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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
7 free printable stress management worksheets
By Author Elly Prior
Posted on Published: 30-03-2019 - Last updated: 10-07-2022
Categories Dealing with anxiety and stress
Printable mental health and coping skills worksheets
Why have I created these stress management worksheets and handouts, including mental health and coping skills worksheets?
Because there’s no doubt about it: life is often stressful! We all face countless – and sometimes overwhelming – demands on our time, energy and attention every day. So it’s vital that we take an active role in dealing with our stress levels.
The good news is that there’s much that you can do to regain a little equilibrium in your life.
Below, you’ll find downloadable stress management handouts to help you deal with various different kinds of stress.
Scroll down and choose which feels most relevant to you right now. You might need to use a couple of the worksheets if you’re dealing with many different sources of stress at the moment, but that’s totally fine – that’s what they’re all here for :-)
What do I know?
I was a counsellor with over 24 years’ experience, and I’ve been both a workplace therapist and a relationship/couple therapist. I know what causes people to seek help with stress.
I have designed these stress management worksheets for you to use yourself, or as an aid to help your partner. Of course, they can also be used in a professional context if you’re a support worker.
Ready to get started?
Managing stress at work
The workplace can for many people a huge source of stress due to issues such as:
- Difficult relationships with colleagues, team members or senior members of staff
- Team dynamics, including favouritism, laziness, stolen ideas
- Discrimination of any kind, e.g. ageism, bigotry, racism
- Lack of promotion prospects, or being passed over for a pay rise
- Being promoted and facing additional responsibilities
- Long, unsociable or unpredictable hours and/or shift-patterns
- Dealing with constant criticism at work
- Being forced to move to a different department or even another location.
And plenty more besides.
Given that most people spend a large proportion of their time at work, dealing with its stresses and strains is not something to be ignored…
Free printable stress management pdf
Stress management and dealing with anger go hand in hand
When you’re stressed up to your eyeballs, you’ve little spare capacity for dealing with life’s normal ups and downs. It becomes all too easy to lose your temper when you’re so often feeling irritated and angry.
Uncontrollable anger can take even more of a toll on your relationships and your well-being. It puts you at risk or being emotionally abusive or even physically abusive .
Tackling the cause(s) of that stress is the most effective way of helping you to increase your spare capacity for dealing with life’s ups and downs. You’ll feel less stress and less likely to lose your temper.
Below is a worksheet to help you deal with your anger problem. However, if you continue to lose your rag too easily, I highly recommend you get some anger management counselling or therapy for whatever you suspect is bothering you deep down.
Stress management handouts – managing feelings and emotions
This stress management worksheet will help you to become more aware of your own needs and take the necessary action to reduce stress…
Free printable worksheet
Stress management by ensuring you meet your emotional needs in balance
We all have innate needs that must be met in balance if we’re to feel as healthy and well as we possibly can.
Understanding what these emotional needs are and learning how to meet them can help you to become more resilient in the long-term.
Also, honing your stress management techniques now will help to inoculate you against the inevitable difficulties and challenges of the future, whatever they might be. (You know they’ll be along sometime!)
See also my article: 10 tips to relieve stress .
Stress management by reducing stress in your relationship
Another biggie: relationship stress . During my many years working as a relationship therapist, I saw and heard it all.
Relationship stress can push your body and mind to breaking point, but there is much that you can do yourself to address the situation, even if your partner isn’t willing to engage right now.
Just in case you blame your spouse or partner for your relationship problems and anger, be sure to learn how to become a better spouse and the secrets to a healthy relationship .
When you blame your spouse for your problems, you probably feel stuck and out of control. You end up expecting and hoping that – somehow – they’ll mend their ways. The thing is – you cannot make your partner or spouse do anything!
So, here’s my stress-management worksheet to help you fix your relationship .
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” Walter Anderson
Reduce stress by calling on your social circle
A sense of belonging and the opportunity to give and receive attention are essential human needs. Both of these needs can be met by developing and nurturing your social networks (offline and online).
And when you’re struggling, asking for help from trusted people in your social circle helps them to feel needed. And it offers you an opportunity to offload, be comforted and get another perspective on your situation.
Tapping into your social circle also paves the way for you to do the same in return. Being able to help others can be a great way to boost your mood.
Be sure to avoid negative people and figure out who you can really trust to help you with support and advice. See my article on getting the right relationship advice for further information.
