We all have anxiety from time to time. It’s a fact of life that some of our days will be marked by worry, nervousness, and even fear. It’s nothing to fret over – most of us will only experience it on occasion, and we are remarkably good at developing our own unique tools to handle the occasional anxiety.
It becomes a problem when the anxiety crosses the threshold of “occasional” into “frequent,” or even “regular.”
If you find yourself facing anxiety severe enough or often enough that it interferes with your daily life – keeping you from leaving the house to go to work or school, stopping you from going on dates, or freezing you up before a big test or project deadline – you have reached a point where you could benefit from some professional help.
While seeing a licensed counselor or therapist is always a good idea, that is not the only form of professional help available to you. There are many resources available online, developed with the latest findings in clinical psychology in mind, that can help you build the skills you need to confront and overcome your anxiety.
We’ve put a few of these resources together to act as a one-stop shop for support when you are struggling. If you deal with anxiety every day, crippling anxiety once in a while, or anything in between, feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it when you need a little help.
This article contains:
7 Best Anxiety Workbooks
One of the best ways to work through an issue like anxiety is to use a workbook. Workbooks usually include useful information, helpful examples, and great exercises, worksheets, and tips you can use to help yourself with a problem.
There are many anxiety workbooks available to you, and each one will be a little different, focusing on a slightly different aspect of anxiety or suggesting slightly different methods of approaching your anxiety. We list and describe seven of the best anxiety workbooks here, but don’t be discouraged if none of these are up your alley! There are many more out there, waiting to be found with a quick Google search.
Read on to see if any of these workbooks sound like they might work for you.
Help for Anxious People: Literacy and Life Skills by Angela Ramsay
This workbook from Angela Ramsay is an excellent resource for improving your understanding of anxiety, learning how to get help for your anxiety, and what you can do on an individual level to address the biggest challenges anxiety brings.
Ramsay covers the basics of anxiety, discusses some general differences between men and women when it comes to anxiety, and even touches on anxiety in children.
In the first chapter, “Understanding Anxiety,” Ramsay (2003) aims to help the reader:
- Define anxiety.
- Describe when anxiety is normal.
- Give an example of the “Assess-Plan-Act” Technique
Anxiety is defined in this workbook as “a feeling of fear, dread, or uneasiness” that is naturally occurring and even adaptive in the right doses. Ramsay notes that many situations will spark episodes of anxiety, including:
- Exams or tests
- Strict deadlines
- Job interviews
- Waiting for a baby to be born
- Waiting to hear how a loved one fared after an accident or illness
- Traffic accidents
- Getting bad news
- Losing your job
These are all normal scenarios in which the majority of people will get at least a little bit anxious. This anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing – it can encourage you to be more aware of your environment, alert to danger, and cautious. In certain situations, anxiety can even give you a life-saving boost of adrenaline!
However, for some people anxiety surfaces more than once in a while, and in circumstances which do not truly warrant such a heightened level of anxiety. These people may be suffering from a condition such as:
- Panic attacks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
As you make your way through the workbook, you will learn much more about anxiety. For example, Ramsay notes that women are generally more anxious than men, in part due to hormonal differences (and especially the hormonal ups and downs of the menstrual cycle). Meanwhile, although men are less likely to feel anxiety (or at least less likely to admit to feeling anxiety), they tend to feel anxious about things like their health.
Ramsay also includes several helpful exercises and activities for dealing with your anxiety, both immediately impactful activities and those which are intended to build your skills to battle anxiety over time.
One immediately impactful activity encouraged by Ramsay is the Relaxation Exercise 2, on page 11 of the PDF. This exercise is described below.
Relaxation Exercise 2
Before you begin this exercise, make sure that you will not be disturbed.
Take a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and remind yourself that you have nothing to do right now. There may be things that need to get done later, but for now you have no problems that need immediate solving.
Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Repeat the words “I am peace” to yourself a few times.
Don’t try to relax, just give yourself permission to relax. Just let go, and allow yourself to simply be.
Think of your body as a part of the earth itself, like a mountain – still and quiet.
Sink deeper into the surface beneath you, and let your eyes gently roll upwards behind your closed lids. Imagine that you can see the world, or just sense the words “I am peace” written there on the back of your forehead.
