Exploring what stress looks like and what it can do to you

Many medical professionals refer to stress as the “silent killer” because it can have serious and unexpected effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health if left untreated. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey in 2022, “76% of adults said they have experienced health impacts due to stress in the prior month, including headache (38%), fatigue (35%), feeling nervous or anxious (34%), and/or feeling depressed or sad (33%).” 

Below, we’ll explore the psychological and physical effects of stress and ways to mitigate stress before it becomes unmanageable. 

What is stress?

Stress involves a set of psychological and physical reactions you feel due to tense or adverse experiences. When you experience stress, your body produces and releases stress hormones, which act as neurotransmitters, conveying the message to various body systems that you are in danger. Stress hormones travel through the nervous system, inducing physical reactions such as increasing your heart rate to make running easier, pumping more blood (and oxygen) to your muscles, or triggering your fight-or-fight evolutionary response.

According to the World Health Organization, stress “affects both the mind and the body. A little bit of stress is good and can help us perform daily activities. Too much stress can cause physical and mental health problems. Learning how to cope with stress can help us feel less overwhelmed and support our mental and physical well-being.” 

Types of stress

Acute: Short-term stress reactions in response to stressors. This is the most common type of stress. 

Chronic: Persistent stress that results from long-term situations such as challenging work environments or relationship troubles. Chronic stress can feel inescapable.

Episodic Acute: Habitual reactions to stressors, which may then lead to further stress. Episodic acute stress can feel like a way of life. 

Eustress: Positive, motivating stressors that can help you push through to complete something. Eustress may feel energizing or even fun in some situations, such as the rush of energy when spotting the finish line of a race. 

How stress can affect your life

Stress can present differently for everyone, but mental health professionals have identified several common symptoms seen in many people feeling stressed. 

Common Stress Symptoms

Physical symptoms may include headaches, chest pain, muscle tension, persistent fatigue, shifts in sex drive, changes in sleep habits, and stomachaches.

Emotional symptoms may include restlessness, lack of motivation, feelings of being overwhelmed, sadness or depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing, and irritability.

Behavioral symptoms can include over- or under-eating, substance or alcohol use, out-of-character outbursts, decreased physical activity, and social withdrawal.

What causes stress?

Many things can cause stress. Your body may be physically stressed by illness or disease that inhibits proper function; emotional stress can influence your thoughts, actions, and feelings; and psychological stress can trigger your fight-or-flight response. You may feel stressed about pressure at work, arguments with your children, financial difficulties, relationship problems, or any situations that put strain or pressure on you. 

Why do some people process stress differently?

Some people process stress differently than others. While researchers have some ideas about why some have trouble coping with stress, many medical professionals believe it’s due to variations in temperament and personality, genetic characteristics, environmental factors, and natural stress tolerances. 

Stress-related disorders

Anxiety disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Acute stress disorder (ASD)

Adjustment disorders

Unclassified or unspecified trauma disorders

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)

Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED)

Dissociative disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorders

What untreated or chronic stress can do to your body

When you’re stressed, your body tends to experience heightened levels of stress hormones. When that stress is chronic or untreated, it can put  extra wear and tear on your body, possibly making you age faster  than you would have otherwise and harming your overall health and well-being. 

Nervous system

Untreated stress for long periods can affect your brain and nervous system in various ways. From “rewiring” your cognitive processes and changing how your body processes certain neurochemicals and emotions, stress can frequently lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions. 

Cardiovascular system

Many people living with chronic stress experience higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, and elevated cholesterol, which can all be risk factors for serious cardiovascular issues like stroke and heart disease. 

Digestive system

Long-term stress often leads to problems with the digestive system, such as frequent stomachaches and diarrhea.

Immune system

When you have elevated stress hormones in your body for an extended time, your immune system can be damaged. A weaker immune system means your body may have more trouble fighting off infections, and you may get sick more easily.

Appetite and weight changes

Many people with untreated stress experience drastic shifts in their eating habits, either overeating or undereating, which can lead to weight gain or loss.

What can you do? Exploring healthy ways to cope with stress

You have multiple options for finding healthy ways to manage your stress symptoms and minimize how much they influence your mood and behaviors.


Talk therapy can be a valuable tool for addressing your reactions to stress.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)  is a therapeutic approach that tends to focus on the connection between the way you think and how you feel. CBT aims to help people identify unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors so that they can shift them toward healthier habits and make positive lifestyle changes. 

Anti-anxiety medications can help you manage your stress symptoms so they don’t interfere with your ability to function. However, medicine only treats the symptoms and not the underlying cause. 

Self-care involves finding ways to care for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When your mind and body are healthy, it can be easier to maintain emotional balance. For many people, working with a licensed therapist can be a valuable part of a robust self-care plan. 

Lifestyle changes

If you're trying to find healthy ways to make meaningful lifestyle changes to promote symptom management, you might consider working daily stress relief strategies into your routine. For example, when you start feeling stressed, consider taking a walk outside or getting some physical activity to help your body release endorphins . The following are some other strategies for reducing stress:

Evidence-backed strategies to cope with stress

Educate yourself about stress and how it can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet and pay attention to your body’s needs. 

Avoid using maladaptive coping skills and unhealthy methods to manage stress. 

Practice a mindful lifestyle with yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to help you find emotional balance. 

Make time to do things that make you laugh or feel joy. 

Maintain healthy sleep hygiene. 

Keep a daily journal to track your stressful events, triggers, and practical coping skills. 

Stress can alter your perception of a situation. If you’re feeling especially stressed, you might challenge those thoughts and try to evaluate the circumstances objectively. 

Maintain connections with your social circle. 

Spend time with your pets, which can release the neurochemical oxytocin into your bloodstream. 

When to reach out for help

Stress symptoms may be problematic if they cause significant distress, interfere with your ability to function in one or more areas of your life, and persist for at least two weeks. If that describes your situation, consider reaching out for professional help.

How therapy can help manage stress symptoms

If your stress symptoms are interfering with your ability to function in daily life and causing you distress, consider working with a licensed therapist online through a virtual therapy platform such as BetterHelp. A licensed therapist may be able to teach healthy coping skills to manage your stress, identify and address harmful behavior or thought patterns, and help you make meaningful lifestyle changes to minimize the impact of stress symptoms. 

Many therapists treating stress use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to examine the connection between how you think and feel. Studies show that , often with shorter wait times and lower costs. Many people have said that discussing personal details with the therapist was easier due to the physical separation involved with online therapy.

What are 12 ways to deal with stress?

Everyone is different and will respond to these tips differently, but here are 12 ways to deal with stress :

  • Take a break from the news. Constant information about the negative things happening in the world can worsen stress.
  • Take some time away from social media. Research shows that social media use can increase stress .
  • Eat a well-balanced diet of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and limit your intake of salt, saturated fats, and added sugars. 
  • Prioritize sleep. Establish a good sleep routine and aim for seven or more hours a night. 
  • Move more. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, start small with a daily walk. Slowly build over time, aiming for a total of 2.5 hours a week. 
  • Limit your alcohol intake. 
  • Avoid illegal substances and only use prescription drugs in the ways they are prescribed.
  • Avoid vaping, smoking, or using other tobacco products. 
  • Ensure you visit your doctor for regular health checkups, screenings, tests, and vaccinations.
  • Carve out time in your schedule to relax and connect with friends and family.
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation, so you have a tool you can use in the moment when stress starts to creep up.
  • Talk to a licensed mental health professional if you need more support to learn other stress management strategies.

How can I relieve stress fast?

If you need to relieve stress fast , try some of the following techniques:

  • Do something active. Get up and take a walk, dance, jog around the block, or go for a bike ride.
  • Close your eyes and practice deep breathing or meditation. 
  • Write down a few things you’re grateful for.
  • Listen to an inspiring song or read an inspiring quote.
  • Think about something funny to make yourself laugh.

What are the exercises for stress management?

Physical activity reduces stress , so anything that gets you moving can help. Running, swimming, weight lifting, or walking can help, but you can think outside the box to find an activity you really enjoy. Try dancing in your living room, weeding your garden, or playing outside with your dog.

What are the 6 main stressors?

What you find stressful may differ from what someone else does, but there are some experiences that many people go through that might cause significant stress. These may include getting a divorce or separation, moving, the death of a loved one, having a baby, losing your job, and dealing with a long-term illness. 

What are five negative ways to deal with stress?

