ask that could clarify the situation or give you insight?

How would a friend see this situation?

Based on what you wrote above, what is a more rational way to think about this thought?

Writing Letters to Help With Healing

Writing letters that you can’t actually send is a great way to get out some emotions! Here are some people you can write letters to:

Your past self (you can forgive you past self for things you regret and talk about how far you have come since then)

Your future self

Someone who has hurt you (and express your anger about that)

Someone who has hurt you (and express forgiveness)

Someone who inspires you

Your inner child

Journal Prompts for Digging Deep and Getting Unstuck

Write a list of regrets + forgive yourself for each one

Write a list of improvements you could make to your life

Write a list of fears – are they rational?

How do your fears and anxieties hold you back? 

Are there small steps you could take to lessen how much they hold you back?

When have you felt loved?

When have you not felt loved?

List 3 small ways you can you love yourself the way you want to be loved?

Do you express love in the way you would like to be loved? If not, why?

Is there anything you need to say to people in your life that would make you feel better?

What do you feel like you are holding back from the world?

Analyzing your behaviours

Do you ever behave badly towards people? 

If so, why?

 And how can you change that? 

And how could that help you?

Are there any behaviours you do that increase your anxiety?

How could you modify those to decrease your anxiety?

Journal Prompts to foster Optimism

Write about your…

Dream life

Dream house

Dream partner

Dream friends

What can you do to bring yourself closer to those things?

What are some small things that you typically do throughout the day that make you happier?

Are there any fun things you would like to add into your life that you haven’t yet?

Is there anything you would really like to accomplish in life (i.e. your passion), but haven’t started or are too scared to start?

If you are too scared to start, why? (This answer can be used with any of the fear worksheets so that you can start to overcome this fear and go after what you really want)

How do you think these things can improve your current happiness level?

Is there anything else that could improve your current happiness level?

And although these things are fun to talk and dream about, write 3 ways that you can enjoy your life more right now.

***

So I hope that these journal prompts give you some extra help with your mental health and some inspiration for finding a deeper understanding of yourself.

And again, you can download a printable version of all of these journal prompts plus more by signing up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
Anxiety or Intuition? 5 Simple Ways to Tell the Difference

Anxiety or Intuition? 5 Simple Ways to Tell the Difference

Am I just being anxious? Or is this my intuition?

Should I listen to this dark feeling I’m having? Or should I just accept that it’s my anxiety?

As a formerly VERY anxious person, I know that it can feel almost impossible to tell the difference between anxious thoughts and your intuition.

When you’re always anxious, everything seems to be some elusive intuitive feeling. 

How can you know if this is your intuition or “gut feeling” or just your anxious thoughts taking control?

From my experience, it can take practice to learn the difference between anxiety and intuition, but there are a few simple things to look for that can help you!

So let’s take a look!

Disclaimer: Products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

The top ways to tell the difference between anxiety and intuition.

1. Your intuition is an initial feeling but your anxiety will keep coming back

They say when you take a multiple choice test, you should usually go with the first answer that comes into your mind. If you think for too long, doubt will come along and cloud your judgement. 

That’s because your intuition comes from your subconscious brain, which can process a lot more information than your conscious brain. Which means, that it usually has a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

I find that anxiety is that nagging feeling that comes afterwards. It forces you to keep overthinking and exploring all the different channels of doubt.

It goes against your intuition. Intuition should feel like a calm sense of knowing.

It can be a VERY subtle difference.

BUT, I know from my personal experience, that my intuition would typically tell me that it was fine at first and then my anxiety would sink in later.

 My thought process was usually something like this: “ I know that it’s probably fine, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not”

Trust me, that your first instinct that “it’s probably fine” – is RIGHT. The second feeling that it’s not, is just plain anxiety.

2. Anxiety interferes with your life, intuition does not.

If you find that you keep getting a feeling that you can’t shakeit’s usually anxiety. 

That’s because it’s not rational and there’s not an easy way to resolve the feelings.

Anxiety will keep coming back into your mind and you’ll have the same anxious feeling for many different situations (and this will start interfering with your life)

Intuition will usually be a unique thought or feeling about a situation and won’t keep popping up all the time. It won’t be your usual “go-to” anxious thought.

3. Anxiety feels like something you CAN’T easily resolve and intuition feels like something you could easily resolve

Again, anxiety is usually not rational, which means that it’s not going to have a rational solution.  

It means that with anxiety, even if you take all of the right steps in the given situation you are feeling anxious about, you will still have those “what if” thoughts. 

Intuition, on the other hand, will give you a signal that something isn’t right, and you will be able to adjust what you’re doing or do something that will help the situation. Once you take some action, the intuitive thought will go away, because you’ve been able to fix that situation.