As you see or sense these words, “I am peace,” you may feel a gentle fluttering of your eyelids; this means they are becoming relaxed. Feel the warm, moist feeling behind your eyelids and melt into it. Let relaxation flow into and through your body.
No matter how relaxed you become, you may notice that you can always become more relaxed. Use imagery, like strolling through a peaceful garden or down a quiet, sandy beach, to slip deeper into your relaxation.
You can feel yourself becoming more and more relaxed…. Just letting go… Becoming more and more comfortable as time goes on.
Allow all of your physical tension to leave your body, and leave all unnecessary or unhelpful thoughts at the metaphorical door.
When you are feeling completely peaceful, imagine that you’re standing beneath a gentle waterfall. The warm, crystal clear water is falling softly on your head and flowing down your body to your toes. Feel the sensation of being cleaned from head to toe.
If you find unnecessary thoughts or questions entering your mind, just imagine that they are like words written in the sand – with your next exhale, see the words being wiped away by a sweeping wave, leaving only smooth sand and little bubbles glistening in the sun.
In your head, travel to a private and peaceful place, somewhere in the present, past, or future. It may be an island, a beach, a forest, or any other place where you feel calm, safe, and happy. Stay here for as long as you like, soaking up the good feelings and gathering up the peace and quiet.
When you are ready to come back to your day, pause in your happy place. Gradually allow yourself to gently come up from your calm and peaceful place, a little bit at a time.
You are coming up slowly, as if you’re waking up from a good night’s sleep or a refreshing nap. You will feel alert, rested, and ready to tackle whatever is ahead of you.
While you are now fully awake, make sure to take a little bit of that peace you gathered with you. Hang on to a bit of that relaxation, and carry it with you as you go about your day.
Getting Rid of Some Anxieties
This exercise is more of a skill-building exercise than a one-time, immediate relief exercise. You will probably need to practice this exercise several times to start seeing its impact, but with regular practice you can see quite an impact.
If you’re struggling with a specific anxiety or phobia, like snakes or public speaking, use this visualization technique to slowly shrink your fear.
Sit or lie in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Visualize the snake (or other animal you are afraid of) in your mind. See it clearly, each scale, the beady eyes, the flickering tongue.
When you can see the snake clearly, begin to shrink it. Watch it get smaller and smaller, little by little. Continue shrinking it until it’s so small, it can fit in a thimble.
If the snake is hissing, visualize the sound getting smaller and smaller, fainter and fainter.
Shrink the snake and its hiss until it finally disappears.
This simple exercise can help you minimize, reduce, and perhaps eventually rid yourself entirely of your phobias and fears. Practice it regularly to get the most impact. You can see this exercise on page 31 of the workbook.
For more information on anxiety, how to get help for anxiety, and how to help yourself deal with anxiety, click here to read the rest of Ramsay’s excellent resource.
The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns
This handbook is a companion workbook for Dr. Burns’ Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (1999). You do not need to read the full book first, although it can provide you with a better background on Burns’ powerful and groundbreaking treatment for anxiety, depression, and other everyday mood and emotional problems.
The Feeling Good Handbook does not dive as deep into the treatment theory or foundations as Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, but it does cover the basics quite well, including the connection between our thoughts and our feelings and the list of common cognitive distortions we all fall victim to at least once in a while. It also includes tons of worksheets, exercises, and techniques that can help you deal with your anxiety.
For instance, you will begin addressing your anxiety with the following worksheet on page 17.
Anxiety and Fear
Burns writes three questions or prompts for you to read, ponder, and answer in the space below them. These questions/prompts are:
- Think of a time when you felt anxious or worried. What was happening at the time? Were you nervous about an important test? An airplane flight? A talk you had to give? Perhaps you were worrying about your health or a bill you forgot to pay. Describe the situation that made you feel nervous.
- Next, try to identify your negative thoughts. What were you telling yourself? What were you thinking? Perhaps you were thinking that something bad was going to happen or were worrying about what other people would think of you. Record your negative thoughts here.
- Henry felt anxious before an important job interview. I have listed his negative thoughts in the left-hand column. Cover up the righthand column and see if you can identify the distortions in each of his thoughts. You can refer to the list on pages 8-11.