Unhealthy responses to stress include using drugs or alcohol, withdrawing from friends and family, overeating or undereating, sleeping too much, and smoking. If you use these methods to help yourself deal with stress, talking to a mental health professional can help you find better coping skills and provide you with non-judgemental support.

What is a stress diary?

A stress diary is a record of anxious or stressful moments that you can go back to later to determine what is causing or contributing to those moments.

What is a stress lesson plan?

A stress lesson plan is a tool teachers can use to teach classes about stress. They can include everything from information about the effects of stress on the body to stress worksheets and stress management techniques.

How can we avoid stress?

If you can identify your triggers, you may be able to avoid some of the things that bring you stress on a day-to-day basis. For example, if you know traffic is especially bad on that one route to work, you can take another way or take public transportation and listen to your favorite audiobook, music, or podcast on your way. But avoiding all stress is impossible. If you need help learning how to cope with the stress you can’t avoid, reach out to a mental health professional for support.

What is stressful in life?

Everyone’s stressors are different. There are acute stressors that we face every day, like running late to a meeting or realizing you missed an important phone call. There are chronic stressors that come from long-term situations, like a challenging relationship or intense work environment. 

Apathy: Potential causes and treatments

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Develop Good Habits

17 Printable Stress Management Worksheets & Templates

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Looking for the right tool to help manage stress? Stress management worksheets work very well for this purpose.

In today’s article, we’re sharing a collection of printable worksheets you can download, print out, and use to help manage and lower your stress and anxiety levels.

Table of Contents

Stress Can Be a Good Thing

In small amounts, stress can be a good thing. It gives us motivation and helps us to get things done.

Unfortunately, we live in an age where chronic stress has become a problem. Many of us have to deal with daily challenges in the workplace, making ends meet, and looking after our family’s and our own welfare.

Our fight-or-flight response is triggered to cope with what the body perceives as threats. When this happens constantly, we develop physical ailments such as respiratory problems, digestive issues, and heart disease that can lead to stroke.

Knowing how to manage stress is important not just for our health, but also for the overall quality of our life.

Some Techniques for Lowering Stress Naturally

Chronic stress is not caused by a single factor, and for many people it gets to the point where they need to take medication to keep it at bay.

Here are some suggestions on how to reduce stress naturally .

  • Get enough sleep. The habit of going to bed after midnight has negative effects on your health. Find healthy ways to fall asleep earlier and you will likely see a decrease in your stress levels.
  • Learn to let go. Holding on to negative feelings can put you constantly on edge. Develop the habit of letting go and moving on from the past to reduce your stress response.
  • Eat whole foods. Research show that there is a correlation between the consumption of ultra-processed food and elevated stress levels . If you’re constantly stressed out, consider eating foods that are close to their natural state (e.g., fresh meat instead of hotdogs or deli meat and fresh fruits instead of canned).
  • Develop an exercise routine. Moderate exercise is beneficial for lowering stress levels. You might want to consider signing up for yoga, going for a swim, or taking a walk to improve your mood and keep stress and anxiety at bay.
  • Use a worksheet. Worksheets are a wonderful tool for learning how to control your stress response. They are easily accessible through different resources. The key is finding reliable resources that are designed or created by experts in stress management.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best worksheets that can be printed out and used instantly. Continue reading to check them out and see what works best for you.

1. Stress Management Tool

free stress management worksheets | stress worksheets for adults pdf | stress management worksheet answers

via Solutions For Living

If you’re looking for a worksheet that helps you manage stress quickly, here’s one from Solutions for Living that you might want to try.

This free, printable worksheet has sufficient space for writing down crucial information you need for stress management.

Use this worksheet to identify the following:

  • Your stressors
  • Your reactions
  • The solutions that help you cope

2. Taking Control of Your Emotions

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via Professional Counseling

Perhaps you’re currently experiencing a personal crisis and need something to help you cope with the stressful situation. This workbook created by Elly Prior is a great option.

In a gentle, informative way, the worksheet walks you through the emotional rollercoaster you may be going through right now and helps you find solid footing through actionable ideas that keep you from being overwhelmed.

3. Yoga Art Therapy for Stress Management

stress management worksheets for adults | stress worksheets for students pdf | stress worksheets for adults pdf

via Creative Counseling 101

This worksheet gives you the chance to work off steam and lower your stress levels. It has a fun theme of incorporating art and movement to alleviate anxious thoughts and emotions.

Yoga poses are printed on the first column of the worksheet. The second column encourages users to copy the picture and draw the pose.

Finally, the third column asks users to copy the picture by actually doing the yoga pose.

The activity works in two ways.

First, drawing the poses encourages mindfulness and moves your attention away from what’s causing your stress. Second, doing the yoga poses incorporates moderate exercise that helps lower stress levels in a natural way.

4. Stress Management Workbook

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via SafeSpot

SafePost provides a series of Wellbeing Workbooks to help users learn more and cope with the stress they’re experiencing. There are four workbooks in this series, and the example above is workbook number one.

This printable workbook features 45 pages of helpful information for understanding stress, as well as activities and writing prompts that promote stress management.

5. Stress Diary

stress management worksheets for college students | stress management worksheets by inner health studio | stress management worksheets free

via Personal Development Insights

The habit of keeping a journal is a cathartic practice that provides a safe place where you can write down thoughts about what’s stressing you out.

This free, printable worksheet provides gentle encouragement and useful tips for alleviating stress and maintaining a stress diary where you record emotions, experiences, thoughts, and situations that give you stress or feelings of discomfort.

6. Stress Management Journal Worksheet

stress management worksheets pdf | stress management worksheets for students | stress management worksheets for adults pdf

via TherapyAids on Etsy

This worksheet helps you regain control of your life and minimize your stress.

It can be used for your daily or weekly reflections, as well as stress management. The worksheet is helpful for identifying the things causing your stress, depression, or anxiety.

Some of the writing prompts in this worksheet help determine:

  • What you need to do
  • What you don’t need to do
  • What you can’t control
  • What is not your responsibility

It also features several mantras to remind you to stay grounded and let go of whatever is causing you stress.

7. Manage Stress Workbook

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via US Department of Veterans Affairs

This workbook was designed for veterans as a guide for identifying and tracking stress, as well as for utilizing a variety of techniques and strategies for coping.

The workbook has 20 pages that provide valuable tools for stress management, such as:

  • Key techniques for managing stress
  • Stress management tracker
  • Stress symptoms checklist
  • Identifying your stressors worksheet
  • Practicing mindfulness worksheet

8. Stress Journal

stress management worksheets for middle school | stress management worksheets for highschool students | stress management worksheets for groups

via ONTSpecialNeeds on Twitter

This Stress Journal emphasizes the importance of learning to recognize what causes stress before determining the coping strategies to be used.

To track the main stressors in one’s life, the user records the date, time, and details of the stressful situation(s) they encountered during the week.

The user also rates their stress level during that moment (high, medium, or low).

Finally, the user records their reaction to the stressful event.

When users keep track of stressors and their stress levels, much can be revealed about the nature of their stress. With this knowledge, they can then begin addressing it.

9. Introduction to Stress Management

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via Therapist Aid

This is a three-page worksheet featuring questions and prompts to explore more deeply the user’s understanding of stress, as well as identify situations in their life that are a source of stress for them.

The worksheet asks users to identify the major physical symptoms that manifest as their response to stress.

This technique promotes self-awareness and mindfulness and can hopefully be a way to resolve a person’s extreme response to stress.

10. Anxiety Buster Printable Worksheet

This worksheet provides space for helping lessen the overwhelming feeling people often get when dealing with stress.

The guide questions allow you to identify the top four things that you worry about and help you reflect on ways you can deal with them. This enables you to regain your sense of control rather than feeling helpless in the face of anxiety or stress.

The worksheet also has a section that helps shift your focus from worry to gratitude. There are spaces for listing down the things you’re grateful for, as well as the things you are praying for.

At the bottom of the page are several suggestions (with boxes you can tick if you’ve done them) you can try to fight off fear, such as prayer, going outdoors, taking a break from screens, and eating healthy food.

Clicking on the image of the worksheet on the website itself takes you to a .jpg version that you can download to your computer for easy printing.

11. Daily Self-Reflection Worksheet

This worksheet is part of a set of coping tools created to help you understand stress, anxiety, and other mental health struggles you may be going through.

The main purpose of the worksheet is to help you track your mental health needs. This lets you explore new ideas that you may uncover by reflecting on the events of the day.

