I Don’t Look Young Anymore: Worry Journal Exercise

I Don’t Look Young Anymore: Worry Journal Exercise

People have been telling me for a long time that I look young for my age, but that means something a lot different when you’re 29 and look 22 than when you’re 43 and look 38. It’s all so silly anyway. Who’s to say what 38 looks like when plenty of 38-year-olds look 33…or 23…or 43, for that matter?

Situation / Trigger

Looking in the mirror.

Negative Thought

I don’t look young anymore.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

8

Evidence For

My skin is covered in spots – brown ones here, white ones there. On my forearms they’re all gathered together, forming a big blotch that pretty much covers the whole area. I fancy that, from afar, it looks like a tan, which still isn’t that great of a look when the rest of me is white as ghost. It’s also crepey in places, which up until recently I didn’t think happened to women under 60.

I have smoker’s lines around my lips. I quit smoking cigarettes 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I quit smoking weed. Sadly, it took seeing what it was doing to my looks for me to quit, not what I knew it was doing to my lungs, heart, and mind.

And just in case they’re not visible enough, the smoker’s lines on my mouth are punctuated by parentheses that beg me everyday to rethink the promise I made to myself to never fill my face with poison.

I have laugh lines around my eyes. I actually like those, but I’m presenting evidence here.

Evidence Against

Some of my skin is smooth and unblemished.

I feel young. That has to come across in how I walk, how I gesture, and pretty much every other way I use my body to move and express myself.

What’s More Likely

Parts of my body look like they’ve aged more than others.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

I look like a woman. I look like I’ve lived. I look like I’m alive.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

5

What’s Worrying You?

Keep your own worry journal and work it through. I picked up this tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Inevitably, my anxiety level at the end of the exercise is less than it was when I started. I hope it works that way for you, too.

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I'm a writer living in Los Angeles and founder of Plenty Woman, a website for women ready to believe we are everything anxiety says we're not: Beautiful. Lovable. Powerful. Important. Smart.



2 thoughts on “I Don’t Look Young Anymore: Worry Journal Exercise”

  • Oh I know what you mean. I am 43 now and I have the same issues. I see new lines or saggy places all the time and it makes me wish I could go back in time and do so many things differently! But there is a lot of great things about growing older. If I could go back in time and be 20 again, I wouldn’t do it for all the money in the world. I would never want to be that person again. I will take who I am now, lines and all, any day of the week! I think you look great, by the way! I don’t see any lines on you!

    • Lisa, I look at my personal history much the same — as tough as much of it was, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. I like where it got me (and where it’s got me going). That said, I wouldn’t mind popping briefly back in time to get my 20-something self into the habit of wearing sunblock every day of those 13 years I spent in Arizona!

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