To help you identify your patterns of worry and what activities or thoughts they are most associated with, you need to answer the following questions. Take your time to answer these questions and rally think about your answers. Write down anything that immediately pops into your mind as soon as you read the question. These are the answers that lie on the surface of your mind but I don’t want you to stop there.
Continue to sift through the conditions of your life as you answer the questions. This isn’t a time to try to smooth over or sugarcoat your answers. You need to understand how deeply these patterns of worry and anxiety are present in your life so you can begin a systematic way to overcome them.
For right now, your job is to be alert to that little pile of sawdust in the corner of your mind and determine what sort of activity is going on underneath. It’s time to get a little exposure into those dark corners.
- Think back over what your school-age childhood was like. What did you worry about?
- How did those worries make you feel?
- When you were a child, before you became a teenager, did your parents worry about things? What did they worry about?
- How did your parents’ response to worrying about things affect you?
- Do you remember worrying about the things your parents worried about? If so, why?
- As a teenager or young adult, what did you worry about? How did you cope with those things that worried you? Did your coping mechanisms help you control your worries? Why or why not?
- Today, what situations cause you the most stress? Why?
- When you feel stressed, what sort of things do you do to try to relieve the stress?
- Look back at the answers you wrote for question 8; evaluate whether or not those are really effective or good for you. Mark the ones that are positive and beneficial with an up-pointing arrow. Mark the ones that are negative and harmful with a down-pointing arrow. Now that you’ve had another chance to think about question 8, are there any more you’d like to add? If so, mark them with the appropriate arrows also.
- If you read or hear about something bad happening, like an accident or a new caution about disease, do you worry it could happen to you? How long do you think about it?
- If you asked five of your family members, friends, or acquaintances, would they categorize you as a positive or a negative person? Why do you think that is?
- When presented with a new situation or opportunity, what is your first reaction? Are you ready to jump right in, or do you evaluate it to see what the potential downsides are? Why do you think you choose that way to react?
- Name three things you fear happening to you.
- Of the three things you listed above, place a percentage amount of how likely you think each is to happen to you immediately, within five years, within ten years, within your lifetime.
If you or someone you know suffers from mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or PTSD, it is beneficial to understand the causes of these conditions. Contact The Center • A Place of HOPE today at 1-888-771-5166 and begin the healing process.