The guide questions and prompts help you plan goals, identify what your strengths are, establish better coping skills, and celebrate the wins for the day.

To access this and other worksheets in this set, you need to scroll down toward the bottom of the page on the original website. You can then choose the file you want by clicking on its download link, which takes you to a PDF version of the file.

12. The Worry Workbook

This workbook is designed to help teens understand and manage stress. It serves as a journal, tracker, and brain dump .

By using this workbook, you’ll be on your way to becoming more resilient—capable of recognizing negative thoughts and shifting them to positive ones.

Some of the features you’ll find in this free printable include:

  • Journaling pages
  • Reflection pages with guide questions and writing prompts
  • Trackers for worry triggers and helpful activities that stop stress
  • Thoughts pages (works like a brain dump)
  • Avoidance behavior worksheet

You can download the workbook by scrolling to the bottom of the page in the original post. Select the paper size you want for your downloaded file by clicking on the appropriate link, which will redirect you to a PDF version of the workbook.

13. Quick Guide to Calm

This worksheet combines several strategies to give you a process for regaining control of your emotions when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.

With the guide questions in this worksheet, you’ll reflect on what’s stressing you out. You will then be guided to find ways to regain control of the situation. In addition to this, you may also write down situations that you recognize you have no control over.

The worksheet has space for you to draw up an action plan for regaining control, as well as a timeline/deadline for your action plan.

Subscribing to the site’s newsletter is required to access this worksheet. A download link is sent to your email address after you’ve signed up.

14. Stress Exploration Worksheet

Stress manifests in different ways for different people. Sometimes, we don’t recognize that we’re already under stress.

While a small amount of stress can be helpful for accomplishing something, being under too much stress can be overwhelming.

This worksheet helps determine the activities and situations in your daily life that trigger stress in you. It also lets you identify the things you do each day that can lessen or prevent stress.

A free version of this worksheet is available on the Therapist Aid site. Simply click the “Download Free Worksheet” button you’ll find in the middle of the page, and you’ll be redirected to a PDF version of this worksheet that you can download and print from your computer.

15. A Not-to-Do List

Many people define their worth by how productive they are. They use long to-do lists and are dead set on crossing off every item from their list.

Perhaps you’re a person who gets anxious when there’s only a handful of tasks on your to-do list.

This template encourages you to stop overcommitting your time and resources and simply step back and create space for yourself where you’re not drained, feeling obligated, distracted, and stressed.

The template has boxes for you fill with tasks that you refuse to do for the reasons specified in each box header.

To print this template, search for the phrase “ this free Not To Do List printable ” in the original post. This is the download link that you need to click on to be redirected to the printable PDF version of the template.

16. Categorize and Prioritize

There are likely times when you get stressed by all the thoughts swirling around in your mind. To ease the overwhelm, you can grab a piece of paper and a pen and start writing down all the thoughts and ideas in your head.

This technique is called brain dumping. You can use this template to list down everything that you’ve been thinking about, assign it to a category, and determine its level of priority if it’s a task you need to take care of.

If you need more brain dump templates, check out this collection for catching your best ideas .

To access the worksheet, scroll down to the bottom of the page in the original post. You can select the paper size (A4 or letter) for the printable PDF version of the file by clicking on the appropriate link.

17. Putting Everything on the Table

Making decisions can be stressful for many people. This worksheet helps keep stress at bay by letting you list down every idea that comes to mind during a brainstorming session.

It’s like a brain dump worksheet, but you write down your ideas for a specific topic.

To access the file, click on the “Printable PDF” button you’ll find at the top of the page in the original post. You’ll be redirected to a downloadable version of the file that you can save in your computer.

Final Thoughts on Stress Management Worksheets

There you have it—printable stress management worksheets to help improve your response to stressful situations.

Bear in mind that most stressful situations are beyond our control. The best thing you can do is to be aware of how you react to situations like this and, when necessary, change your reaction so as to protect your health and overall quality of life.

The following resources are worth checking out to learn more about stress management and improving your quality of life:

  • Dealing with Stress: 19 Proven Ways to Relieve Your Stress
  • How Does Visualization Promote Relaxation and Stress Reduction?
  • 9 Eustress Examples of Good Stress in Your Life
  • Eustress vs. Distress (How to Benefit from the Different Kinds of Stress)
  • 5 TED Talks on Stress Management: Kelly McGonigal & Others
  • 9 Benefits of Journaling on Your Health and Mental Well-Being

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Happier Human

19 Printable Anxiety Worksheets for Kids, Teens & Adults

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Do you feel anxious a lot of the time?

Is it the “normal anxious” that we all feel at some point, or is it the “weirdly anxious” that seems to get out of hand?

It is perfectly normal for people to worry. We can’t help it. There are many uncertainties in life and it’s only natural to stress.

But how do you know if your anxiety is out of control? What do you do when it becomes overwhelming or starts to affect your daily routine?

You can’t say for sure that you have an anxiety disorder unless you see an expert, but as a start, you can always look for ways to determine what triggers your fears. For instance, you can try answering anxiety journal prompts or anxiety worksheets.

In this post, we have gathered 19 printable anxiety worksheets that are suitable for kids, teens, and adults . You can answer them for simple stress relief or use them to determine whether it is time to see a professional.

Let’s check them out!

Table of Contents

1. Anxiety Breakdown

Our first entry is designed for kids who may be feeling anxious and need a way to put their thoughts into words. It has easy-to-understand questions and it looks engaging enough to keep children’s interest. Even adults might find it enjoyable to answer.

You can use this worksheet to help your children break down the things that trigger their worries. It can also help them realize how these fears affect their minds and bodies. But most importantly, it can help them find ways to cope with these strong emotions. 

2. I Can Cope With Feeling Anxious

Here we have another sheet for kids. It is similar to the previous one, but it provides options at the bottom regarding ways to cope with anxiety. Some children may not know how to deal with their fears, but the list in this worksheet can help them get started.

Anxiety doesn’t discriminate by age. It can attack anytime and anywhere, regardless of who you are. We suggest raising this topic to your children as soon as possible to help them learn early that there is a way to ease those feelings of fear and anxiety.

3. Anxiety Respond-er

Say hello to our new superhero, the Anxiety Responder. Ask yourself: “If there was a person who could respond perfectly whenever you were feeling anxious, what would they say or do to help you calm down?” Jot down your answers in the space provided on the page.

This is an excellent worksheet for kids to practice positive self-affirmations. In addition to relieving their anxieties, you should teach them to appreciate themselves as often as possible. Build their self-esteem so they can avoid dealing with stress and anxiety.

4. Is My Anxiety A Problem?

Feeling anxious is normal. It is inevitable to feel worried about uncertainties. But those feelings become a problem when they begin to control your life.

This worksheet can help you answer questions about anxiety. It is made specifically for children, but we think it also suits teens and adults. If you are wondering whether or not your anxiety is becoming a problem, try answering this worksheet.

5. Anxiety Triggers by Mylemarks

Do you know what triggers your anxieties? There are a lot of factors that may affect your emotions. One of the best ways to deal with them is knowing your triggers.

This worksheet was made specifically for teens, but it is also appropriate for adults and kids. It is easy to answer, since it is just a checklist. You have to give each trigger a grade from 1 to 10, and the statements you rate from 6 to 10 are likely your most potent triggers.

6. Do You Cope in Destructive Ways?

4 Destructive Ways Teens Cope With Anxiety-Free worksheet! Source: The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens, https://t.co/AzCwnZuO91 pic.twitter.com/xF7QLIaxCm — Jeffrey Bernstein (@DrJeff4Help) November 17, 2020

This sheet is similar to a “reflection” paper. You have to write down the circumstances that make react out of anger or pressure. It is important to answer this sheet thoughtfully if you want the best possible results.

This page is also a great way to know if you become “destructive” your anxiety takes control. If you realize that you do indeed deal with anxiety destructively, maybe it’s time to consult a health professional.

7. Challenge Anxious Thoughts

According to this worksheet, one way to deal with anxiety is by challenging your anxious thoughts. This is possible, but only if you are determined. You might want to download this free worksheet as a start.

Check out the link above and read more information about how to challenge your worried thoughts. You will find the download button at the bottom of the worksheet, or you can download it safely here .

8. Exploring Social Anxiety

Anxiety comes in various form, and one of the most common is social anxiety. This can significantly impact your life by affecting your relationships with yourself and other people.