4. Anxiety is based on what you think might happen in the future, intuition is based on how you feel right now

An anxious mind is usually focused on what will happen in the future. Intuition will be a feeling about what is happening in the present. 

Your intuition is the collection of all your past experiences and knowledge, which will be used in combination with all of the information that your brain is taking in about the current situation. 

Your intuition does not have any information about the future and therefore cannot make a prediction. The “prediction” is your anxiety using your imagination to make assumptions, but these are not really true.

Now I’m not saying that your intuition is always right, but it’s a lot more accurate than your anxiety. 

Also, if you’re constantly worried about the future, here’s another piece of advice: literally no one can predict what will happen in the future, so don’t bother trying.

Here’s an example from my life:

I used to always think that I “knew” what was going to happen and I would believe my anxious thoughts. But here is what I’ve learned to help me stop doing that:

The world is much more complicated than you think, you cannot possibly know enough information to make an accurate prediction. (Which means your anxiety is lying to you)

Take this example: meteorologists. (Strange example, I know, but stay with me)

Meteorologists can make some pretty educated guesses about the weather – by looking at the FACTS, but they can never fully know because they can’t account for all of the complex factors that go into weather. There are too many unknowns out there. 

So when applying this to your anxious thoughts: you could have some facts or ideas that might lead you to believe that something bad might happen, but you’ll never know! (And in my experience, it’s not worth the stress of worrying – a concept that takes practice to understand and live by)

My other advice for this is that when you’re anxious, it can even be hard to even know what your intuition is. I have worked on my anxiety a lot and I’ve worked on listening to my intuition – so it does take practice.

It will be hard for you to EVER listen to your intuition if you don’t take the steps to help your anxiety. 

For example, there are tons of options, going to a therapist, doing online therapy, or doing some self-help!

If you want some extra free self-help, you should check out my free anxiety course below!

5. Anxiety is made up of chaotic, scattered thoughts. Intuition is a calm sense of knowing.

Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way, but many of us will have scattered and chaotic thoughts flooding our brain. 

They tend to be triggered by similar situations, where you will get the flood of “what if”s and then the flood of hormones that accompany anxiety, which make you feel the anxious sensations in your body. 

Your intuition may come up with similar situations as well, but it won’t feel like this flood of worry, it will feel more just like a thought worth exploring.

A quick way to help determine if this is anxiety or intuition is to make a list of all the ways that you could help the situation to mitigate whatever you are worried about. 

If these are reasonable things you can do that won’t upset your life, then you should do them. Or at least ask yourself: “If I did these things to help the situation, would I still be anxious?”

If the answer is “yes”, this is your anxiety. If the answer if “no”, it is probably your intuition and you can go ahead and take those reasonable steps to mitigate the possible problems that your intuition was telling you.

Now, can you ever fully know the difference between your intuition and anxiety? 

The answer here is probably not: with ONE BIG CONDITION.

If you can’t tell the difference between your anxiety and your intuition, it’s because you NEED to work on overcoming your anxiety. 

You will never be able to tell if it is actually your intuition until you don’t have that strong anxious reaction anymore. 

In fact, your intuition has probably merged with your anxiety and is a bit off. 

This is because your intuition is a combination of past experiences and thoughts, as well as information that it has perceived.

This means that the information that your intuition holds is subjective and clouded by your anxiety.

So, if all the information your mind has taken in is from a subjective, anxious perspective, your intuition is likely anxious.

Which is why you need to focus on changing how you perceive these situations to retrain your intuition!

You can check out some other articles I have on learning how to understand your anxiety better and change your thought patterns to be less anxious. 

The 3 Elements of Mental Health that You Must Understand

The Anxiety Cycle and How to Break It

3 Must-Have Journal Exercises for Anxiety

You can also check out my free anxiety course – “get out of your head” to learn the top principles of starting your path to healing your anxiety. It also comes with a short e-book and helpful journal exercises and access to a bunch of free worksheets dedicated to just improving your life!

You can sign up below!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
5 Simple Mantras to Reduce Stress

5 Simple Mantras to Reduce Stress

You know when you feel like you have a million and one things to do and NO time to do them? When your to-do list just seems to be getting longer and longer as the day goes on? Or when you’re so overwhelmed that even the smallest of tasks puts you over the edge?

Well, we’ve all been there. And this is exactly where a mantra comes in handy!

Disclaimer: products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

How mantras work

First of all – what exactly is a mantra?

A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself in order to alter your consciousness and re-shape the way you see your reality. Sounds like magic, right? It’s pretty close to it!

