Doing This One Thing Before Going To Sleep Can ‘Trick’ Your Brain Into Letting Go Of Anxiety
By Deauna Nunes — Written on Aug 13, 2022
Photo: Anatoliy Karlyuk / Shutterstock
Many people suffer from anxiety and find it difficult to fall asleep as a result. While there are medications you can take to reduce symptoms, TikTokers swear by another method of relief.
Known as the worry box, this technique is supposedly a great way to help calm anxiety to sleep better at night. And it only takes a few minutes to do.
As this easy technique is taking over TikTok, let’s explain exactly what a worry box is and how it works.
What is a worry box?
The worry box is a technique used to help our brains compartmentalize our worries or anxieties.
It’s a cognitive therapy exercise that can help your brain understand that you have let go of the “worry” because you have handled it. This will allow you to sleep peacefully.
According to TikToker Jay Julian, “If you are struggling with anxiety, tossing and turning at night, and miserable, try the worry box.”
The idea is that you have a box stored somewhere in your home that isn’t in the same location where you sleep. At the end of the day, you write down your worries and what you are going to do about them, then put them in the box and close it.
Then, poof — your brain believes there is nothing to worry about anymore, leaving you with a restful mind and allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.
As Julian explains, “Your brain goes ‘Oh, we’ve dealt with that. We’ve acknowledged that worry, we have a plan to do something about that worry, and now we can go to sleep.”
Here’s how to make a worry box
This technique is super-duper easy to practice, and only takes a few minutes of time.
1. Collect your materials.
For this method to work, you are going to need a box. This can be a pretty box you went out and bought, or a cardboard box you made. Either way, it should be big enough to put your written-down worries into.
You also need something to write your worries on. According to Julian, this can include a piece of paper or even a journal.
And, of course, you’ll need a writing utensil, like a pen, pencil, colored highlighter, crayons — really, you can use whatever floats your boat.
2. Write down your worry and what you are going to do about it.
If you are stressed out or “freaking out,” as Julian puts it, you should go to your worry box and write down whatever it is that you are worried about.
Do you have an upcoming test? Are you nervous about getting your dream job? Are you experiencing issues in your relationship and are unsure what to do? All of these scenarios, as well as plenty of others, are good reasons to use a worry box.
Then, write down what you are going to do about this worry, and that you already have the situation handled. This is a call to the universe for support.
3. Put your worries in the box and go to bed.
After you write down your worry, put the paper into the worry box. Then, head right to the bedroom and go sleep.
TikToker Nora Virginia adds in her own worry box video that after you close the box, your worry is now “no longer” yours.
Deauna Nunes is an associate editor for YourTango who covers pop culture, lifestyle, astrology, and relationship topics. She’s had bylines in Emerson College’s literary magazine, Generic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more.