Therapist Aid claims that this worksheet is “designed for the early stages of social anxiety treatment.” They made it available for free so that people can identify the issues they are dealing with. We suggest checking it out on your own and then seeking help if it turns out you might have social anxiety.

9. Anxiety Buster

Like many of the other worksheets today, Anxiety Buster looks at both your triggers and coping mechanisms. However, it also has additional sections to help you focus on your goals. It also encourages you to write these goals down instead of keeping them in your memory.

For instance, the worksheet asks you to prioritize three of your “to-dos” per day instead of doing them all at once. It also has a section for your gratitude list and wishes/prayers. At the bottom of the worksheet, you will see a list to help you challenge your fears and become less anxious.

10. Mental Health Worksheet

In addition to anxiety, this worksheet helps address depression. They also call it the “Anxiety Suicide Awareness Sheet,” as it helps determine whether or not a person has suicidal tendencies. Since it is sometimes hard to communicate your feelings through words, this sheet might help you and your family or friends understand each other better.

However, if you or a friend are having suicidal thoughts, we suggest consulting a psychologist immediately. This worksheet aims only to support those having trouble expressing their feelings.

11. Anxiety Triggers

The first step in dealing with anxiety is to identify what triggers it. To identify these triggers, you also have to know the cues that indicate your anxiety. These cues may be physical or cognitive, or a combination of the two.

As described on the site, this worksheet may be used by mental health practitioners or ordinary people who want to learn their triggers. It can be used in therapy sessions or home practices.

12. How to Decatastrophize

This worksheet is not exactly for anxiety, but it is clearly connected to regulating your worries. Decatastrophizing is the method of restructuring your mind to remove cognitive distortions. It eliminates the negative thoughts that you ruminate on in your mind.

Check out this template from Kelly Mental Health and start learning how to decatastrophize. Each section will help you break down your thoughts into smaller pieces until you figure out what causes your worries.

13. Did My Worry Happen?

There are times when we worry about things that don’t actually happen. We overthink and feel like the results are worse than they really are, even though things don’t really turn out to be as bad as we expected.

This worksheet is intended to help you re-evaluate your thoughts and experiences. It aims to help you decide whether or not the things you were worrying about actually happened. If not, then it goes on to help you realize that things aren’t that bad after all.

14. Anxiety Symptoms Checklist

If you simply want to know if you are experiencing severe anxiety or not, then this worksheet is a great option. It is a checklist of 36 items that you could be experiencing at the moment (or at a time when a certain fear happened).

If you see that you have been experiencing the same things over and over again whenever you worry, then it is probably time to seek professional help.

15. My Three Phases of Anxiety

This template gives you three anxiety categories: a little bit anxious, anxious, and very anxious. Each category consists of three questions related to the way you respond, your coping mechanisms, and the things you need from other people. 

Breaking down your responses into these three stages can help you deal with your worries.

16. Anxiety Cheat Sheet

This is a detailed worksheet from The Butterfly Mother that has 10 sections that can help you recognize your thoughts and feelings about your anxiety triggers.

The first three questions make sure that you feel safe and comfortable at the time of answering the sheet. The next five then ask you to create a list, with the last column providing a space where you can write action steps to overcome your anxiety. The last two are spaces where you can write useful and motivational information.

17. Anxiety Prep

Here is another worksheet that we find really helpful. It does not address your current worries, but instead prepares you for future worries. If you feel like anxiety is going to attack you because of a certain future event, this is the perfect template to get yourself ready.

There are six sections, all of which are questions that help provide you with a coping mechanism once the event happens. Like all the other worksheets we have introduced today, this sheet helps break down your thought process, except that it is specific to future events.

18. Anxiety Worksheet by Hailey Lott

If you are looking for a simple template that you can either print or get inspiration from and include in your journal, this one fits the bill. It contains simple questions about what happened and how you reacted, plus a rating of your feelings with a space for an explanation.

19. Anxiety Workbook

This anxiety workbook is a good option if a single anxiety worksheet simply won’t cut it. The 15-page workbook consists of several activities to help you identify your anxiety triggers, overcome your worries, and come up with mechanisms to help you stay on guard and on the ground.

We hope we were able to help you find anxiety worksheets that work for you and your loved ones. Remember, however, that these sheets are not intended to provide an official diagnosis. They are only meant to help you recognize your fears and what triggers them.

If you ever feel like you need professional help, consult a mental health expert immediately.

Finally, if you want a simple way to reduce your stress and anxiety, then try writing these 35 mindfulness journaling prompts to live more in the present moment .

anxiety worksheets | anxiety worksheets pdf | anxiety worksheets for teens


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Table of Contents

Stress and Anxiety Worksheet

worksheet stress and me

The contents of this article are fact-based except otherwise stated within the article.

Dr Sabina Alispahic, PhD, is a psychologist and gestalt psychotherapist with expertise in clinical and health psychology. 

Dr Sabina Alispahic’s Highlights:

  • Associate Professor at the University of Sarajevo for the past 12 years
  • PhD in psychology at the University of Zagreb
  • European Certificate of Psychotherapy

Professional experience

Dr Alispahic pioneered innovative teaching methods as an associate professor of clinical and health psychology, inspiring a new generation of mental health professionals while contributing to the field for over 12 years. Also, she empowered individuals across the globe as an online psychotherapist, delivering life-changing therapy and earning a reputation for compassionate care and exceptional results. She has demonstrated expertise in a range of therapeutic approaches (CBT, ACT, Gestalt, mindfulness, and family constellations).


European Certificate of Psychotherapy (Education in Gestalt Psychotherapy Training of the Malta Institute)

Eight-week stress reduction mindfulness programme, Society of Psychologists in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

2009-2013 University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy, Postgraduate Doctoral Studies in Psychology

2004-2008 University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Philosophy, Master Studies, Department of Psychology


Alispahic. S. (2021). Selected topics from psychotherapy Sarajevo: TDP.

Alispahic. S. (2020). Online psychotherapy. Handbook for psychotherapists and clients Sarajevo: TDP.

Alispahic, S., and Godinjak, A. (2018). (R)evolution of the doctor-patient relationship. Sarajevo: TDP.

Alispahic, S. (2016). The psychology of pain Sarajevo: Faculty of Philosophy (e-publication, Bosnian language): https://ebooks.ff.unsa.ba/index.php/ebooks_ffunsa/catalog/book/29

Book chapters

Alispahic, S. (2018). Psychological Theory and Therapy of Traumatic Memory In: A. Hamburger (ur.), Trauma, Trust, and Memory: Social Trauma and Reconciliation in Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, and Cultural Memory, 23-35. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Link: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003076247-4/psychological-theory-therapy-traumatic-memory-sabina-alispahić

Markovic Pavlovic, M., Alispahic, S., and Dautbegovic, A. (2015). Psychology of Nonkilling in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Knowledge and Attitudes of Students Towards Nonkilling Culture. In: R. Bahtijaragic i J. E. Pim (ur.), Nonkilling Balkans, 171-183. Honolulu: Centre for Global Nonkilling, and Sarajevo: Faculty of Philosophy.

Link: http://nonkilling.org/pdf/nkbalkans.pdf

Alispahic, S., & Alispahic, B. (2021). Definition of police psychology: The role of psychologists in the police. Technium Soc. Sci. J., 17 , 235-244.

Link: https://techniumscience.com/index.php/socialsciences/article/view/2678

Alispahic, S., Hasanbegovic-Anic, E., & Tuce, Đ. (2021). Big Five Personality Traits as Predictors of Mindfulness: A Study on a Bosnian Sample. Epiphany , 14 (1), 146-155.

Link: http://epiphany.ius.edu.ba/index.php/epiphany/article/view/357

Alispahic, S. & Hodžić Küreç, A. (2021). How does yoga affect health?  Yoga teachers’ experiences. International Scientific Journal of Kinesiology, Vol. 12 , 2, 135-140. 

Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sabina-Alispahic/publication/349140097_How_does_yoga_affect_health_Yoga_teachers_experiences/links/60226c87a6fdcc37a812def3/How-does-yoga-affect-health-Yoga-teachers-experiences.pdf

Hasanbegovic-Anic, E., Sandic, A., and Alispahic, S. (2018). Prevention of substance abuse in children and adolescents: an evidence-based practice approach. Epiphany , 11 (1), 11-30. 

