By Sooraya, BA, The Strategic Recipe Developer
Have you heard the inspiring stories of women who tried Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) / changing their diet completely and got amazing results?
They follow their dietitian’s advice. But most importantly, they follow their heart. They’re unwavering to get their thriving life back. They brim with confidence.
And maybe you tell yourself, “Why can’t I be as sure of myself as everyone who’s changed their diet? Why do I worry so much? Can’t I just ‘woman up’ and combat my inner fears?”
Don’t worry, my friend. Keep scrolling to find out how to become a ‘success reference’ as well.
🔹 Strategy #0:
Ready to learn how to turn your anxiety journal into your most powerful ally?
First check out this anxiety journaling article. It’ll walk you through the exact steps to pirouette with your fears. Once you read it, come back here. I’ll wait for you😉.
Crack the Anxiety Journal Code
Code #1: Bear hug your anxious thoughts
🔹 Case scenario:
👉 Say ‘Hello’ to Mel (real client, name changed):
Shari: “Quick question. Anxious thoughts start crowding your mind – what do you do? Walk me through those steps.”
Mel: “Well, I pretend that I can’t hear them. I try bulldozing them as far away as I can. I even compel myself to think about something else.”
Shari: “Does all this work?”
Mel: “Alas, this doesn’t solve the matter. Seems like it only exacerbates things but I can’t wrap my head around that.”
Shari: “That’s because when you do that, you suppress your stress. And in doing so, it often surfaces later on in grim ways.”
So. What can Mel do? 🤔
🔹 Strategy #1:
According to research, writing down what’s troubling you can help you feel better. For instance, one study showed that students who wrote down their anxiety about an upcoming exam outshined their fellow classmates.
Take the time to acknowledge your inner fears. This will help you conquer any distracting emotions.
Step 1: When you wake up in the morning, resist zooming to your routine. Instead, open up your anxiety journal.
Step 2: Vent all the negativity that’s consuming you in your anxiety journal. Take as much time as you need.
Step 3: After this exercise, take a few more seconds to analyze how you’re feeling.
- Do you feel like a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders?
- Are you feeling more present?
- Do you feel extremely pleased?
- None of the above – you feel more stressed out. Irritated even?
Code #2: Allow your brain to take a break
🔹 Case scenario:
👉 Say ‘Hello’ to Sarah (real client, name changed):
Sarah: “Going to bed is SO frustrating. I lie there for hours but can’t seem to fall asleep. I ruminate about all the things that were supposed to get done that day but weren’t. The to-dos that still need to be crossed out. The number of days left until the submission date of my latest project 🙇♀️.”
Shari: “And how do you feel the next morning when you wake up?”
Sarah: “More often than not, I wake up with a severe migraine. This stresses me even more because I can’t concentrate on anything and feel like I’m wasting A LOT of precious time.”
Shari: “I see.. Do you enjoy your meals on these particular days?”
Sarah: “Nope. It feels like everything I eat weighs a ton in my stomach. And don’t get me started on the intense nausea and acid reflux…”
How can we help Sarah? 🤔
🔹 Strategy #2:
Step 1: Before you hop into bed, quickly jot down all the tasks for the following day.
This is a child’s play, yet a powerful technique to give your brain some rest. Knowing that important things have been dealt with grants it permission to relax.
Step 2: Step 1 didn’t work? It’s time to up your game! Close your eyes. Picture how you’ll spend the next day. Then describe it in words in your anxiety journal.
This can seem like a daunting task but it definitely isn’t. This lets your brain take some time off where it doesn’t have to remember or plan things. It can finally unwind.
Code #3: Subdue your expectations with your anxiety journal
🔹 Case scenario:
Feeling ‘meh’ about planning your day and creating a to-do list?
Why bother with that anyway? You always end up pulling your hair out for not checking all the boxes at the end of the day 😵.
🔹 Strategy #3:
According to Eberhard Fuchs and Gabriele Flügge, we can all reprogram our mind by rewiring our neurons. Thus, positively transforming the way we think and act. In plain English, here’s how to do that:
Step 1: Grab a pen and your anxiety journal. Go somewhere quiet.
Step 2: Create a no-brainer to-do list. An elementary list that you simply can’t fail. Here’s an example:
Tomorrow I’m gonna:
- Do 4 minutes of journaling from ….. to …..
- Make my bed at ….
- Have a healthy breakfast at …..
- Wash my hair at ……
- Drink 2 bottles of water from ….. to …..
Seem insignificant, doesn’t it? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get all of it done.
This easy-breezy technique will help you savor how terrific it feels to accomplish things and be proud of yourself.