Here’s why it works – our reality is shaped by the way we think about reality. And the way we think about reality is shaped by what we say

For example, if you’re constantly putting yourself down by saying “I’m so stupid” or “I’m so ugly”, you’ll start to truly believe it! The more you say these negative things about yourself, the more your brain will think it’s a fact.

Mantras work, therefore, by instilling positive ways of thinking into your mind by”forcing” you to think good thoughts! When it comes to mantra, the magic truly lies in the words!

Mantras and stress

A mantra is in essence a form of meditation. And like all mediation, it has the ability to alter your mindset by bringing you a deep sense of calm.

Mindset is THE most important thing you can focus on when trying to do or achieve anything in life (which my free Anxiety Handbook outlines in detail!). Among other things, your mindset can help you:

  • reach your career goals
  • manage your mental health
  • improve your self-esteem
  • reach your fitness goals
  • make friends

It can also help you attain a much calmer state of mind when you’re feeling stressed out!

The following 5 mantras are specially designed to target a stressed-out mindset. I recommend writing them down either on your phone, on your laptop, or anywhere near your workspace so that you’ll be able to quickly refer back to them the next time you feel your stress levels on the rise!

The 5 anti-stress mantras

Mantra #1: I will not hesitate, I will just do what I need to do

This has worked absolute wonders for me, as I’m sure it will for you too.

If you feel like you’re at a standstill because you just don’t know where to start – this will help give you some clarity and motivation. It will push you along to just start doing what you’ve gotta do! It could be anything from doing your laundry, to exercising, to studying, to working on your goals and dreams!

Mantra #2: I will accept what I cannot control

Many of us tend to get frustrated and stressed out over things that we have no way of controlling. One of the biggest examples is frustration over what other people do.

This is completely wasted energy. Why? Because it’s impossible for you to control! You have NO power over other people – you only have power over yourself. So all you need to focus on? You! This mantra will help remind you of this.

Mantra #3: With every deep breath I take, I feel myself becoming more calm

Taking deep breaths is an amazing way to immediately feel calmer and more at peace. However, when we have an overwhelmed mindset, we often forget about doing this. Instead, we tend to take short, shallow breaths that make us feel more anxious and more on edge!

This mantra will remind you to STOP what you’re doing and take some deep breaths. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to return to your work in a much more centred and aligned state of mind.

Mantra #4: I accept myself as I am

A lot of the time we can get quite frustrated and overwhelmed because we doubt ourselves and don’t believe that we can do something. We may fear that if we try something new – whether that’s a new project or just a new recipe – we’ll make a mistake or fail completely.

This way of thinking is toxic, and is just getting in the way of you doing what you need to do! This mantra will help take the focus away from your flaws and help you accept yourself as you are – imperfections and all.

Mantra #5: I’ve done more than enough today

This last one’s designed for all you over-achievers out there (myself included!).

Too often we set WAY too high expectations for ourselves with regards to how much we want to cross off our to-do list. We’re not superhuman, and we’re only awake for about 14-16 hours a day! We need to leave time for resting, enjoying, socializing, eating, etc.

If you’re anything like me though, you’ll constantly feel guilty about not having done enough in your day, regardless of how much you’ve actually done (which is usually more than you think!). This mantra will help remind you to be more realistic. And even if you haven’t had an overly productive day – it happens! You always have tomorrow.

Final thoughts

The more you incorporate these positive anti-stress mantras into your daily routine, the more calm and centred you will feel as you work your way through your to-do list.

Remember: YOU have the power to change your mindset and re-wire your thoughts. All it takes is dedication and practice!

To learn more about how you can harness the power of your thoughts to design your life for the better, check out my free Anxiety Handbook!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!

How to Ease Anxiety over COVID-19

How to Ease Anxiety over COVID-19

With social distancing, uncertainty with jobs, the fear of getting the dreaded virus, a toilet paper deficit, and no real idea of when this will all be over – things are getting pretty intense!

With people in a panic over getting sick (or having someone you love get sick) or the possibility of not having enough food (or toilet paper??) – it can make you feel like you need to be worried too.

On top of that, there are layoffs or reduced work hours, which can be just as scary. 

As someone who is no stranger to fear and anxiety (especially health and money anxiety), I feel like I can share some wisdom! 

In this article, I’m going to cover how to deal with a bunch of fears and issues that accompany our current world state.