The negative thoughts are as follows:
- “I’ll probably blow it. My mind will go blank and I won’t be able to think of anything to say.”
- “He’s probably just giving me the interview out of courtesy because he knows my father.”
- “I don’t really have anything to offer. He probably has a lot of applicants who are much better than I am.”
- “I’ll probably make a fool of myself.”
- “That would be terrible.”
The distortions include:
B. Disqualifying the positive / Jumping to conclusions
E. Mind reading
(In case you’re wondering, the answer key is as follows: 1 – C, 2 – E, 3 – B, 4 – A, 5 – D)
The Burns Anxiety Inventory
Another helpful tool in this book is the Burns Anxiety Inventory, which can help the reader determine how big of a problem their anxiety is, and in which areas they are most vulnerable to it (Burns, 1999).
To complete the inventory, the reader will rate 33 statements on how often they have felt that way or identified with that statement in the past week on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 3 (a lot).
There are three categories of symptoms, Anxious Feelings, Anxious Thoughts, and Physical Symptoms, with several items each. For example, one item from Anxious Feelings is “Feeling that things around you are strange, unreal, or foggy.” An example item Anxious Thoughts reads “Concerns about looking foolish or inadequate in front of others.” Finally, one of the Physical Symptoms items is “Butterflies or discomfort in the stomach.”
The reader should rate each statement and add up the total score for all 33 symptoms and use the following rubric to determine whether their anxiety lies along the spectrum from “none at all” to “constant anxiety”:
- 0 – 4: Minimal or no anxiety
- 5 – 10: Borderline anxiety
- 11 – 20: Mild anxiety
- 21 – 30: Moderate anxiety
- 31 – 50: Severe anxiety
- 51 – 99: Extreme anxiety or panic
This will give readers an idea of the extent to which their anxiety is a significant problem in their day-to-day life. They can also track their progress in reducing their anxiety by taking it each week, or more often if they feel they are improving rapidly, to compare scores over time.
This handbook (as well as its companion book) is a bestseller, and has helped thousands of people manage their anxiety and other emotional problems. You can find it for sale here, with over 500 reviews that have earned it an impressive 4.3 star rating.
Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne
This handy workbook from social anxiety expert Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, has already been put to good use by over one million people. It can help with all kinds of fears and anxiety, from generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic attacks, to specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other anxiety-related issues.
This workbook will be helpful whether the reader is working through it alone or as a complement to therapy or counseling with a mental health professional. Its goal is to help the reader build the skills necessary for shutting down overly anxious thoughts and putting yourself back in control of your thoughts and feelings.
First, it will walk the reader through a background on anxiety and phobias, including the latest evidence from anxiety research and the newest medications available for anxiety.
Next, it will guide readers through skill-building exercises and worksheets to give them the tools they need to overcome their anxiety – tools like:
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Challenging negative self-talk and mistaken beliefs
- Imagery and real-life desensitization
- Making lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise changes
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Skills for preventing and coping with panic attacks
The latest edition of this book (the sixth edition) is available on Amazon and appropriate for both interested individuals looking for a way to manage their anxiety and mental health professionals working with anxious clients. You can find more information on this book, read customer reviews, or purchase the book for yourself or your clients at this link. If you’d like to read this book in e-book format, click here.
The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points by Alice Boyes
This book enjoys an overwhelmingly positive rating on Amazon – always a good sign – and it is available in both paperback and e-book version.
It not only describes anxiety and discusses healthy vs. unhealthy levels of anxiety, it also outlines numerous tips, suggestions, and exercises that you can use to manage your anxiety. This book is accessible for anyone with anxiety, whether it is a diagnosed disorder or simply a natural tendency towards anxiety. While it won’t help you bring your anxiety down to a 0 on the anxious scale (that wouldn’t be a good thing!), it will help you bring it down to a more manageable level.
Click here to learn more about this book or purchase it for yourself.
The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution by David A. Clark and Aaron T. Beck
This book, written by leading experts in the area of clinical psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) David Clark and Aaron Beck, is a must-have for anyone struggling with anxiety.
The authors provide tools and techniques drawn from CBT to provide readers with nearly instant relief from acute anxiety and the skill-building that will allow them to tackle their future anxiety. It includes helpful worksheets, useful exercises, and examples based on the authors’ own experience working with clients over several decades.
