- Look at what might happen. Now think about the biggest challenges you’ve faced and overcome. Looking at your strongest, wisest moments, do you think you could use that same strength and wisdom to prevail in this potential challenge as well? What do you think you could learn from it, and in what ways do you think you would gain strength as you face these new obstacles? Thinking about your strengths and your best moments can help you to remember that, while you may not enjoy the current circumstances you face, you have the strength to handle what comes. You may find new strengths you didn't know you had!
- Assuming that what you fear actually does happen, what would you do? You don’t have to create a full plan, but jot down the resources you would utilize and the next steps you’d take. This takes away the fear of the unknown; if you know that you would have resources available to you should you need them, your mind is more likely to stay away from the worst-case scenarios toward which we all sometimes gravitate.
- Come up with at least one thing you can do right now that would improve your life and prepare you for what you fear. This could be to build your resources by reaching out to friends and strengthening your relationships. You could build skills that you could use now, but would also come in handy if your fears were realized. You could work on creating an effective stress management plan so you may be more emotionally resilient if you face a big challenge and need to endure some extra stress. Putting your energy toward doing something can help you move out of a place of anxiety and toward a place of empowerment. Then even if you don’t need them, you have resources that can help you in your life now, and you’ve distracted yourself in the process. Coming up with a list of such possibilities is the first step.
- You may want to look at more tips on resilience, and find resilience-building tips as well.
Remember that some issues require more help than an article can provide, and it is important to seek help if you need it. That said, this simple journaling technique can provide a tool that can be used in all types of situations to help manage anxiety and stress in life.
For additional stress management strategies, see these ongoing resources for stress relief and take advantage of what this site has to offer.