 

Here are the main points we’ll cover in this article:

  1. The fear of getting sick (or others getting sick)
  2. How to deal with financial uncertainty
  3. Great resources to help you with unemployment benefits
  4. How to cope with social distancing
  5. General anxiety reducing things you can do

If you are experiencing severe anxiety or are in immediate crisis, please call one of these help hotlines. **I am no expert on coronavirus – which is why I suggest that you follow the information given by the World Health Organization. The information I am giving relates to managing your anxiety surrounding the virus, financial worries, and social distancing, not specific advice on dealing with the coronavirus itself.**

Although this is a serious situation, it’s very important to stay calm and not get OVERLY cautious about it either (because that can cause issues too).

So I’m going to show you how to achieve a balance between being cautious and staying calm.

You might notice that I will tell you “not to worry”, which is the worst thing to hear when you have anxiety – so I want to preface what I actually mean by that:

First of all, there is such a thing as healthy fear. This is the will help you to determine what precautions you should take for any given situation. That healthy fear helped us to develop the precautions to take for this virus. 

There is also unhealthy fear. This is fear that lingers after you have taken all the reasonable precautions. So THAT’S when I will be telling you not to worry – when it’s an unhealthy fear.

But if you can’t put those fears out of your head – then I have some great free worksheets and a free anxiety handbook for you, to help you to process those unwanted thoughts.

Also, to do my part in contributing to the world in this time, I’ll be offering my anxiety course: Conquer Your Anxiety for a discounted price so that this information can be extremely accessible to people!

Conquer Your Anxiety is a comprehensive video course to help you to understand anxiety, doubt, and coping with uncertainty and the possibility of bad things happening.

And it includes 40+ worksheets to help you recognize and develop better thought-patterns! They can be great resources when you are having some negative and anxious thoughts!

But you might not even need that if you read this article because I hopefully have covered all the points that will help you with your fears!

Dealing with the fear of getting sick (or getting others sick)

So this is my area of expertise!

I used to struggle so hard with the possibility of getting sick. To an obsessive degree.

If it had gotten much worse, I probably wouldn’t have even wanted to go outside and interact with anyone, ever. In fact, this “quarantine” might have been my ideal situation!

If there’s one thing that I have learned from managing and overcoming my anxiety, it’s that you can only focus on what you can control. The main things that fall under that category are your actions and your mindset

So let’s see how we can apply that knowledge to the current situation at hand:

Right now, we are being told what actions we should be taking: staying at home, keeping our distance from people if we must be around others, and washing our hands (and avoiding touching our faces). This should be taking care of most of your worries because these are the crucial steps towards beating this thing!

There is always a risk of bad things happening, and there is a slight risk that you could get the virus. These simply are facts that we need to accept.

However, this typically only affects the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. So, if you are young and in good health, you shouldn’t really worry. Just stay home and distance yourself to avoid possibly spreading it to vulnerable people and watch your local news for any updates.

Now let’s talk about what you can do if you or someone you love is in a vulnerable demographic or if you have a job right now that is not allowing you to socially distance yourself. 

First of all, the overall thing to remember and think about is what you can and cannot control.

  • If you are doing the best that you can to follow the guidelines on stopping the spread of the virus given your specific circumstances – then you are doing what is in your control. 
  • You can’t control what other people are doing/where they’ve been/whether they’ve had the virus. 

But let’s look at some other specific things you can do, to best manage the situation at hand.

 

If you are worried about a loved one (in the vulnerable demographic) getting sick or dying from the virus

  1. Call them and encourage them to stay put and self-isolate. Or if they have a caregiver or are at a care-home, ask about the safety measures they are taking. (Hopefully this will help ease your worries, as these professionals know what they’re doing)
  2. Do your part and self-isolate as much as you can.
  3. Ask them if they need groceries or anything else and drop it off for them. If you want to be extra cautious, you can drop it off at their door and you don’t even need to be in contact.
  4. Encourage them to get enough sleep and eat as healthy as possible (two major factors in keeping your immune system healthy).
  5. Accept that there is a risk of them getting the virus and that there are some things that you cannot control. (This is definitely a hard thing to do, which is why these resources can help).

If you are in the demographic that could be affected by the virus

  1. Self-isolate 
  2. If you need medical help, see if you can get a house call or call your doctor or clinic about what you should do.
  3. Reach out to a family member to see if they can get your groceries or other things you need and drop them off for you (reducing your risk of exposure from going to grocery stores).
  4. Get enough sleep and eat as healthy as possible (two major factors in keeping your immune system healthy).
  5. Accept that there is a risk of getting the virus and that there are some things that you cannot control. (This is definitely a hard thing to do, which is why it can be important to talk to someone or work on managing your anxiety).