Readers will learn practical strategies for identifying their anxiety triggers and discover new ways to challenge and confront their unhelpful thoughts and beliefs.
This book also enjoys a nearly 5-star rating on Amazon, and has provided relief from anxiety to people around the world. You can find it for purchase here.
The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry by Lisa M. Schab
Teens will find this workbook an excellent source of learning about anxiety and advice for dealing with that anxiety. It is clear and accessible, and targeted towards the kinds of concerns and problems that plague teenagers. It can help readers develop a more positive self-image, recognize their anxious thoughts, and develop some tools for dealing with the day-to-day challenges of anxiety.
This book includes numerous activities, exercises, techniques, and tools that can help young people deal with their anxiety today, tomorrow, and far into the future.
Over 130 Amazon reviews have earned this book a 4.3 star rating, indicating that many people have found it very helpful. If you’d like to give this book a try, you can find more information about it or purchase it here.
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus and Jon Carlson
Another excellent resource for those suffering from anxiety, this second-edition workbook outlines steps the reader can take to overcoming their anxiety and taking back their life, all grounded within the science of CBT and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT).
Readers will learn about behavioral activation, values-based action, how perfectionism relates to anxiety, and much more. This book will provide a practical program for readers to follow that will empower them to fight their anxiety when it attacks, and win.
To read more about this workbook or to purchase it for yourself, click here.
5 CBT Worksheets for Anxiety (+PDF)
If you’re looking for quicker, more short-term solutions for your anxiety, you may find worksheets more helpful than long, in-depth workbooks.
A few of the most popular and widely used worksheets are described below.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Including this item may be cheating a bit, as it is a handout rather than a worksheet. However, it has certainly earned its place on this list by providing an excellent introduction to mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is a simple tool you can use to keep your attention focused on the present, without judgment. Don’t let the descriptor “simple” fool you though – it can take a while to achieve this kind of awareness.
The handout walks the reader through a mindfulness meditation practice with the following instructions:
Time & Place
Aim to practice daily for 15-30 minutes. More frequent, consistent, and longer-term practice leads to the best results. However, some practice is better than no practice.
Find a time and place where you are unlikely to be interrupted. Silence your phone and other devices, and set a timer for your desired practice length.
Follow these guidelines for correct posture:
- Sit in a chair or on the floor with a cushion for support.
- Straighten your back, but not the point of stiffness.
- Let your chin drop slightly and gaze downward at a point in front of you.
- If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the ground. If on the floor, cross your legs.
- Let your arms fall naturally to your sides, with your palms resting on your thighs.
- If your pose becomes too uncomfortable, feel free to take a break or adjust.
Awareness of Breathing
Because the sensations of breathing are always present, they are useful as a tool to help you focus on the present moment. Whenever you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing.
Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your belly, and the feeling of air being exhaled, back into the world. Notice the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation.
It’s normal that your thoughts will wander during mindfulness meditation. At times, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain focus on your breathing. Don’t worry – that’s normal. Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them, without judgement. Acknowledge that your mind has wandered, and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.
This worksheet has so much potential to help with anxiety because mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool. Those who practice it regularly boost their awareness and improve their ability to remain objective and neutral to what is happening around them, even if they’re caught in a hurricane of emotions, thoughts, and actions – especially in these scenarios, actually!
If this worksheet has piqued your interest, click here to view, download, or print it for yourself.
What If? Worksheet
People who struggle with anxiety often fall prey to the “what if?” trap. It can be astoundingly easy to follow “what if?” questions down the rabbit hole, creating a downward spiral of anxiety-producing thoughts and catastrophizing.
This worksheet can be a fantastic tool for identifying and challenging one’s own “what if?” thoughts and beliefs.
It opens with the following explanations and instructions:
When we say to ourselves “what if…?” we are often identifying a potential danger: “What if something terrible happens?” “What if it all goes wrong?”
Each time we do this there are many equally plausible positive possibilities that we are failing to see. If we only see the bad possibilities and not the good ones then we have an unbalanced view of the situation.
Try to come up with three “glass half full” ways of seeing each “glass half empty” one.