Link: http://epiphany.ius.edu.ba/index.php/epiphany/article/view/280

Alispahic, S. and Hasanbegovic-Anic, E. (2017). Mindfulness: Age and Gender Differences in a Bosnian Sample. Psychological Thought, Vol. 10 (1), 155–166. 

Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316560770_Mindfulness_Age_and_Gender_Differences_on_a_Bosnian_Sample

Hadziahmetovic, N., Alispahic, S., Tuce, Đ., i Hasanbegovic-Anic, E. (2016). Therapist interpersonal style and therapy benefit as determinants of client personality self-reports in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vojnosanit Pregl, 73 (2): 135–145. 

Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288178501_Therapist%27s_interpersonal_style_and_therapy_benefit_as_the_determinants_of_personality_self-reports_in_clients

Alispahic, S., Hasanbegovic-Anic, E., Tuce, Đ., Hadziahmetovic, N., Sandic, A. (2014). Characteristics of Patients Involved in Psychotherapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Health Sciences , 4 (1): 4-6. 

Link: https://www.jhsci.ba/ojs/index.php/jhsci/article/view/142

Alispahic, S. (2013). Motivational function of plans and goals. Psychological Thought, Vol. 6 (2), 96–203.

Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258225796_Motivational_Function_of_Plans_and_Goals

Professional profiles

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sabina-Alispahic

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=hr&user=TnYiVK0AAAAJ

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabina-alispahić/

Reviewer bio

What are the theories behind this worksheet?

The Stress and Anxiety Worksheet is based on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is rooted in the belief that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are connected. To change our behaviors and the things we feel, CBT emphasizes the changing of negative thinking patterns. 

How will this worksheet help you?

This worksheet acts as a self-help tool for users in aiding and managing their stressors and anxious thoughts. Users can address their stress and anxiety and find ways to reduce them. 

How should you use this worksheet?

Users should use this worksheet to gain an understanding of the areas that lead to their stress and anxiety. Users should seek professional help if their stress and anxiety get out of hand. Therapists can also use this worksheet to help their clients. 

Was this helpful?

The Effect of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress  

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Therapists Trade the Couch for the Great Outdoors

Mental health practitioners are hiking, camping and braving the elements with their clients — all in an effort to help them connect with the Earth, and with themselves.

Aimee Frazier with a former client, Chase Brockett, talk while sitting on a wooden bench as a forest surrounds them at a park in Portland, Ore.

By Christina Caron

Sometimes a pine cone is just a pine cone.

But on a January day, the rough edges of the cone — and the lone feather sticking out of it — meant something different to Rachel Oppenheimer, 25, a counselor at the Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative in Towson, Md.

“Growing up, I had some challenges,” Ms. Oppenheimer said, referring to her prickly teenage past, “some struggles with managing my emotions.”

But her grandmother, who died four years ago, was soft like the feather, and gave her unconditional love that reminded Ms. Oppenheimer how important it was to treat herself with “soothing tenderness,” especially when she became self-critical.

Ms. Oppenheimer and her clinical supervisor, Heidi Schreiber-Pan, were visiting Talmar, a nonprofit farm that offers therapeutic programs and vocational training — a short drive from the busy road and nondescript strip malls near their office. At the farm, the only sounds were a burbling stream, trilling birds and several inches of snow crunching beneath their feet. It was the perfect location to teach Ms. Oppenheimer therapeutic techniques that make use of the natural world.

They set up camping chairs under a bright blue sky during their session — a makeshift office without walls — and discussed how to create a circular design called a mandala. Next they would arrange items that Ms. Oppenheimer found on the ground, each symbolizing the complex feelings that stemmed from mourning her grandmother.

Dr. Schreiber-Pan is one of a growing number of therapists who are taking their therapy sessions outdoors and, in some cases, training other counselors to do the same. They say that combining traditional talk therapy with nature and movement can help clients feel more open, find new perspectives and express their feelings, all while helping them connect with the outside world.

“It’s a sense of belonging to something bigger — and that is, I think, a really powerful ‘aha!’ moment for a lot of people ,” Dr. Schreiber-Pan said. As humans evolved they spent much of their time outdoors, she added, yet our modern life is mostly spent indoors, looking at digital devices.

Outdoor therapy falls under the umbrella of ecotherapy, a broad and nebulous term that includes activities as varied as equine therapy and outings like wilderness and adventure therapy. During the pandemic, while many therapists moved online, others held sessions outside, seeking a safer way to meet in person. But the concept has been around for much longer.

Decades ago, the psychiatrist Dr. Thaddeus Kostrubala, author of the 1976 book “The Joy of Running,” was known for jogging alongside his patients . The practice never really caught on, in part because most therapists were trained to meet with clients in controlled indoor settings, to maintain confidentiality and strong boundaries.

Now, however, students are being trained in ecotherapy at a smattering of schools, including Lewis and Clark College in Oregon and Prescott College in Arizona.

And some therapists, like Dr. Schreiber-Pan, are creating their own curriculums. In 2020, she founded the Center for Nature Informed Therapy, which offers certification and continuing education credits to any social worker or certified counselor who completes the program. So far, more than 100 people have graduated.

Outdoor sessions are not one size fits all. Not every client will want to walk in the snow, for example. Dr. Schreiber-Pan and other therapists also give clients the option to explore nature indoors, drawing from a collection of shells, stones, sticks and spiky gumballs. And there is no special license for this therapy — no established best practices that would dictate the exercises or activities that therapists should use when meeting with clients outdoors.

Some in the field are leery of the emerging discipline. Dr. Petros Levounis, the president of the American Psychiatric Association, said he would feel a bit “skeptical” about taking a patient to the park.

“There is a formality in psychotherapy — tried and true parameters,” he said. “You sit across from them; there’s the 45-minute session. And I don’t know exactly what would happen in the outdoors. It starts raining. What do you do with the patient?”

Psychiatrists need to think about it more carefully, he added, and consider special training “before we sign on the dotted line of such novel interventions.”

Even so, he added, a number of studies have found that being immersed in nature can be beneficial to mental health. A 2023 analysis of the effects of “ forest bathing ,” the Japanese practice of taking a relaxing walk through the woods, suggested that it can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. And being physically active is associated with a lower risk of depression . One review of a variety of studies went so far as to conclude that “physical activity should be a mainstay approach” when managing psychological distress.

‘It connects me to being human’

Outdoor or nature-informed therapy has especially become a big draw for men and people under 40, Dr. Schreiber-Pan and other therapists said.

Chase Brockett, 36, who lives in Portland, Ore., began hiking therapy in 2022 and continued for about a year and a half, despite having to pay for sessions out of pocket.

“It connects me to being human, to being alive,” he said. “Not being subject to the world, but being a part of it.”

During his sessions, he and his therapist, Aimee Frazier, would go out in all kinds of weather, including rain.

“You have to be uncomfortable and just accept that’s what’s happening,” he said, a lesson that became an analogy for his anxiety. “I think a lot of anxiety comes from A) viewing anxiety as a bad thing and B) trying to escape it at all times,” he said.

Therapists also see other benefits: clients who are more receptive and relaxed.

“I think that for some young people, therapy feels very prescribed,” said Andrew Tepper, the founder of Boda Therapy, who often works with adolescents and young adults in New York City and the Catskills. “It’s one lane. Oh, we’re going to sit. We’re going to talk and maybe we’ll play a board game. And with that, I think, comes some resistance.”

Mr. Tepper, a psychotherapist, steers his clients toward outdoor movement — hiking or skiing — if they are receptive to it. During one retreat in early February, he took three clients snowshoeing, went on long walks and cooked lunch over a campfire.

“I believe therapy can be fun, and part of that is doing a little upfront assessment of what your clients like to do,” he said.

‘I began to feel a lot like my wilting office plant’

Therapists are noticing that a nature-informed practice can improve their own well-being and help to stave off professional burnout, too.

Years ago, when Ms. Frazier had finished a clinical internship in a dimly lit, windowless office, she realized that she needed a “more enlivening setting” — for her clients and for herself.

“I began to feel a lot like my wilting office plant that sat in the dark corner,” she said. “I longed to be out in the sun and the rain, surrounded by the calming presence of nature.”

In 2021, she began offering hiking therapy to clients under the supervision of Thomas J. Doherty , a Portland psychologist who founded the certificate program in ecotherapy at Lewis and Clark College. For some clients, she said, the setting makes therapy feel more approachable and less intimidating.

