We all like to replay stories in our heads. Think of a favourite story you often tell yourself when thinking of the future. What does your life look like? Which good events have occured in the story? What are the supporting characters telling you there? How are you feeling in the story?
Now keep playing the story in your head for a little longer. Say, for another ten minutes. How many negative events have you anticipated already in this beautiful story? If possible, keep a count; three negative events..perhaps ten negative ones. Your head might get occupied with thoughts like “What-if that doesn’t happen?” “It’d be terrible if I never pass that test.” “My future seems to be dark!” It’s like the story turns negative.
I’ve realized that our thoughts are not always true. And even if true, they’re far lower than being 100% accurate. Then why not stick to the facts, instead of dwelling into the anxious thoughts? By doing so, you could turn the story around and fuel yourself to cope with the situation.
How To Use This Worksheet?
Fact-check your anxiety by isolating negative thoughts. Write these thoughts down in the first column. Now, you don’t have to ‘question,’ ‘replace,’ or ‘disaprove’ your thoughts. Rather, ‘find those facts’ that tell a different story.
For instance, if you think that you’re going to fail a test, and if you’re struggling to come up with facts that disaprove your thought—then look for facts that tell you might pass the test. “I have worked all day to practice the expected questions.” “I have also spoken to experts about the test.”
Similarly, if you think you might never be able to meet your finances, then look for facts that tell you a different story. “Well, I’ve just started working. It’s only been 3 months.” “I don’t spend money on unnecessary dinners or outings unless it’s planned.”
In the second column, explore and write down all possible facts that tell a different story than what your original negative thought does. Come back to the list again later on, and check off those that worked.
Essential Worksheets To Download
- I Feel Anxious: 15+ Questions to Deal with Anxiety
- 28 Things You Can Vs Can’t Control to Stop Worrying
- How to Practice Worry Time to Get Rid of Anxiety?
- How to Stop Negative Thoughts (+Printable Journal Templates)
- How to Journal to Slow Down Negative Thoughts
Self Care & Journaling
Sally George is a Psychologist & the Editor of Gentle Meanings. She shares thought-provoking tools, asks insightful questions, and encourages her readers to be gentle with themselves.