• Martha Lewis

Sleep better with this exercise for worry and fear



If you constantly worry about the same things over and over and they keep you up at night, here's an exercise to help. Yes, it involves journaling so get your pen and paper ready :)


It’s easy for worrisome and anxious thoughts to spiral into panicky, out of control fears if you don’t keep them in check. Getting your thoughts out on paper is one of the best ways to release them from your mind.


To keep this from happening, I recommend a specific journaling exercise that I learned from business coach Marie Forleo (author or Everything Is Figureoutable, one of my favorite mantras) and have adapted for you:


Here’s the simple activity:


Step 1: Write down your worst fears. Keep writing until you get to the bottom of your fears.


Step 2: Then write, step-by-step, what you’re going to do if those fears actually come true.


Example:


Step 1: Let’s say one of my fears is losing all of my savings and having nothing left. That makes me feel panicked and extremely uncomfortable, even though I realize that the point of having savings is for times like these. What else do I fear? I will also feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit that something happened to make me need this money, whether it's business failure or an emergency, etc.

Step 2: What will I do if this happens?


As soon as I can, I’ll start saving again. I can even save more than usual to build up my savings faster. I’ll start at $100 a month and increase it from there. Even if it takes years, I know I’ll get back to where I was before I lost everything.


Also if I have to, I’ll ask my in-laws for money.


I don’t want to do these things, but I know that I won’t be destitute and homeless.


Now that I see it on paper and have a solution, I have the perspective that it’s not the end of the world. Even if the worst-case scenario happens, I know that I'll be just fine. And knowing that helps me not wake up at 3am worrying about worst-case scenarios.


This exercise works for any stressful situation. You’re worried about losing your job? Your boyfriend breaking up with you? Having to move to take care of your in-laws? Getting Covid?


What’s the worst possible thing that could happen? And what will you do about it? Write it down and get those thoughts out of your mind.


Our fears are never as bad as we hallucinate them to be.


The talk about a possible recession sparked me to share this exercise with you. I know that changes in the economy can cause worry and anxiety.


I think it helps to remember that everything is cyclical. What goes up must come down. This is the normal pattern of life. At age 45, I’ve lived long enough to see the ups and downs of the economy.


Living in Jackson Hole during the last recession in 2008, I didn’t experience any difference in my income so it didn’t affect me much personally. I was waiting tables back then and I didn’t see a change in how people were spending money.


However I was affected because I bought a condo with my boyfriend at the time in 2006 at the height of the bubble. Fortunately, we could still make our mortgage payments and so we didn’t lose the condo. But my boyfriend and I broke up and we had to keep the condo for 10 more years until it got back to its original value. I was stuck in a real estate deal with someone who I didn’t want to be in a relationship with at all. But it could have been worse.


Through this experience, I learned that there will be ups and downs and that I’ll always figure it out. I trust myself to get through any experience, to learn from it and grow stronger and smarter.


Now when I hear the news about the economy, I don’t worry about it. I look at the big picture and stay focused on that. As a business owner, I may have to change some things, but I know that I will always figure it out.


I remind myself of everything I have to be grateful for.


If you’re worried about the economy, ask yourself if the worry is helping in any way. Is it helping you make good decisions and take action to protect yourself? Great! Or is it making you feel anxious and scarce and want to hoard money? That might not be great!


Likely, the worry isn’t helping. Once you see that, you can let it go. You can choose to think something else like “I will figure it out no matter what.”


I hope this helps!


And if you want help with your sleep, I’m here for you. I help with mental stress such as worrying about the economy. And I use lab testing to find what’s physically causing your insomnia. Book a call to find out more.

If you constantly worry about the same things over and over and they keep you up at night, here's an exercise to help. Yes, it involves journaling so get your pen and paper ready :)


It’s easy for worrisome and anxious thoughts to spiral into panicky, out of control fears if you don’t keep them in check. Getting your thoughts out on paper is one of the best ways to release them from your mind.


To keep this from happening, I recommend a specific journaling exercise that I learned from business coach Marie Forleo (author or Everything Is Figureoutable, one of my favorite mantras) and have adapted for you:


Here’s the simple activity:


Step 1: Write down your worst fears. Keep writing until you get to the bottom of your fears.


Step 2: Then write, step-by-step, what you’re going to do if those fears actually come true.


Example:


Step 1: Let’s say one of my fears is losing all of my savings and having nothing left. That makes me feel panicked and extremely uncomfortable, even though I realize that the point of having savings is for times like these. What else do I fear? I will also feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit that something happened to make me need this money, whether it's business failure or an emergency, etc.

Step 2: What will I do if this happens?


As soon as I can, I’ll start saving again. I can even save more than usual to build up my savings faster. I’ll start at $100 a month and increase it from there. Even if it takes years, I know I’ll get back to where I was before I lost everything.


Also if I have to, I’ll ask my in-laws for money.


I don’t want to do these things, but I know that I won’t be destitute and homeless.


Now that I see it on paper and have a solution, I have the perspective that it’s not the end of the world. Even if the worst-case scenario happens, I know that I'll be just fine. And knowing that helps me not wake up at 3am worrying about worst-case scenarios.


This exercise works for any stressful situation. You’re worried about losing your job? Your boyfriend breaking up with you? Having to move to take care of your in-laws? Getting Covid?


What’s the worst possible thing that could happen? And what will you do about it? Write it down and get those thoughts out of your mind.


Our fears are never as bad as we hallucinate them to be.


The talk about a possible recession sparked me to share this exercise with you. I know that changes in the economy can cause worry and anxiety.


I think it helps to remember that everything is cyclical. What goes up must come down. This is the normal pattern of life. At age 45, I’ve lived long enough to see the ups and downs of the economy.


Living in Jackson Hole during the last recession in 2008, I didn’t experience any difference in my income so it didn’t affect me much personally. I was waiting tables back then and I didn’t see a change in how people were spending money.


However I was affected because I bought a condo with my boyfriend at the time in 2006 at the height of the bubble. Fortunately, we could still make our mortgage payments and so we didn’t lose the condo. But my boyfriend and I broke up and we had to keep the condo for 10 more years until it got back to its original value. I was stuck in a real estate deal with someone who I didn’t want to be in a relationship with at all. But it could have been worse.


Through this experience, I learned that there will be ups and downs and that I’ll always figure it out. I trust myself to get through any experience, to learn from it and grow stronger and smarter.


Now when I hear the news about the economy, I don’t worry about it. I look at the big picture and stay focused on that. As a business owner, I may have to change some things, but I know that I will always figure it out.


I remind myself of everything I have to be grateful for.


If you’re worried about the economy, ask yourself if the worry is helping in any way. Is it helping you make good decisions and take action to protect yourself? Great! Or is it making you feel anxious and scarce and want to hoard money? That might not be great!


Likely, the worry isn’t helping. Once you see that, you can let it go. You can choose to think something else like “I will figure it out no matter what.”


I hope this helps!


And if you want help with your sleep, I’m here for you. I help with mental stress such as worrying about the economy. And I use lab testing to find what’s physically causing your insomnia. Book a call to find out more.


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