If you are at a job that requires you to NOT be isolated

  1. Technically, it’s within your employer’s rights to still have you come to work. But you can talk to your employer about your concerns and see if there is anything you can do to work things out so that you do not have to come in.
  2. If you are concerned about your own safety and you are not elderly nor do you have preexisting health conditions, you should be fine, since the risks of complications from the virus are low for healthy adults. And now, since most people are staying home right now, your risk of even contracting it is now lower. 
  3. If you are concerned about possibly contracting the virus and spreading it to someone vulnerable, try to avoid anyone contact with any vulnerable people outside of work. 
  4. Keep the recommended 6ft distance from people while you are at work (if you can), wash your hands regularly, disinfect your phone regularly, and change your clothes when you get home (if you’re worried about spreading it to someone). Basically just follow all of the standard protocols. With most people socially distancing, this will GREATLY reduce your chance of getting the virus.

Dealing with financial uncertainty

This one seems to be the biggest concern now.  More and more places of work are shutting down, causing people to lose their jobs.  Even worse, many people are freelancers who are unable to collect employment insurance. So let’s look at some ways to deal with anxiety in those situations

If you are unsure about the future of your job

This is something that may not even happen, so worrying now will just make you suffer for no good reason! Talk to your employer or HR to get some more information about the situation before making any assumptions.  Remember that there is always employment insurance and unemployment benefits, so you will be protected if you lose your job.

Make a backup plan

  1. Make a list of places you can start applying to in the off chance that layoffs will be more permanent. 
  2. Research some ways that you could make some extra cash (you could check your local Facebook groups for odd jobs!)

If you have lost your job

Apply for EI (employment insurance, for my fellow Canadians ) or unemployment benefits (if you live in the US!) Just get it done and out of the way! Sometimes it can be an annoying process, but don’t put it off, that will only prolong your anxiety. You can also look into some other ways to make money

  1. Make a list of places you can start applying to in the off chance that layoffs will be more permanent. 
  2. Research some ways that you could make some extra cash (you could check your local Facebook groups for odd jobs!)

Get creative – are there any extra ways you can make money?

Try checking your local Facebook groups for odd jobs or look into selling some old stuff you have lying around. If you have a skill, you could do some online teaching for a small fee! We live in a world of possibilities, especially with the internet!

If you are self-employed (with no insurance)

Your government is most likely providing extra support for self-employed individuals who can’t work because of self-isolation. You can follow the advice I outlined above and there are also some great resources for looking into benefits as a self-employed person.

Here are some great resources to check out if you live in the US or Canada

Here’s a great article with some extra information on collecting unemployment benefits if you live in the US! And a graphic that shows whether or not you can collect insurance if you live in the US Also, there’s another graphic showing what you should do as a Canadian.

Reach out, get creative, and see what people are doing to change things!

I’ve seen petitions floating around on pausing rent payments, helping out self-employed musicians, and much more! Take a look around, if nothing else it will give you some hope in humanity – people do care!!

How to cope with social isolation

Social isolation can be very difficult! As social creatures, it can be a very difficult transition! Working from home is a whole new ball game of self-discipline and you don’t have the same social distractions or natural breaks that you would normally get within the work day. There’s also the extra bonus of not being as distracted from your thoughts as you’re used to. They can start to creep up and cause some anxiety! That’s why self-care, taking breaks, and reaching out to people over social media can be a great idea! You can organize group video chats with your friends, and I have heard rumours of Netflix offering an option where you can watch movies at the same time as your friends!

This is definitely a big change to deal with and working from home is a whole new ball game! It requires you to change your schedule completely and requires a lot more self-discipline because it’s just so easy to watch Netflix all day! So go easy on yourself and try not to have too many expectations of what your day should be. It’s a crazy time and we’re all adjusting.

Other things you can do to reduce anxiety

One big thing is to understand that you will be ok throughout all of this. Even if something goes wrong (which is a normal part of life), you have the strength to get through it.  It’s very important to get to the root of your anxiety. I have quite a few articles on this subject that you can check out, which will Managing anxiety can be a difficult process, which is why my anxiety course can help you! I always advise to go to therapy if you can, but I am no stranger to the reality that not everyone can afford it! So right now it’s only $27, so it can be even more accessible to everyone! You can also get access to some helpful free journal exercises here.

It will help you to retrain your thoughts and thought patterns surrounding anxiety and gives you tons of lifestyle and self-care tips that are naturally anxiety-reducing.  Here are a few tips that I love and that really work! .Get outside (in the fresh air) and move around a bit! Being outside as long as you keep your distance from people is a great idea! The endorphins will improve your mood and vitamin D from the sun and exercise will also give you an immune boost! Do an at-home work out (again for the endorphins and adding some variety to your day) Make a plan for yourself for the day, so you feel a bit more structured! Make a financial plan if you need to save money and a list of action items. Having a plan will help ease your uncertainty about the future.  Practice mindfulness and take things day by day. These are excellent ways to keep your mind off of uncertainty. There’s no point in worrying about the future when there is absolutely no way of predicting it! 

