Tag: positive affirmations

The Doctor Is Going to Find Something Horribly Wrong with Me: Worry Journal Exercise

The Doctor Is Going to Find Something Horribly Wrong with Me: Worry Journal Exercise

I haven’t had a physical exam in over 7 years. Not because I’m afraid of going to the doctor (even though I am and self-diagnose every chance I get). Or because I was raised to stay away from doctors (even though I was, because the […]

Odd Woman Out at the BlogHer Conference: Worry Journal Exercise

Odd Woman Out at the BlogHer Conference: Worry Journal Exercise

A few months ago a friend was telling me about a conference she was going to for work. “I love conferences,” I told her. That’s a strange thing for me to say, I thought, because I don’t go to conferences. I do vaguely remember an […]

I’m Not Doing Enough: Worry Journal Exercise

I’m Not Doing Enough: Worry Journal Exercise

Why should it feel like I’m not doing enough when I’m doing all the time? That’s not true. I’m doing when I have the energy to do. And when I’m not doing, I’m thinking about the doing I wish I could be doing, and planning when and how I’ll do it soon. And whether I’m in the process of doing or not, it’s disempowering either way, because no matter how much I do, the anxiety is there.

Situation / Trigger

Thinking about all my to-do’s

Negative Thought

I’m not doing enough.

Anxiety Level

10

Evidence For

I’m not writing enough.

When I started this website, my plan was to publish new pieces 3 to 5 times a week. It proved ridiculously difficult for me with the rest of my workload, and the amount of posting I’ve done here over these first 4 months (since the launch) shows it.

January, 15 posts. February, 9 posts. March, 5 posts. April, 3 posts.

Two posts a week is fine. One post a week, I can live with. Months like this with a measly three have got to go.

I’m not reading enough.

Most days, I mostly read headlines and social media posts. That’s with the exception of a blog post here, a news article there, and maybe a few pages from whatever novel I’m struggling to stay engaged with because I’m reading it so infrequently.

I’m not cleaning enough.

I can’t stand a dirty house. It’s not disgusting, but it’s not pristine. I want pristine.

I’m not social enough.

I go weeks without seeing or speaking to friends (text, email, and social media excluded).

When I get home, I hold my breath standing outside my front door for fear that if I don’t get it unlocked soon enough the neighbor I hear across the landing will open her door and I’ll have to talk to her. This is a nice neighbor who I barely know and to whom a simple “Hey, how ya doin?” would suffice.

Other distressing neighborly avoidances (e.g., going to and from my car, taking out the trash, stepping into the community backyard).

I’m not self-caring enough.

I beat myself up constantly for falling short (see any one of the “I’m not doing enough” references above).

I almost never take a day off.

I put work above well-being.

Evidence Against

I’m writing enough to have this blog, to have a few readers, and to have something that gives me purpose. Plus, there’s all the writing I do for other websites – 30-something posts a month.

I’m reading enough blogs and books to stay inspired and know I want to read more.

I’m cleaning enough to keep it cleanish most of the time.

I’m social enough to maintain relationships.

I’m self-caring enough to get enough sleep every night, take my supplements every morning, meditate most days, and do yoga now and then.

What’s More Likely

I expect too much of myself within the framework of my life.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

I’m doing plenty.

Anxiety Level

7

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.

Nothing I Do Is Good Enough: Worry Journal Exercise

Nothing I Do Is Good Enough: Worry Journal Exercise

It’s a real killer admitting it — that nothing I do is good enough — not because I’m embarrassed by it, but because I try so damn hard. What’s worse is, the harder I try, the more harshly I judge myself when I fall short. It’s […]

How to Create Your Own Positive Affirmations

How to Create Your Own Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations have the power to change your life over time, but that’s not the main reason I use them. I use positive affirmations for the change they make in a moment. When I’m feeling anxious, that moment feels like all there is, so getting to a better place means everything. […]

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 35 and look 27 than when you’re 43 and look 38. Besides, who’s to say what 38 looks like when plenty of 38-year-olds look 33…or 23…or 43, for that matter? It’s all subjective anyway. The truth is, I have no idea how old I look these days. I just know it’s not young and I’m struggling with it more than I like to admit.

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 (not because it was making me anxious and depressed, but because that’s when I noticed the lines).

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 (which I actually don’t mind).

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.

People Think I’m Stupid When I Don’t Know Things: Worry Journal Exercise

People Think I’m Stupid When I Don’t Know Things: Worry Journal Exercise

In most of my conversations, with pretty much anyone, I have to remind myself that honesty matters more than knowledge. It’s just not so easy living that truth when you’re as worried as I am about what other people think. Situation / Trigger Conversation about something I know nothing […]

I Don’t Make Honest Choices: Worry Journal Exercise

I Don’t Make Honest Choices: Worry Journal Exercise

If I want to feel like what I’m doing is important (which I clearly do) I have to be honest with myself about what’s important to me. The question is, can I make honest choices accordingly? Situation / Trigger Agreeing to do something I don’t really […]

I Won’t Be Loved If I’m Not Perfect: Worry Journal Exercise

I Won’t Be Loved If I’m Not Perfect: Worry Journal Exercise

When you associate perfection with love, it becomes your end goal – the perfection part, I mean. And that’s a losing battle for reasons we all know: We aren’t perfect, and we never will be. I’m tired of chasing a purpose that’s so misguided, and the only way I can see to stop it is to change the mistaken belief it’s based on.

Situation / Trigger

Criticizing myself

Negative Thought

I won’t be loved if I’m not perfect.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

8

Evidence For

When I’ve made mistakes in the past, people have criticized me, laughed at me, given up on me.

Some devastating examples:

One time when I gained weight, my ex-boyfriend told me he “likes me small.”

One night when I lost focus in a college production of Romeo and Juliet, the front row laughed during my death scene.

Almost every time I’m awkward in small talk at parties, people walk away.

Evidence Against

Not everyone walks away.

Not everyone in the audience laughed.

My ex-boyfriend is an idiot.

People love imperfect me all the time.

What’s More Likely True

Some people won’t love me if I’m not perfect, and that’s okay because those people don’t matter. Except for one: Me. I don’t love myself when I’m imperfect, and that’s a problem because I matter a lot.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

I love myself, as is, all the time.

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.

I Spend Too Much Time Worrying About the Way I Look: Worry Journal Exercise

I Spend Too Much Time Worrying About the Way I Look: Worry Journal Exercise

Where does the time go? The things I really care about (but am not accomplishing) want to know. In light of the essay, Beautiful On Purpose, worrying about the way I look is one likely suspect – spending too much time not only trying to make […]