Next, the worksheet outlines two columns with the following headers: (1) Negative “What if…?” and (2) Positive “What if…?”
In the left column the reader should write down some of their most troublesome or frequent negative “What if…?” thoughts. The more the reader has these thoughts or the more likely they seem, the better they are for inclusion here.
In the second column, the reader should write down some positive, or “glass half full” counter thoughts to these negative “What if…?” thoughts. These should be uplifting and optimistic ways in which the same issue or scenario could be viewed, just without focusing on the negative.
For example, if you wrote down “What if I start stuttering during a presentation or lecture I have to give?” in the negative column, you could write the following positive ways of thinking about this scenario:
- What if I complete the presentation without stuttering once?
- What if I stutter once, but make a joke about it and the audience laughs with me?
- What if I get through the presentation without even thinking about stuttering?
Although the negative “What if…?” is a possibility, all of these positive “What if…?” thoughts are possibilities as well. Some of them might be just as likely as the negative possibility to actually happen, or even more likely to happen.
Finally, the last portion of the worksheet poses the following questions:
- How does each kind of “What if…?” make you feel?
- Which is more likely than the other?
Regularly practicing this “What if…?” exercise is a great way to start broadening your perspective to include the positive outcomes. At first, you may simply concede that there are one or two positive possibilities, but that the negative possibility is the most likely. However, with time and effort, you may be able to get to a place where you simply acknowledge the negative outcome as a possibility, but one on equal footing with the positive possibilities.
Look for a silver lining, and you’ll usually find one!
Click here to see this worksheet and start working towards your own silver linings, or helping your clients discover their silver linings.
Challenging Anxious Thoughts
This worksheet is a useful way to follow your anxious thoughts to their source – irrational beliefs that you may not even consciously know you hold. Use this worksheet to identify some of your triggering thoughts and their underlying beliefs, and practice stopping them in their tracks.
The worksheet begins with space for the reader to describe a common situation that triggers their anxiety (e.g., giving a speech in front of a crowd, driving in rush hour traffic, facing an important deadline).
The worksheet explains that anxiety can distort our thinking by making us overestimate the likelihood of something going wrong and imagine the potential consequences as much worse than they really are. Sometimes just taking a moment to think about these two facts can help us manage our irrational thoughts.
Next, the reader is instructed to imagine that they are faced with the anxiety-producing situation they wrote about earlier. Once they have the situation in mind, they are to describe the…
- Worst outcome
- Best outcome
- Likely outcome
Then, the reader is instructed to imagine that the worst outcome they identified comes true. The reader should determine whether this outcome will still matter to them…
- One week from now
- One month from now
- One year from now
These two prompts will help an individual struggling with anxious thoughts about all the ways that something can go wrong. It can remind him or her that the worst outcome they are predicting is actually not the most likely outcome, and that even the worst outcome may not be as bad as they think.
Finally, the worksheet brings the exercise to its most useful part: using the worst outcome and likely outcome the reader described earlier, he or she is instructed to describe their…
- Irrational thought (the thought provoking the worst possible outcome)
- Rational thought (the thought underlying the most likely outcome)
Breaking down an anxious thought in this manner can be extremely helpful for those who tend to blow things out of proportion or who are consumed with anxiety about an upcoming event. Following the anxious thought through to its source will illuminate the individual’s thinking patterns and identify underlying false beliefs or cognitive distortions.
The first step to changing your thinking is to understand how you think, and identify areas that you need to work on. This worksheet is an excellent way to begin this process. Click here to see it for yourself.
Panic Assessment Worksheet
This worksheet is intended for those who are working with a mental health professional, but it can also be enlightening for an individual to complete it on their own. It will help them define their panic attacks and identify their triggers, note the symptoms they experience during their panic attacks, and discover potential methods for reducing the severity and/or frequency of attacks.
The worksheet begins with three questions:
- What were you thinking about before your most recent panic attack?
- What were you feeling before your most recent panic attack?
- What were you doing before your most recent panic attack?
Next, the worksheet lists several symptoms that people often experience during panic attacks, including:
- Pounding or racing heart
- Sense of terror, impending doom, or death
- Fear of “going crazy”
- Choking sensation
- Trembling or shaking
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or feeling of heat
- Feeling of being detached from reality or oneself
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Numbness or tingling
The reader is instructed to circle the symptoms they experience during their panic attacks.