The more this becomes rooted into your subconscious, the less crippling your anxiety will be. Plus, your productivity will literally shoot up.
Code #4: Design your own ‘anything and everything corner’
🔹 Case scenario:
That other day when you were trying to focus on what your boss was saying, a gazillion (unrelated) ideas were brewing in your head. And now when you’re trying to summon them, they just won’t come out of their hiding place.
Don’t you feel vexed with yourself?
Sometimes, your anxiety also joins the party. You start panicking. You’ve ran out of ideas.
But don’t sweat. I’ve got another strategy for you 😉.
🔹 Strategy #4:
The following exercise makes it a breeze to solve this kind of scenario.
Step 1: Dedicate half of your anxiety journal to an ‘Anything and Everything Corner.’ Done? Great!
Step 2: Now, any time an idea pops out of thin air, jot it down in that corner. And then forget about it 😉.
Step 3: Set a particular day and time at which you’ll check that corner.
Step 4: Choose what next steps you’ll take.
This corner of yours can include whatever you want, such as:
- Brilliant ideas that can come in handy in the future.
- Motivational quotes.
- Personal lessons you’ve learned.
- Inspirational events.
Code #5: Luxuriate in glee with your anxiety journal
If you read how to befriend your inner critic with gratitude journaling, you already know the countless benefits that practicing gratitude has. When you’re grateful, you unknowingly boost happy hormones in your brain.
🔹 Strategy #5:
Step 1: Once you’re done writing down your thoughts in your anxiety journal, grab your gratitude journal.
Step 2: Note down your every thought, no matter how silly some may sound.
Code #6: Nourish your soul
We all feed our body. But when was the last time we fed our soul?
The best way to do that is with our choice of words. Little do we realize how big of an impact they have not only on the way we process information, but also on how we feel.
🔹 Strategy #6:
Here’s some fun homework for you.
Step 1: Open your anxiety journal.
Step 2: Record exactly how you wish you were feeling. But instead of using the future tense, make use of the present tense. For example:
Instead of saying 👇
I wish I was enough.
Why couldn’t I be less stupid? I’m going to be a failure for the rest of my life …
Aargh, how can someone make SO many mistakes?
Pfff, who am I to think that I can do this?
How about you tell yourself 👇 ?
I’m MORE than enough.
I am smart and I don’t need to be the best in AB-SO-LU-TE-LY everything.
I’m a survivor and I’ve learned SO much from my mistakes.
I can TO-TALLY do this!
🔹 Case scenario:
“And before you ask, YES, I did note down some positive affirmations but… they were a complete flop for me.”
Can’t put your finger on why you failed?
👉 After you wrote a few positive affirmations, did you commit to any of them? A 100% or meehhh kinda committed? To remediate to that, here are some other steps you can follow:
Step 3: Close your eyes.
Step 4: Let these affirmations sink in. Both in your mind and your whole body.
Step 5: Replay them inside your head. As many times as you wish.
Step 6: Don’t see any progress? No biggie. Use a totally different set of words until you stumble upon the right ones.
Code #7: Use your anxiety journal to build a haven of your own
Ever noticed how being in the presence of pessimist people has a toll on how you feel? That’s why it’s vital that you keep company of people who lift you up + make you feel serene.
🔹 Strategy #7:
Step 1: Transform your anxiety journal into your own ‘sanctuary.’ Allocate a ‘Bright and Glitter’ corner in your journal.
Step 2: Fill that space with positivity and happiness. You can pack it with:
- Your dreams and goals.
- Your achievements.
- All the times you lent a helping hand to people in distress.
- Inspirational and motivational quotes.
- Uplifting wordings.
Step 3: Now, anytime anxiety kicks in, revisit your happy place.
Keep in mind that you may be facing certain problems that can’t be fixed by reading an article and using an anxiety journal. Don’t push aside help if you feel that you need it. That being said, this easy-peasy journaling practice is an amazing tool. Use it to take back control of your life and tie your anxiety to a pole for good 😎.
👉 Implemented all the strategies in this article? Head over to part 3 of this series 😉.
It’s easy to think about everything that could go wrong if we do take action or try something new – we’re wired that way. (Wondering what I’m talking about? Take this 👇 FREE course to find out.)
 Writing about Testing Worries Boosts Exam Performance in the Classroom. Gerardo Ramirez, Sian L. Beilock. Science 14 Jan 2011: Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 211-213.
 Adult Neuroplasticity: More Than 40 Years of Research. Eberhard Fuchs and Gabriele Flügge (2014). Neural Plasticity. German Primate Center, Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany. Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.