Maria Nazarian, a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., does not rent an office. She sees clients only virtually or while walking on the beach, which she described as her “happy place.” And, she said, her clients have benefited from getting off the couch.

Walking side by side promotes collaboration, Dr. Nazarian said, and being on the shore often brings moments of wonder and awe, all of which help build “connectedness and trust.”

‘Winter has to happen’

Amy Fuggi, 63, has been seeing Dr. Schreiber-Pan on and off for six years to cope with grief over her mother’s death.

“You want to push it away — you want to bury it, you want to ignore it,” she said. “But that doesn’t work too well.”

While outside, she said, she feels a “huge connection” to her mother, who loved the outdoors and often planned camping trips for Ms. Fuggi and her siblings.

“I feel like she’s walking with me,” Ms. Fuggi said.

On a sunny Monday recently, she and Dr. Schreiber-Pan waded through the snow to visit a nearby college campus, disappearing into a tree-lined path near a small pond, where they played with the concept of wintering — the ability to lean into the dark times in our lives.

“They have a purpose, you know, just like winter has to happen for us to enjoy spring,” Dr. Schreiber-Pan said.

After the session, Ms. Fuggi said she felt lighter.

“When you’re walking around, you’ve got the fresh air and you’ve got all this openness ,” she said. “It’s very easy to just relax and talk about things.”

Rosem Morton contributed reporting for this story.

Christina Caron is a Times reporter covering mental health. More about Christina Caron

How to Be Happy

Happiness can predict health and longevity, but it doesn’t just happen to you..

Small changes in your behavior and surroundings can set you on course for happiness.  Here ’s how .

Our seven-day Happiness Challenge  will help you focus on a crucial element of living a good life — your relationships .

Finland has been ranked the happiest country on earth for six consecutive years. What’s the secret? The answer is complicated .

Cultivating a sense of wonder can be a salve  for a turbulent mind. Here is how to make it part of your everyday life .

It can seem impossible to be optimistic about the future. But these questions  will help you understand what all optimists have in common.

Exercise, even in small doses, can improve your mood. Try our eight-minute routine  that's based on movements researchers say are inspired by joy.

CDC report finds teens use drugs — often alone — to ease stress and anxiety

Teenagers with suspected substance use problems say they turn to drugs because of a crushing need to relax and escape worries, according to research published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new findings follow reports of rising anxiety and depression among the nation's youth, including unprecedented levels of hopelessness .

Because those conditions are often linked to substance use in adolescence, said Sarah Connolly, lead author of the new report and an epidemic intelligence service officer within the CDC's Division of Overdose Prevention, "it might make sense that teens are looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety."

Connolly's study, the first of its kind, expands on limited research previously done on why kids use drugs. It is based on data from the National Addictions Vigilance Intervention and Prevention Program . It includes self-assessments from 15,963 teenagers, ages 13 to 18, who answered questions online about their motivations for drug and alcohol use from 2014 through 2022.

The findings do not reflect why teenagers might experiment with drugs for the first time; all were flagged for substance use disorder and subsequent treatment.

Nearly three-quarters — 73% — said they used "to feel mellow, calm or relaxed." Forty-four percent used drugs, such as marijuana, as sleep aides.

The same percentage cited drug use as a way to "stop worrying about a problem or forget bad memories." And 40% said they used to cope with depression or anxiety.

Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, chief academic officer and senior vice president at Seattle Children's Hospital, said that 75% of young people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition.

"We know that the two go together," she said. "If you have a kid who you think might not be using very much, but say they're using to feel less depressed or to stop worrying, that's a really big warning sign" that they need help.

The findings are consistent with previous research and point to an ongoing need for mental health services that target kids.

It's important to understand why teens use or misuse drugs, so the right resources and education can help them, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, wrote in an email.

"Early prevention interventions are crucial to support teens who may turn to drug use to cope with stress, anxiety or depression," Volkow said. Neither Volkow nor Walker-Harding were involved with the new research.

The majority — 84% — used a form of marijuana. This comes amid growing evidence linking cannabis use and psychotic disorders .

Less than half (49%) said they drank alcohol and 19% of surveyed teens reported misusing prescription drugs like pain relievers and sedatives.

"We worry about kids using cannabis, alcohol and nicotine because we know long term, it's going to take a toll on their mental health and their physical health," said Dr. Sharon Levy, chief of the Division of Addiction Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. "What's really scary is the opioids, because the consequences of opioid use are immediate and can be fatal." Levy was not involved with the CDC report.

Half of the teens said they did drugs by themselves, without anyone else around — greatly increasing their risk for deadly overdoses , "especially given the proliferation of counterfeit pills resembling prescription drugs and containing illegal drugs," the study authors wrote.

"Parents need to know this," Walker-Harding said. "A lot of kids, when they die and overdose in their home, they're in their room and nobody saw it happening."

Addiction experts, including those at the CDC , urge parents and caregivers to educate kids about the risks of using drugs alone. That includes providing naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses.

"Sometimes people perceive that this is a hard conversation. It's only hard because of our own internal difficulty with it," Walker-Harding said. "Kids will talk if they think somebody's willing to listen."

Levy advised examining the culture of drugs and alcohol in the U.S.: "If you're happy, drink to celebrate. If you're stressed, drink to relax. Oh my gosh, this candidate that I don't like is winning. I better go have a drink."

"You hear that all the time. This is the soup kids are swimming in," she said. "Parents are one of the very few potential places for counterbalance."

worksheet stress and me

Erika Edwards is a health and medical news writer and reporter for NBC News and "TODAY."

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The Oura Ring showed me how months of stress destroyed my sleep

Andy Boxall

The second half of my 2023 was genuinely awful, and my Oura Ring showed exactly the impact it had on my sleep and body. While the smart ring could never do anything about it, understanding how what I was experiencing was affecting me was fascinating, terrifying, and oddly reassuring.

Not the best 2023

  • What the Oura Ring’s data showed me

Did the algorithm changes affect the data?

  • Too much data isn’t always good

It hammered home the point that wearing a health tracking device isn’t only about counting steps; it’s about recognizing when somewhat silent alterations in your physical health occur over time so you can do something about them. But it also reminded me that paying too much attention to health data isn’t always a good thing.

It all began in May 2023 when I decided to sell my house and move somewhere new. While I knew moving houses was stressful, I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it and various other things would make the remainder of the year. The sale and move were complex and expensive, and it took until the very last week of December to complete, at which time I had been dealing with a serious family health situation — along with all the usual aspects of life, including work.

  • I did something ridiculous to my Oura Ring
  • The Oura Ring now tells you if you really are a night owl or an early bird
  • Oura Ring gets serious about fitness, now syncs with Strava

Everyone deals with stress, and over the past few years, its negative impact on your mind and body has become more widely understood. However, I wasn’t prepared to see it so starkly presented in the Oura Ring’s app. I’ve worn an Oura Ring for several years, and it has become very accustomed to my body, activity, and daily performance, meaning it’s well aware of my personal baseline. For the most part, the data it presented usually showed I maintained a relatively constant, stable level, with only the odd blip every now and then.

Because I wear the Oura Ring 24 hours a day and haven’t stopped wearing it since 2021, it has considerable historical data already stored, allowing me to watch in almost real-time how stress had shortened my sleep time, lowered my heart rate variability (HRV) and raised my resting heart rate. Without a device to measure these things and an app where the data is very easy to interpret and read, it would be practically impossible to understand and recognize what was happening.

What the Oura Ring’s data showed me

A screenshot from the Oura Ring app showing sleep data over six months.

The question is, did I really need numbers on a screen to tell me my body was changing? Surely, I could feel it? While I definitely knew I was feeling different and sleeping less, humans are very good at pushing past this and just getting on with things, ignoring what the body is telling them. As time passes, it’s impossible to keep track, as what wasn’t normal before becomes normal, and it’s easy to forget how you used to feel each day.

Let’s get into what I saw. The most jarring alteration was in my total sleep, as for the first half of 2023, I’d been averaging around seven hours, 15 minutes per night. But it’s clear from the Oura Ring’s graph that from May, this started to reduce, falling to a low of just over six hours by September. My sleep efficiency score, worked out by the amount of time spent asleep and awake while in bed, fell by 12% as I would wake up and be unable to get back to sleep for a while.