Consider helping out in your community

Also, if you’re in a position where you may have some money to spare, consider offering some help to your community! Reach out on community Facebook groups and see if anyone needs anything! I’ve been truly inspired by the people in my community reaching out to make a difference!

We can all get through this if we stay hopeful and help each other out.

If you or your loved ones have been affected by the virus, my deepest condolences. Stay positive and reach out if you need assistance!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
Top 10 Things to Remember if You’re Struggling with Anxiety

Top 10 Things to Remember if You’re Struggling with Anxiety

***This is part 10 in a series of posts about how to overcome your anxiety. If you want to read part 9, click here. You can download a full PDF recap of the series here.***

No matter how much self-growth we go through, no matter how much progress we make, and no matter how far we come in improving ourselves – we can always use a helpful reminder every now and again.

If you’ve made it to the end of my anxiety series – congratulations! With all the things you’ve learned throughout these articles (and on your journey within yourself), you’re well on your way to living a happier, more fulfilling, ANXIETY-FREE life!

For my last article in the series, I thought I’d bring together all the amazing things we’ve learned throughout the posts into one cohesive list. Think of it as a one-stop guide that you can come back to over and over when you need an extra little pick-me-up or a bit of help getting back on track (because let’s be honest – we ALL do every now and then!)

So without further ado, here are the top 10 things to remember when it comes to your anxiety!

 

Disclaimer: products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

1) Thoughts are just thoughts. You don’t need to give meaning to them

You are not always going to have happy thoughts – you will sometimes have negative thoughts. This is just the reality of being human. In fact, it’s one of the things that unifies each and every one of us! But remember: they are just thoughts.

Thoughts are not always true, and they certainly don’t define who you are. In fact, a thought is really just a sentence passing through your mind. It has no power on its own unless you give it power. It doesn’t become real unless you accept that it’s real.

This is one of the most life-changing realizations you can make when it comes to overcoming anxiety. And trust me, once you truly understand this, it will change you life in so many freeing ways!

2) Understand WHY you’re feeling anxious, don’t just accept your anxiety

Anxiety isn’t something that you’re born with and you have to live with forever. Quite the opposite. YOU have the power, and to harness this power, first you must truly understand your anxiety.

 

To get to the “why” of your anxiety, ask yourself what negative thought patterns may be contributing to it. Was there anything that happened in your past to make you behave the way you are now? Is there a recurring thought/fear that is constantly bubbling below the surface?

 

If you’re serious about beating your anxiety, you need to be serious about becoming a researcher of your anxiety. Study it, analyze it, and know it. Only then will you know the ins and outs of how to uproot it.

 

Becoming a researcher of your anxiety requires a bit of extra guidance. That’s why I suggest you download my free Anxiety Guide! It’s the perfect place to start thinking about the way you think. Plus, it also comes with some free worksheets that guide you in overriding past negative thought patterns with new, healthier ones!

 

3) You can change the way you think

 

We humans really are SO much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for! Our minds are dynamic, and our brains are malleable. What does this mean? It means that it is completely within our power to learn to think differently about anything we want to think differently about (*ahem* anxiety *ahem*).

 

This is honestly such an exciting thing, and it should make each and every one of us wake up happy every single day. I mean, think about it – we have SO much potential! We can make our life ANYTHING we want it to be! All it involves is changing the way we think. You can check out the article just below for a bit more information on this!

 

 4) Don’t feed your fears

The more you focus on your fears and the more you research all the terrible things that “could” happen, the stronger your anxiety will become and the more you will suffer. Your fears are what’s holding you back, and the more you give them power, the more tight their hold will be on you. 

You need to starve your fears. Stop looking into them, stop dwelling on how much they’re impacting your life, and stop defining yourself by them. This is only adding fuel to the flame, and we need that flame to be as dim as can be!

I realize that this is a very difficult thing to do, and that’s why I’m here to help. I created Conquer You Anxiety with the sole purpose in mind to help YOU master some of the hardest yet most critical steps in overcoming anxiety. These are things you need to learn how to do if you want to live the life you dream of living (that is, one that’s anxiety-free!).

 

5) Remember your strengths – they’re much stronger than your fears

The unfortunate thing about us humans is that our pesky brains are designed to focus more on the negative things in life rather than the positive things (I know – SUCH a bummer!). This is why when we have anxiety, we often focus only on how difficult the anxiety is making our lives.

