Worry Time Worksheet

Effectively manage anxiety with the Worry Time Worksheet. Explore techniques, develop coping skills, and regain control over anxious thoughts.

By Karina Jimenea on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is generalized anxiety disorder?

You've probably experienced this in the middle of the night — you're lying in bed, and your mind is racing about everything that could go wrong tomorrow—work deadlines, family health, financial stress, relationship tensions. 

The more you try to push these anxious thoughts away, the more they seem to intensify, making it nearly impossible to find a moment of peace. If this scenario feels familiar, you might be dealing with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Generalized anxiety disorder, a mental health condition, induces feelings of fear, constant worry, and overwhelming emotions, marked by excessive and persistent concern about everyday matters (Munir & Takov, 2022).

GAD isn't just occasional worrying; it's like having a constant companion of anxious thoughts, a never-ending stream of "what ifs" and worst-case scenarios playing on repeat in your mind. Picture this as a mental alarm that never seems to turn off, leaving you in a loop of worry that interferes with your ability to enjoy the present moment.

Now, here's the thing about GAD—it's more than just worrying about specific problems. It's the worrying about worrying itself, a challenging cycle known as rumination. This constant mental activity can be mentally exhausting, affecting your sleep, daily activities, and overall well-being.

Printable Worry Time Worksheet

Download this Worry Time Worksheet to help manage anxiety effectively.

What is worry time?

Worry can be addressed through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) interventions, including exposure, problem-solving, and cognitive change methods (University of Washington, 2017). Here's where the idea of a "worry time" comes in. It's a technique rooted in CBT, a therapeutic approach aimed at addressing anxious thoughts and developing effective coping skills. 

The concept is simple: rather than letting worries dictate your entire day, you designate a specific time to explore and manage them actively. This helps in regaining control over the anxiety that can often feel like it's running rampant.

Consider it as creating a safe space on your mental calendar— a time to address concerns, explore possible solutions, and actively manage your anxious thoughts. Therapists often encourage clients to use worksheets during this time, providing a written record that can be reviewed and tracked, offering insights into patterns and progress.

By incorporating a worry time approach, you can protect the other moments in your day from overwhelming worries. It's like giving yourself the freedom to rest, exercise, and engage in activities without the constant shadow of anxiety. The commitment to addressing anxieties during this designated time becomes a proactive step in developing a healthier approach to everyday challenges.

So, the next time anxious thoughts start creeping in, consider trying a worry time. It may begin a more intentional and peaceful relationship with your thoughts.

Benefits of worry time

The Worry Time technique is a therapeutic exercise beyond the computer screen or worksheet. It's committed to addressing anxieties, developing skills, and protecting free moments from overwhelming worries. Here are five key advantages:

  1. Present moment focus: Worry Time encourages individuals to be in the present moment, helping them break free from the cycle of rumination and redirect their focus toward understanding and addressing thoughts as they occur.
  2. A structured approach to worries: Clients gain a helpful structure to explore and manage their concerns by scheduling a dedicated time for worry. This technique acts as a committed exercise, protecting other parts of the day from overwhelming anxiety.
  3. Effective record-keeping: Using a worksheet during Worry Time provides a tangible record of worries and their resolutions. This written review allows clients to watch their progress, understand patterns, and inform therapists with crucial details.
  4. Improved sleep quality: By addressing worries during a designated time, individuals often find it easier to let go of anxious thoughts before bedtime. This commitment to a worry-free period supports better sleep and a restful night, ultimately improving overall well-being.
  5. Enhanced control and empowerment: Worry Time empowers clients to take control of their thoughts and fears. The commitment to a specific worry period signals a proactive approach to addressing problems, challenging negative thoughts, and developing effective coping skills.

How to use the Worry Time Worksheet

Worry time is a technique for managing and alleviating anxious thoughts. This approach is a powerful tool for addressing worries and cultivating a more structured way to explore and resolve concerns. Below, you'll find easy-to-follow steps and instructions to make the most out of this technique.

