Bad news comes out of nowhere and can be tough to deal with. You might feel like you’re in a bad dream or that the world is against you. But it’s important to remember that bad news is a part of life and that we can’t control everything.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of journal prompts to help you process bad news. These questions will help you understand the bad news, accept it, and move forward with it.
1. What Does This Bad News Mean For My Reality?
It’s important to face the bad news and what it means for you head-on.
What has changed now that this bad news has happened?
What challenges do you think you will face because of it?
2. What Are My Immediate Reactions To The Bad News?
Give yourself some time to process your initial reaction to the bad news.
Were you in shock? Anger? Sadness? Denial?
All of these are perfectly normal reactions.
3. What Are The People Close To Me Saying About The Bad News?
Talk to the people who are closest to you about the bad news. See how they are reacting and what they have to say about it. This can help you process your own feelings and get different perspectives on the situation.
4. What Is The Worst Thing That Could Happen As A Result Of This Bad News?
It’s natural to think about the worst-case scenario when bad news strikes. Face these scenarios head-on so you have an understanding of what could happen and, more importantly, what you don’t want to happen.
But it’s important to remember that this is usually not what actually happens. And even if the worst does happen, you will be able to handle it.
5. What Control Do I Have In This Situation?
It’s important to take control of the things we can.
Bad news can make us feel like we’re powerless and that everything is out of our control. But we always have some measure of control, no matter how small. And that’s what we need to focus on.
6. What Control Do I Not Have In This Situation?
We can’t control everything. Sometimes we have to let things be as they are and accept that we can’t change them.
By writing about what control you don’t have, you can get honest with yourself and let go of any resistance of wanting to be able to change or manipulate things you have no control over.
7. What Are The Facts Of This Situation?
Bad news can often be blown out of proportion. It’s important to step back and look at the facts of the situation.
What really happened?
How bad is it, really?
8. What Are My Emotions In This Situation?
Allow yourself to feel your emotions. They are valid and they are real. But don’t let them take over. Use them as a guide to help you make decisions, but don’t let them dictate your actions.
9. What Do I Need In This Situation?
We all have different needs. Some of us need time alone to process, while others need to talk things out. Some of us need a hug, while others need space.
Identify what you need in this situation and make sure you get it.
10. How Can I Take Care Of Myself Now That I Have This Bad News?
It’s important to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
And don’t forget to give yourself some grace. This is a tough time and you need to be kind to yourself.
11. What Do I Need To Face Head-On?
There might be some things you need to face head-on as a result of the bad news. Maybe you need to have a tough conversation with someone or make a difficult decision.
Whatever it is, facing it head-on will help you move forward.
12. What Do I Need To Let Go Of?
There might be some things you need to let go of as a result of the bad news. Maybe it’s a project at work that is no longer relevant or a relationship that isn’t healthy.
Identify what you need to let go of and make the decision to do so.
13. What New Opportunities Have Opened Up As A Result Of This Bad News?
Unexpected news can often lead to new opportunities. What opportunities do you see as a result of this bad news?
14. How Can I Turn This Bad News Into Good News?
It’s important to find the silver lining in every situation. Bad news can be a catalyst for good if you allow it to be.
15. What Are The Lessons I Can Learn From This News?
There is always a lesson to be learned, even from the bad news. What can you learn from this situation that will help you in the future?
16. How Can I Help Someone Else Who Is Going Through Similar Bad News?
Bad news can often make us feel isolated. But we need to remember that we are not alone. There are others who are going through similar situations. Helping them out is a great way to help yourself get through the situation too.
How can you help someone else who is going through bad news?
17. What Do I Need To Do To Move Forward?
There might be some things you need to do to move forward from the bad news. Maybe you need to apologize to someone or make a change in your life.
Identify what you need to do and take action.
18. What Or Who Do I Need To Forgive?
Forgiveness is a necessary part of moving on from bad news. Maybe you need to forgive yourself or someone else. Maybe you need to forgive a series of events.
19. What Do I Need To Be Grateful For?
Bad news can often make us focus on everything that is wrong. But it’s important to find things to be grateful for, even in the bad times. Gratitude will improve every aspect of you and your life as you deal with the news.
20. How Can I Make This News Work For Me?
Bad news doesn’t have to be all bad. There is always something we can learn from it. How can you make this bad news work for you?
21. What Do I Need To Do To Heal From This Bad News?
There might be some things you need to do to heal from the bad news. Maybe you need to see a therapist or take some time off.
Identify what you need to do and make the decision to do it.
22. What Can I Do To Keep My Thoughts As Positive As Possible?
Bad news can often lead to negative thinking. But we need to make a conscious effort to keep our thoughts as positive as possible.
23. What Do I Need To Remember In This Situation?
bad news can often make us forget what is important. Make sure you take the time to remember what is important to you and what you are fighting for.
24. How Can I Simplify My Life Right Now?
News that isn’t good can cause us to feel overwhelmed. We need to simplify our lives and focus on what is most important.
How can you simplify your live and focus on what’s most important?
25. What Steps Do I Need To Take To Move On?
Bad news can often make us feel stuck. But we need to remember that we can always move forward.
Identify the steps you need to take to move on and take action.
26. What Character Traits Do I Need To Develop Right Now?
Character traits like resilience, optimism, and hope can be helpful in moving on from bad news.
If you are not sure what traits to develop, check out the VIA Institute On Character and find out what your strengths are and where you could develop.
27. Who Do I Need To Reach Out To For Support?
After receiving bad news, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, confused, and alone. A support system can provide much-needed comfort and guidance during this difficult time.
Friends and family members can offer a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. They can also help with practical tasks, such as running errands or taking care of childcare. Professional counselors can also be a valuable part of a support system. They can provide unbiased advice and help people work through their emotions in a healthy way.
28. What Can I Do To Nourish My Body And Soul Right Now?
Bad news can often lead to neglecting our own needs. We need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally.
29. What Can I Do To distract Myself From The Bad News?
Bad news can be all-consuming. But we need to take a break from it sometimes and focus on other things.
30. How Can I Make This bad News A Part Of My Story?
This is a part of your life. Embrace it and make it a part of your story. You can either use your story to help other people or you can use your story to become stronger.