You can’t forget the other side of the story though – the brighter side. You are an amazingly unique individual. You have SO many talents and SO many strengths. Pay attention to these things more. Try this right now: jot down on a scrap piece of paper a list of 5 things that you’re great at. 

See? Doesn’t that feel good for a change?!

You have so many things to offer the world, and you are SO much more than your anxiety! The more you realize this, the more prepared you’ll be to truly beat your anxiety.

6) Your physical health is entirely linked to your mental health

Your mental health isn’t just your psychological health. In reality, your mental health is an umbrella term that’s made up of several different aspects. And one of the most important of those aspects is your physical health.

If you don’t take proper care of your body, your mind will suffer. Just like your eyes are the window to your soul, your body is the mirror to your mind. The more you treat your body well, the more you’ll heal your mind.

The best part about this is that taking care your physical health is incredibly easy. It just involves making a few simple yet SUPER important lifestyle changes. 

7) Managing and overcoming anxiety is a skill like any other – you need to practice

Overcoming anxiety won’t happen overnight (but wouldn’t that be nice if it did!). It’s going to take some commitment and some practice. But don’t worry – because even Beethoven was a beginner once!

All it starts with is dedication to a cause. If you’re dedicated to making a positive change in your life, then you’re totally on the right track. It’s this motivation that’s going to push you to practice incorporating the positive habits EVERY single day.

Practice, practice, practice – you’ll soon reap the benefits. Steps will turn into jumps, jumps will turn into strides, and before you know it, you’ll have made leaps and bounds of progress (and will be looking back at how far you’ve come with a beaming smile on your face!).

8) Everyone makes mistakes

We’re only human! We’re not perfect creatures, and we’re not supposed to be perfect creatures (I mean, we’re not dogs!).

Sometimes in our anxiety journey, we can be doing REALLY well and then all of a sudden have ONE bad day (or week, or month). This is okay. You NEED to remember that this is okay. No journey is without its roadblocks and U-turns. Things happen. Life happens. We must learn from our mistakes instead of letting them get us down. Mistakes are our greatest teacher.

9) Don’t take life too seriously

We’re here on this earth to enjoy ourselves, not to go from one worry to the next.

Relax, take a deep breathe, and smile. Things are going to be okay. You will be okay. Life is good, the world is fun, and the Universe is giving you a great big smile. Now go on out and ENJOY it!

10) You deserve to be happy

You have so much to offer the world and the world has so much to offer you. Your life is meant to be a happy life – all you have to do is go on out there and claim it.

And that’s where I come in. I’m here to help you live the life you deserve to live – the life that’s full of happiness, inner peace, and love. I created my Anxiety Course with YOU in mind. I want to help YOU. Why? Because I was once you. I was once a very anxious person who was not living my life to its fullest. The techniques and the methods I’ve included in my course are the very same techniques and methods that I used to completely conquer my anxiety.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for YOU to claim the life you DESERVE!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!
The Anxiety Cycle and How to Break It

The Anxiety Cycle and How to Break It

***This is part 9 in a series of posts about how to overcome your anxiety. If you want to read part 8, click here. You can download a full PDF recap of the series here.***

For those of us who have anxiety and want to CONQUER it, there’s one little phenomenon that we should be very familiar with. That phenomenon is called the anxiety cycle.

Now if you’re not familiar with the anxiety cycle yet, don’t worry, because by the end of this blog post, you’ll be a total expert. And that’s great news for you, because it’s your knowledge of this cycle that’s going to determine whether or not you’re able to overcome your anxiety.

In a nutshell, your anxiety cycle is the story of your anxiety (sounds poetic, doesn’t it?). And just like any story, this one has a beginning, middle, and an end. The difference however, is that in THIS story, YOU have the power to change the ending. 

In other words, you have the power to break the cycle.

And today, I’m going to teach you how by going through each of the 4 stages of the cycle.

 

Disclaimer: products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

Anxiety Cycle Stage 1 – Initial Situation / Perceived Threat

The first stage of the anxiety cycle is really quite simple. That’s because it just involves a situation. It alllllll starts with that initial situation.

But it’s not just any situation – it’s a situation that your mind turns into a THREAT. 

If you recall back to one of the earlier articles in this blog series, you’ll remember that fear is meant to protect you, but that it doesn’t know the difference between real threats and perceived threats. Therefore, our anxiety cycle begins when we come into contact with a particular situation that our fear turns into a threat.

For example:

Let’s say you’re out grocery shopping. You’re walking down the vegetable aisle picking up some veggies to make a curry for dinner (gotta get all those nutrients in!), when all of a sudden, you make eye contact with the person in front of you and realize that it’s someone you knew in High School.