From September on, I began to deal with a family health situation, which added a different kind of stress to my life. According to the Oura Ring’s data, it had a different effect on my body. My resting heart rate has been steady at around 49bpm for a long time, but over the last months has increased to an average of 53bpm, while my HRV has fallen from around 38ms to 29ms. Combine this with the differences in sleep, and the overall effect of life’s stresses on my body were clear to see in the Oura Ring’s data.

I’ll be honest: The differences did make me concerned, an alertness no doubt driven by anxiety brought on by dealing with other people’s health issues for several months. I’ll come back to this negative side of seeing so much data so regularly in a while.

Now, being a normal human being, I looked for other reasons why my stats had changed, as it surely couldn’t just be my lifestyle, right? Around May 2023, Oura changed its sleep algorithms, so what effect could this have on what I saw in the app? Was it all just a coincidence? I asked Oura’s Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist, Raphael Vallat, what differences the algorithm could have had on results presented in the app, and he told me via email:

“The new sleep staging algorithm leverages all the data we collect and analyze through the Oura Ring sensors, such as movement, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and HRV. These bio-signals are required to accurately detect the different stages of your sleep. For example, as you transition from wake to sleep, your heart rate slows down, your breathing stabilizes, and your finger temperature increases.”

“Members may have seen changes in the deep and light stages when switching from the old sleep staging algorithm to the new one. Specifically, deep sleep tends to be, on average, lower in the New Sleep Staging Algorithm, with the opposite being true for light sleep. These changes were expected and simply reflect the improved accuracy of the newer sleep staging algorithm.”

It seems the algorithmic change would mostly affect the data I saw in sleep stages rather than total sleep time. Based on the information from Vallat, it doesn’t appear likely the software alteration is entirely responsible for the dip in my personal sleep stats over the past six months.

Too much data isn’t always good

Because my sleep patterns had become so different, and my lowered sleep efficiency affected my concentration during the day, I went to see a doctor. Armed with my stats, I spoke to him about how I was feeling and how my sleep was notably worse than before and showed him the evidence. He described the changes as expected, given heightened anxiety levels, and said tackling this was the key to getting back to a normal sleep schedule. He advised me what to do and sent me on my way.

It was clear nobody else came to see him wielding a smartphone and months of sleep and activity data, and he seemed taken aback at first. But after looking, he said there was nothing to worry about at all.

It made me realize something else about having access to such information. Gaining insight into your health and body is the benefit of wearing a smartwatch, smart ring, or fitness band long-term, but it’s easy to get fixated and see every alteration as a problem when it may simply be a natural change that happens over time. Understanding how to differentiate between what’s normal and what isn’t is very difficult, but one that would be lessened by not looking at sleep and activity data on a daily basis.

Ultimately, the reassurance that came from seeing data confirming that, yes, I was sleeping less and more sporadically than before was most helpful to me. It meant that I didn’t simply ignore it or pass it off as being only in my head but could make positive changes to my lifestyle — exercise, diet, and mindfulness, along with checking in with a doctor — instead. While I may have made these changes eventually without an Oura Ring prompting me, I think I made them sooner because I could see in real-time what was occurring, motivating me to act more quickly.

This was only possible because I could access historical data from the Oura Ring, adding context to the present day. While it didn’t alert me to anything life-threatening or overly serious this time, it — or another wearable — may do so in the future. What’s more, I can now see whether the changes I make have a positive effect on my sleep patterns going forward. But I’ll do so with the thought in the back of my mind that reading too much into this data can cause its own problems, too.

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  • Health & Fitness

Andy Boxall

Six months ago, I said "I do" to the Oura Ring, and it has not left my finger since. It may be a piece of wearable technology, but unlike the most popular piece of wearable tech, the smartwatch, it doesn’t have a screen. Nor does it go on your wrist. You wear it on your finger, and it turns out this makes a massive difference in how you live with it. It's also not as attention-grabbing as many smartwatches, making it less bothersome on a daily basis.

In short, the honeymoon period has passed, but my feelings about the Oura Ring have not changed. If you’re curious about this exciting piece of wearable tech, it is worth taking the plunge. Not like a smartwatch A smartwatch like the Apple Watch does everything we want from a wearable. It delivers notifications, tracks health and activity, makes and takes calls, runs apps, and plenty more. It’s a brilliant all-rounder, and it can almost certainly do more than most people will ever need, but it does need a lot of attention. Whether it's notifications, reminders to get up and move around, or daily charging, you always know the Apple Watch is there. The Oura Ring is not an Apple Watch or a Fitbit competitor. While there is some feature overlap, it caters to those with a lifestyle that doesn’t suit a smartwatch, and is far less needy.

Wearable devices are about to have a moment, and manufacturers are hoping you'll sleep through it.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference 2020, Apple announced that it is adding "sleep-tracking" capabilities to its Apple Watch, the dominant wearable on the market. While it's surprising that Apple never pushed hard for sleep features before, there may be a good reason for the delay.

If you’re keen to buy the latest Google Pixel 8, there are some great phone deals around to help save you money in your endeavors. While the phone is more affordable than many others, it’s always good to save a little more while you can. We’ve tracked down all the best Google Pixel 8 deals that are available today and also looked at why it’s worth buying Google’s latest Pixel phone. Today's best Google Pixel 8 deals There are some great Google Pixel 8 deals around including direct discounts when you buy the phone unlocked and trade-in deals for anyone who wants to commit to a specific cell phone provider. With such versatility, there should be something for everyone here. Take a look below to find the best Google Pixel 8 deal for your situation.

: Save $150 and buy the Google Pixel 8 for $549 or trade-in an eligible phone to save $549

I was convinced I had a deadly disease when vision in my right eye declined. Laser eye surgery fixed my vision and health anxiety.

  • I've always been nearsighted, but my vision hasn't been too bad.
  • I typically had to wear glasses only while doing certain tasks.
  • When my right eye got worse, it made me anxious, and I decided to get laser eye surgery.

Insider Today

Nearsightedness runs in my family, and I had to start wearing glasses for some things when I was about 11 years old. I've always found wearing glasses slightly annoying, but I could tolerate wearing them when using the computer or looking at the board at school or college if it meant not getting as many eye-strain headaches.

I've always had almost 20/20 vision in my left eye, but over the past couple of years, my right eye has become increasingly nearsighted , perhaps partly because I work full time on my computer. This coincided with an intense bout of health anxiety.

As my vision declined in my right eye, I began to struggle with lights at night, something I was convinced was a sign of a deadly disease — or my impending blindness. Instead of putting on my glasses only while working at my computer, I started to wear them all the time.

I began to consider laser eye surgery as a solution

For the first time in my life, I began to seriously think about getting laser eye surgery . I've always been quite squeamish about my eyes — though I do use dry eye drops, I've been too nervous to ever go near contacts — so it was never something I'd imagined myself considering.

But I was tired of worrying about my eyes and assuming every symptom of nearsightedness, and their very different prescriptions, was something serious. When you search the internet for symptoms such as headaches and double vision, you're told you have a brain tumor or a serious neurological condition — I was so convinced something was seriously wrong that I even had an MRI scan.

Despite coming across a few horror stories related to laser eye surgery of botched procedures and rare side effects, I decided to take the plunge. I had to have various appointments and tests beforehand to ensure that my eyes were the right fit for surgery before booking the procedure.

My biggest worry was that something would go wrong, however improbable, and that I'd be left with lifelong vision issues or, worst-case scenario, lose my sight. Everything went well despite my nerves. My surgeon ran me through the procedure — which I needed only on my right eye — and while the idea of lasers opening up my eye and reshaping my cornea grossed me out, I appreciated him giving me all the information I needed.

Surgery helped both my vision and my anxiety

After surgery, my eye was a little uncomfortable and sensitive to light, but I noticed improvements almost immediately. My dad drove me back from surgery, and I was surprised to find that I could read license plates on cars in front of us using only my right eye.

I went back the following day to make sure there weren't any issues and did so again a month later. It's now been almost a year since my surgery , and I recently had another eye test to check that everything's still in order with my eyes. Fortunately, it is.

My eyesight isn't perfect — I knew before the surgery that I had mild astigmatism in both eyes, which means my vision isn't quite as clear as it would be otherwise, and I have floaters, which, while not a cause for concern, can be quite annoying. Being nearsighted is a risk factor for floaters, so I've had them for a long time, and unfortunately, laser eye surgery doesn't remove them.

Most importantly, my health anxiety is a lot better now. When I was so nearsighted in my right eye, I was thinking about my eyes and my eyesight all the time. Now I don't wear glasses, and there's not such a big discrepancy in prescriptions, so I'm not as worried.