Step 1: Download the template

To get started, download the Worry Time Worksheet template in PDF format. Click the link provided, and you're on your way to a more organized approach to handling worries.

Step 2: Schedule your worry time

Choose a specific time each day to dedicate to your worries. This scheduled time allows you to contain your anxious thoughts and prevents them from taking over your entire day.

Step 3: List your worries

As worries arise throughout the day, jot them down on the table provided. This simple act helps you acknowledge your concerns without getting lost in them immediately.

Step 4: Reflect on each worry

During your designated worry time, go through the listed worries. Ask yourself, "Why am I worried about this?" Explore the underlying thoughts and emotions connected to each concern.

Step 5: Consider possible solutions

For each worry, brainstorm possible solutions. This is a chance to problem-solve and actively improve your approach to challenging situations.

Step 6: Be gentle with yourself

Remember, it's okay if you can't resolve every worry immediately. Be patient with the process, and celebrate small victories in your journey to manage anxiety.

Step 7: Share with your therapist

If specific worries persist or are challenging, share them with your therapist during your sessions. They can provide additional guidance and support. Therapists are encouraged to inform clients about the effectiveness of this approach and emphasize the importance of actively noting, exploring, and managing thoughts during the designated worry time. 

Worry Time Worksheet example (sample)

This Worry Time Worksheet can be an essential daily ritual to break the cycle of rumination and establish a healthier relationship with your thoughts. Try it and see how our Sample Worry Time Worksheet transforms your everyday approach. Your mental well-being is essential, and this technique is here to help.

Download this free worksheet for worry time example here:

Worry Time Worksheet example (sample)

Other helpful resources

At Carepatron, we understand that managing anxiety involves a holistic approach. In addition to the Worry Time Worksheet, we offer the following resources:

  1. Worry Tree TemplateExplore the template, a visual resource to help you identify and categorize worries, providing a structured approach to managing anxiety.
  2. Personal Worry Script & Panic Attack WorksheetAccess the worksheet to guide you through creating a personalized script for worries and a practical tool for managing panic attacks.
  3. Anxiety Worksheets for AdultsUtilize a collection of anxiety worksheets tailored for adults, offering various exercises and prompts to enhance self-awareness and develop effective coping strategies.

Why use Carepatron as your therapy software?

Managing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and navigating anxious thoughts demands therapy software that truly understands the subtleties of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Carepatron emerges as a compassionate companion in this endeavor, seamlessly integrating CBT principles tailored to meet individual needs.

Carepatron encourages users to engage with their thoughts actively, fostering a real-time awareness crucial to managing anxiety effectively.

Therapists and clients find solace in the software's ability to facilitate detailed record-keeping, noting breakthroughs, and tracking progress. It becomes a trusted ally in the collective journey towards improved mental well-being.

Initiating therapy can be daunting, but Carepatron's user-friendly interface transforms this process into a welcoming experience. Therapists and clients find comfort in its focus on skill development, real-time noting, and the creation of tailored worksheets.

References

Munir, S., & Takov, V. (2022, October 17). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved January 27, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441870/

University of Washington. (2017). CBT Strategies for Worry – A Guide for Therapists [PDF document]. University of Washington. https://depts.washington.edu/uwhatc/PDF/TF-%20CBT/pages/combined/CBT-Strategies-for-Worry.pdf

How do I schedule my worry time?
How do I schedule my worry time?

Commonly asked questions

How do I schedule my worry time?

Schedule worry time by choosing a specific daily slot, ideally free from distractions, to focus on addressing your concerns.

What is the worry time technique in CBT?

The worry time technique in CBT involves dedicating a specific time each day to address and process worries in a structured manner.

How do I train my brain to stop worrying? 

Train your brain to stop worrying by practicing mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, and gradually redirecting your focus to positive or neutral aspects of your life.

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