Next, the reader will rate their worry about having another panic attack on a scale from 1 (not worried) to 5 (very worried).
The reader will also rate the discomfort they experience due to their panic attacks on a scale from 1 (no discomfort) to 5 (very uncomfortable).
Finally, one more question remains: Have you changed your behavior because of your past panic attacks (e.g., avoiding situations that you think might cause a panic attack or places where a panic attack would be embarrassing or dangerous)?
The information the reader writes on this worksheet can help his or her therapist to make a diagnosis and come up with an appropriate treatment plan. Click here to download or print this worksheet.
This worksheet is specifically designed for children to help them think through their anxious feelings and share their experiences with a trusted adult, like a parent or counselor.
It includes the following questions and instructions:
- What are some things that make you feel nervous or scared?
- What do you think about when you are nervous or scared?
- How does your body feel when you are nervous or scared? Color the areas where you can sense these feelings. (The worksheet includes an outline of a body with space to color.”
- What’s something you can do to feel better next time you are afraid?
The things that the child writes down on this worksheet can be of tremendous help to a mental health professional or parent. Even if the answers are not the most descriptive answers, they can still provide an opportunity to open up the discussion about the child’s feelings of anxiety.
To download this worksheet and print it out for your child or your clients, follow this link.
How to Manage Social Anxiety: 3 Workbooks
Social anxiety is a particular breed of anxiety, one that rears its ugly head when you are interacting with others or planning to interact with others soon.
Most of the symptoms of social anxiety are the same as those of general anxiety, but the individual may only experience them in relation to interacting with others. Accordingly, many of the workbooks and worksheets above can apply to social anxiety.
However, there are some resources specifically for those suffering from social anxiety. The workbooks below are a few of these resources, targeting solely social anxiety.
10 Simple Solutions to Shyness: How to Overcome Shyness, Social Anxiety, & Fear of Public Speaking
This workbook from Martin M. Antony, PhD, offers the reader an opportunity to learn more about what social anxiety is and how it affects people, how to make a plan of action, the theory behind how to change the way you think, how to confront anxiety-provoking situations, and ways to change the way you communicate with others.
In addition, it covers anxiety medications, how to cope with rejection, tips for meeting new people, learning how to approach public speaking with confidence, and perhaps the most important thing: how to stop trying to be perfect.
It’s jam-packed with information on beating your social anxiety, with exercises, activities, and examples to help guide you.
For example, the first exercise is called How Shyness Interferes with Your Life, and the instructions are posed as follows:
“Pick up your journal and on a fresh page entitled “How Shyness Interferes with My Life,” write down the ways in which your shyness or social anxiety interferes with your life. How would things be different if shyness or performance anxiety were not a problem for you? Would you have more friends? Different friends? A different job? Different hobbies? How differently would you spend your time? Would your relationships with others change?”
It also touches on CBT techniques and the idea of cognitive distortions that can play a role in your anxiety. The relevant exercise is Identify and Record Your Anxious Thoughts, and it can be completed by following these instructions:
“It is useful to keep a record of your anxious thoughts as they occur. For the next few weeks (or for as long as you are working through the strategies in this book), try to identify and record your anxious thoughts in your journal. If it is inconvenient to write down your thoughts while in the situation (for example, in the middle of your presentation or while eating dinner with friends), try recording your fearful predictions and beliefs either just before entering the situation or immediately after leaving the situation.”
This workbook is available for free in PDF format at this link.
Social Anxiety Group Participant Workbook
This excellent resource from Hamilton Family Health Team is intended to be complemented by attending a group session for social anxiety. If you’re in the area of this group (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) and interested in attending, you can find more information at www.hamiltonfht.ca. If, however, you are in the majority of readers who could not commute to such a group, this workbook can be a handy guide for working through social anxiety on your own as well.
Of course, it’s most effective to practice with others, but it can’t hurt to give some exercises a try on your own, right?
This worksheet covers eight sessions’ worth of materials, including sessions on learning about shyness and social anxiety, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and four skill building sessions (listening and nonverbal skills, having conversations, assertiveness skills, and specific skills).
