The best reframing exercise for anxiety
Anxiety is annoying as hell when it is outside of its normal spectrum. Take it from someone that had generalized anxiety disorder and agoraphobia for around six years and is now feeling anxiety like a normal person again. I want to share the best reframing exercises for anxiety with you that helped me through my worst times and still helps me with getting out of my comfort zone today.
I gave it the long name of “Best Case, Worst Case, Realistic Case”. Of course, there are variations that exist of this in cognitive behavioral therapy, because that is where I vaguely got the idea from. I often did the “ABC” method I learned in therapy when I was 16. It’s about identifying a fear, writing down why I have it and then writing down how realistic it is or how I can minimize it.
My reframing is slightly different. It has four steps:
- Identify your pain point or fear
- Write down the best outcome possible
- Write down the worst outcome possible
- Write down how it will realistically go & assess how survivable it is
Usually you will end up with a decent realistic case and have way less anxiety about what you’re going to do. You will only need to prepare for the most likely fails and see how reversible and redoable most of it is.
I did this exercise before starting my podcast, because it was a big step out of my comfort zone. I wrote down a wild success story for the best case. Thein I wrote an absolute trash story as the worst case. And finally the realistic-ish outcome was more along the lines of “If I work on this consistently and get out of my comfort zone I will be able to build this up and get fulfillment from it.”
Over half a year into my podcast I can say that it’s fairly easy to run if I take all the pressure off myself. I definitely wish I currently had more emotional capacity to invite people to the podcast and interview them since that is what helps grow the podcast. But I also learned that even if only 5 people listen, I impacted 5 people with my thoughts and research about the topics I cover.
Very rarely do things end badly. Every fail comes with a lesson. Every hour invested is an hour invested into a skill you might need again later. These two realizations are the reason I call it the best reframing exercise for anxiety.
If you wanna learn more about yourself, your fears and your mental chaos, I created 90 journaling prompts for you that will help you get clarity about your life, goals and problems. Get them sent straight to your inbox by joining the newsletter squad below:
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The best reframing exercise for anxiety by Rabea