Laser eye surgery might not be for everyone. I have other friends who've also had it, friends who are thinking about it, and friends who say they're way too squeamish. I was happy to wear glasses when my nearsightedness was mild, and I know I'll probably need glasses again for reading when I'm older. But, for me and my health anxiety, getting the surgery was a great decision.

worksheet stress and me

Watch: What getting laser eye surgery is like, from consultation to recovery

worksheet stress and me

  • Main content


  1. Coping With Stress Worksheets / How Can You React To Stress Positively

    worksheet stress and me

  2. Stress Worksheet

    worksheet stress and me

  3. Introduction to Stress Management (Worksheet)

    worksheet stress and me

  4. 7 free expert downloadable and printable stress management worksheets

    worksheet stress and me

  5. Stress and you

    worksheet stress and me

  6. Coping With Stress Worksheet

    worksheet stress and me


  1. Stress Worksheets

    Stress is a feeling of being tense, overwhelmed, worn out, or exhausted. A small amount of stress can be motivating, but too much stress makes even small tasks seem daunting. Sometimes stress is the accumulation of many small hassles, while other times it is the result of major life changes or long-term problems... Self-Care Tips worksheet

  2. PDF Manage Stress workbook

    15 Appendix B: Pleasant Activities Tip Sheet . . . . . . 17 This workbook was based largely on The Manage Stress Workbook developed by the Veterans Health Administration's National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP). The materials were adapted for a student population.

  3. 16 Effective Stress-Management Activities and Worksheets

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  4. Stress Exploration

    The Stress Exploration worksheet will help clients learn about their stressors, and factors that protect them from stress. Stressors include daily hassles, major life changes, and life circumstances. Things that protect against stress include daily uplifts, healthy coping strategies, and protective factors.

  5. 18 Anxiety Worksheets for Adults, Teens, & More

    1. Anxiety Hierarchy Intense fears, phobias, and stressful situations can be highly anxiety provoking. It is helpful to establish a list of challenging situations that result in extreme upset or negative emotions for clients (American Psychological Association, 2016).

  6. Stress Exploration

    1 Provided by TherapistAid.com Stress Exploration Factors that Protect Against Stress Describe the things in your life that counteract stress. Daily Uplifts Positive experiences that make you happy. Examples: eating a good meal, spending time with friends, leisure activities, spending time in nature Healthy Coping Strategies

  7. 10+ Coping Skills Worksheets for Adults and Youth (+ PDFs)

    Coping with Stress Worksheets. You'll find two handy activities in this Coping With Stress exercise. Part 1 instructs you to list the physiological signs and symptoms of stress, brainstorm some common responses to stress, and rate your levels of stress with each event or situation that can act as a trigger. This worksheet is a great way to ...

  8. Exploring what stress looks like and what it can do to you

    What is stress? Stress involves a set of psychological and physical reactions you feel due to tense or adverse experiences. When you experience stress, your body produces and releases stress hormones, which act as neurotransmitters, conveying the message to various body systems that you are in danger.

  9. 17 Printable Stress Management Worksheets & Templates

    Worksheets are a wonderful tool for learning how to control your stress response. They are easily accessible through different resources. The key is finding reliable resources that are designed or created by experts in stress management. To help you out, we've rounded up the best worksheets that can be printed out and used instantly.

  10. Stress Management Worksheets

    Stress Management Tips Worksheet GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC Stress can be difficult to cope with sometimes, especially when dealing with prolonged stressors or life challenges that are not easily resolved. Stress is a normal part of life, so knowing how to manage stress is an important skill to teach a client in therapy.

  11. Free Mindfulness Worksheets

    These free, downloadable mindfulness worksheets were written and curated by Sean Fargo, the founder of Mindfulness Exercises. Sean is a former Buddhist monk who has spent over 10 years helping people meet their challenges with greater ease. Sean has taught mindfulness and meditation in Fortune 500 companies, health and government organizations ...

  12. PDF Grade 8 Lesson

    Worksheet: Stress and Me linkS tO OtHer SubjectS • Science: explore the health implications of stress on our cells and systems. • Physical Education: Concentrate on exploring physical activities for personal stress management.

  13. Recognizing Stress Worksheet

    About This Worksheet. This is the Recognizing Stress worksheet. This worksheet serves as the first step in learning how to manage symptoms of stress. This worksheet provides a list of triggers and symptoms for stress that the client may be experiencing. In reviewing this worksheet the client gains a better understanding of stress and how it ...

  14. 19 Printable Anxiety Worksheets for Kids, Teens & Adults

    1. Anxiety Breakdown Our first entry is designed for kids who may be feeling anxious and need a way to put their thoughts into words. It has easy-to-understand questions and it looks engaging enough to keep children's interest. Even adults might find it enjoyable to answer.

  15. How To Deal With Anxiety: 5 Coping Skills and Worksheets

    Mindful breathing can be beneficial when you need to take a break and gather your thoughts. These exercises can be easily implemented in a parked car, home, bath, or any other environment. Keep this exercise as one of your go-to's for when you need to cope with anxiety immediately. Breath Awareness. Anchor Breathing.

  16. Stress And Anxiety Worksheet

    Stress and Anxiety Worksheet. Make a list of the things that cause you stress. Note down their intensity and frequency. Write how these stressors make you feel anxious. Write the anxious thoughts associated with these stressors. Think about evidence that supports or challenges your anxious thoughts. Incorporate the following coping strategies ...

  17. 3 Stress & Burnout Prevention Exercises Pack

    Learn how to reduce stress & burnout symptoms in others with these 3 free tools, Over 200.000 subscribers worldwide since December 2013! Download Your 3 Stress & Burnout Prevention Exercises Pack (PDF) To Apply With Clients, Employees or Students ... Send me the PDF » 100% Secure. We value your privacy.

  18. Gratitude Exercises

    3. Watkins, P. C., Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2004). Gratitude and subjective well-being. Gratitude means appreciating the good things in your life, no matter how big or small. Making the practice of gratitude a regular part of your day can...

  19. Why Some Therapists Are Taking Their Clients Outdoors

    Mental health practitioners are hiking, camping and braving the elements with their clients — all in an effort to help them connect with the Earth, and with themselves. 199. Chase Brockett ...

  20. CDC report finds teens use drugs to ease stress and anxiety, often

    Feb. 8, 2024, 11:16 AM PST. By Erika Edwards. Teenagers with suspected substance use problems say they turn to drugs because of a crushing need to relax and escape worries, according to research ...

  21. Introduction to Stress Management

    The Introduction to Stress Management worksheet was designed to help your clients learn about their own stressors, symptoms, and strategies to overcome stress. The coping strategies presented in this worksheet include the use of social support, emotional management, life balance, and meeting one's basic needs.

  22. 37 Free Printable Mindfulness Worksheets & Exercises

    Free Printable Mindfulness Worksheets for Adults. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for treating clients with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in therapy. "It refers to the ability to focus one's awareness on the present moment without judging the sensations, thoughts, feelings, or other characteristics of the experience ...

  23. The Oura Ring showed me how months of stress destroyed my sleep

    The most jarring alteration was in my total sleep, as for the first half of 2023, I'd been averaging around seven hours, 15 minutes per night. But it's clear from the Oura Ring's graph that ...

  24. Recognizing Stress

    Recognizing Stress worksheet Help your clients begin to recognize the warning signs of stress with the Recognizing Stress worksheet. In this activity, clients will be asked to identify their own physical, emotional, and behavioral stress symptoms.

  25. I Had Laser Eye Surgery; It Improved My Vision and My Health Anxiety

    Feb 6, 2024, 5:36 AM PST. Adam England says that getting laser eye surgery has improved both his vision and the anxiety he was having around his health. Courtesy of the author. I've always been ...

  26. Workplace Stress Management: 11 Best Strategies & Worksheets

    Workplace Stress Management: 11 Best Strategies & Worksheets. 30 Sep 2021 by Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D. Scientifically reviewed by Anna Katharina Schaffner, Ph.D. Stress is a factor in 7 out of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, and the workplace is an important contributor (Quick & Henderson, 2016). An American Psychological Association survey ...

  27. Healthy vs. Unhealthy Coping Strategies

    worksheet Coping strategies are the actions we take to deal with stress, problems, or uncomfortable emotions. Unhealthy coping strategies often provide instant gratification or relief, but have long-term negative consequences.