Not only will you find tons of information on social anxiety’s symptoms, causes, and treatment options, you will also find numerous worksheets and activities that you can use to work on your own social anxiety.
For example, you will find several Three Components Anxiety Monitoring Forms in the workbook.
These forms are composed of five columns with space to write about a few anxiety episodes:
- Place/Situation, Date/Time
- Anxiety (0 – 100)
- Physical Sensations
- Anxious Thoughts
- Anxious Behaviors
These forms are intended to help you find the patterns in your anxiety attacks, identify your anxiety triggers, and determine which symptoms are most bothersome or most inhibitive in your daily functioning. For maximum effectiveness, try to use these daily or as often as you can.
It also includes worksheets to help you create an exposure hierarchy, a list of situations in which you experience great anxiety that you would like to improve your response to, in meaningful order. Additionally, you can find a monitoring form for your work with the exposure hierarchy, to help you track your progress and see how far you’ve come.
This worksheet instructs the reader to describe the exposure situation they are planning, note the date and time, and record their initial fear level (on a scale from 0 to 100), their fear level at the end (on a scale from 0 to 100), and the duration of the exposure.
Before completing the exposure practice, there are three questions the reader should answer:
- What emotions and feelings (e.g., fear, anger, etc.,) do I have about the exposure?
- What anxious thoughts, predictions, and assumptions do I have about the exposure? What do I expect will happen during the exposure practice?
- What evidence do I have that my fearful thoughts are true?
Once the reader has completed the exposure practice, they are instructed to answer these two questions:
- What was the outcome of this practice? What actually happened?
- What evidence did I gain from this practice? How accurate were my original thoughts and predictions?
Finally, the reader is posed this question to get them thinking about their next exercise: “Based on this experience, what exposure will you do next?”
This worksheet is a great way to monitor your or your clients’ progress through exposure monitoring.
To see these exercises and other useful worksheets and tips in the social anxiety group participant workbook, click here.
Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear
This workbook from Martin M. Antony, PhD, and Richard P. Swinson, MD, will educate you about social anxiety, its causes, the common symptoms and experiences, and ways to tackle it.
It is a comprehensive program for working through shyness and social anxiety, step by step, from beginning to end. It will help you:
- Explore and examine your fears
- Find your strengths and weaknesses (it includes a self-evaluation tool)
- Create a personalized plan for change
- Put that plan into action through gentle and gradual exposure to social situations
This workbook has proven to be a valuable tool as well as a popular one, as it was awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit, indicating that it is consistent with CBT principles and that it includes evidence-backed strategies for dealing with mental health issues.
Whether you work through this workbook with a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional, or individually on your own time, you will learn useful information about social anxiety and treatment, and hopefully be able to apply some of the suggestions and exercises to your own life.
The nearly 5-star rating on this workbook on Amazon indicates that the Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook will allow you to do just that; feel free to read some of the reviews on its life-changing potential on its Amazon page. You can access the page to learn more or purchase it for yourself at this link.
A Take Home Message
In this piece, we went over ways that you can address your anxiety problems (or those of your clients), including several helpful anxiety workbooks, anxiety worksheets, and workbooks focused on social anxiety in particular.
I hope you found some useful information and exercises here, but if you find yourself wanting more, remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many resources out there for working through your anxiety, and many of them are a simple internet search away.
Have you used any of these workbooks or worksheets before? Have you found other useful resources for tackling anxiety? What are your personal tools for overcoming your anxiety? Let us know in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
- Antony, M. M. (2004). 10 simple solutions to shyness: How to overcome shyness, social anxiety, & fear of public speaking. Oakland, CA, US: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
- Antony, M. M., & Swinson, R. P. (2008). Shyness and social anxiety workbook: Proven, step-by-step techniques for overcoming your fear. Oakland, CA, US: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
- Bourne, E. J. (2015). The anxiety and phobia workbook. Oakland, CA, US: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
- Burns, D. D. (1999). The feeling good handbook. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
- Ramsay, A. (2003). Help for anxious people: Literacy and life skills workbook 3. Unesco. Retrieved from http://portal.unesco.org/en/files/25197/11080250281Workbook2003_Anxiety.pdf/Workbook2003_Anxiety.pdf