Now, for people who don’t have social anxiety, this would just be a regular situation that wouldn’t trigger the anxiety cycle.

However, if you had social anxiety, your fear would distort your mind into thinking that bumping into this person from your past is a serious threat

And THIS is when your anxiety cycle would begin.

Anxiety Cycle Stage 2 – Anxious Thought about Situation

Now it’s time for your thoughts to kick in and make matters even worse!

If you remember back to a previous article in the series, you’ll probably be familiar with negative thought patterns. Well, it’s in this stage of the cycle that they get their time in the spotlight.

Here’s how it works:

After the initial situation takes place and your fear turns the situation into a threat, you’ll then have a negative thought about the situation. But your negative thought isn’t a reaction to the actual situation. Instead, it’s a reaction to the negative thought pattern you have surrounding that situation.

This is a bit confusing, but let me try to simplify:

Your brain reacts to situations in the present based on experiences (or traumas) you’ve had in the past

A lot of the time, we aren’t actually reacting to real situations, we’re just reacting to how our brain is conditioned to think about these situations.

Negative thought patterns are a HUGE topic in and of themselves, and I just can’t explain them in as much detail as I’d like here. But you’re in luck, because in my Design Your Anxiety-Free Life course, I have a whole section (plus numerous worksheets) dedicated to helping you understand how your negative thought patterns work as well as overriding them to create better, healthier thought patterns in their place.

Anxiety Cycle Stage 3 – Emotional Reaction

This is the most important stage in the entire anxiety cycle. Why? Because it’s in this stage that you have the power to END the cycle.

After you have an anxious thought about the situation, you have two options. You can either: 

(1) accept the anxious thought as a true, genuine reflection of the situation 

OR

(2) realize that your anxious thought is NOT a reflection of the actual situation and therefore ignore the thought altogether. 

If you go down path (1), then you’ve just bought yourself a one-way ticket to ride the anxiety cycle train over and over and over. Because once you accept the thought as true, you’ll then create an emotional reaction in response. And once you create an emotional reaction, the physical reaction will follow (and that’s when it gets harder to break the cycle).

HOWEVER, If you go down path (2) and you ignore the thought altogether, it will pass through your mind without creating an emotional reaction. This very good, because this means that you’ve in effect ENDED your cycle. 

The anxiety cycle cannot survive if it doesn’t pass through this stage.

If you want to learn more about how your emotions play a role in the anxiety cycle, check out my Anxiety Course! In it, I’ll be teaching you all about the core principles of anxiety management, including how to recognize anxious thoughts when they happen as well as how to stop them from triggering an emotional response.

Anxiety Cycle Stage 4 – Reaffirming Behaviours

Alright – if you weren’t able to break the cycle in stage 3, you’re not totally out of luck. In stage 4, you have ONE last chance to free yourself from the vicious cycle.

It works like this:

Once you have your emotional reaction (let’s say you start feeling upset, ashamed, or even afraid), and your physical reaction (elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, etc), you’ll then begin doing things that try to lessen these negative feelings.

But most of the time, the things we do don’t actually lessen the anxiety at all, they just make it worse (for example – performing compulsive behaviours, indulging in escapist behaviours, or trying to avoid anything that triggers the fear).

These are called reaffirming behaviours. They are behaviours that give POWER to your fear, that give INTO your fear, and that make you believe you are unable to FACE your fear.

Therefore, if you eliminate these behaviours, you will weaken the anxiety cycle until you eventually destroy it altogether.

Understanding your anxiety cycle is one of the most critical parts in your journey to overcome your anxiety.

Remember – it’s one thing to read about it, but it’s a whole other thing to actually work through exercises that help you analyze, challenge, and override your cycle altogether. The worksheets in my Anxiety Course aim to do just that! If you want to get your hands on an incredible (and super affordable) workbook that will guide you step-by-step into undoing your anxiety cycle, then head on over to my website and enrol in my course!

Final thoughts and reminders

Your anxiety cycle is the “lifespan” of your anxiety

Your knowledge of this lifespan is what’s going to help you BREAK it

There are two stages where in the cycle where you have the power to break it – in stage 3 (the emotional reaction) and in stage 4 (the reaffirming behaviours)

For more help and guidance in how to break free from the cycle of anxiety, check out my Anxiety Course!

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Sagesse ("Say Jess")

Owner of Mindaya

Hey guys, it’s Sagesse – the face behind website! I’m dedicated to helping you find freedom your anxiety and overcome the mental obstacles that are standing in the way of your best life!