Stress management by treating yourself as your very best friend
Value yourself enough to take good care of yourself. Your everyday actions can either add to your stress level or help you to reduce it. And ensuring you’re generally well and healthy is one of your best tools for being able to better manage all the stresses that life tries to throw at you next.
I also have a ton of tips and advice on how to look after yourself in my article on how to deal with depression naturally . You’ll discover how you can help soothe and comfort yourself when you’re going through a stressful time.
I hope all the tips and advice in my stress management worksheets will help you to start feeling better soon. I suspect that just by having gotten far means that you’re already on the way to taking some positive action.
With the help of the above worksheets and any other support you need, you can get back in the driving seat and face your difficulties head-on.
I know you’ve got the strength and the resources to overcome the stress you’re struggling with right now. I’m rooting for you! :-)
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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.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Acute stress disorder (ASD)
Unclassified or unspecified trauma disorders
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED)
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.
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.
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.
Long-term stress often leads to problems with the digestive system, such as frequent stomachaches and diarrhea.
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.
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.
Below are commonly asked questions on this topic:
What is stress management worksheet?
Stress management worksheets can help individuals to better understand and learn to manage their sources of stress. The website Therapist Aid offers many worksheets and therapy tools related to identifying stressors and developing healthy coping techniques. The material on Therapist Aid is intended to supplement sessions with a mental health professional.
To visit the Therapist Aid page focused on stress management, click here .
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Ease stress and mental exhaustion
10+ Coping Skills Worksheets for Adults and Youth (+ PDFs)
Coping is something we all do, whether we do it consciously or without thinking.
That might mean watching a funny movie when you’re sad, calling a friend to help you get through a breakup, or going out for a drink after a challenging workday.
Some of the ways we cope are healthy and build resilience, while others are ways to avoid dealing with a problem or are destructive.
In this piece, we’ll provide more than 60 healthy coping strategies, explain why they’re different from negative coping methods, and provide worksheets that teach you how to cope in a more positive way.
Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Resilience Exercises for free . These engaging, science-based exercises will help you to effectively deal with difficult circumstances and give you the tools to improve the resilience of your clients, students or employees.
This Article Contains:
60+ essential positive coping skills, 6 coping skills worksheets for adults, printable coping skills worksheets for youth, coping skills worksheets for mental illness.
- Substance Abuse, Recovery & Relapse Prevention Worksheets
A Take-Home Message
There are nearly infinite ways to cope, and we all use the methods that suit our unique personalities and needs. An activity that causes stress in one individual might help another person cope.
It doesn’t matter whether you cope like everyone else. The important thing is that you find effective coping methods that will help you to thrive and build resilience.
Below, you’ll find Blake Flannery’s master list of coping methods and skills organized into categories (2016). No matter what you need in a given moment, there is probably at least one activity listed below that will help.
- Write, draw, paint, photography;
- Play an instrument, sing, dance, act;
- Take a shower or a bath;
- Take a walk, or go for a drive;
- Watch television or a movie;
- Watch cute kitten videos on YouTube;
- Play a game;
- Go shopping;
- Clean or organize your environment;
- Take a break or vacation.
- Talk to someone you trust;
- Set boundaries and say “no”;
- Write a note to someone you care about;
- Be assertive;
- Spend time with friends and/or family;
- Serve someone in need;
- Care for or play with a pet;
- Role-play challenging situations with others;
- Encourage others.
- Make a gratitude list ;
- Brainstorm solutions;
- Lower your expectations of the situation;
- Keep an inspirational quote with you;
- Be flexible;
- Write a list of goals;
- Take a class;
- Act opposite of negative feelings;
- Write a list of pros and cons for decisions;
- Reward or pamper yourself when successful;
- Write a list of strengths;
- Accept a challenge with a positive attitude.
- Exercise or play sports;
- Engage in catharsis (yelling in the bathroom, punching a punching bag);
- Get enough sleep;
- Eat healthy foods;
- Get into a good routine;
- Eat a little chocolate;
- Limit caffeine;
- Practice deep/slow breathing.
- Pray or meditate;
- Enjoy nature;
- Get involved in a worthy cause.
- Drop some involvement;
- Prioritize important tasks;
- Use assertive communication;
- Schedule time for yourself.
Suggestions from Mental Health Wellness Week
Good Coping Skills
- Practicing meditation and relaxation techniques ;
- Having time to yourself;
- Engaging in physical activity or exercise;
- Spending time with friends;
- Finding humor;
- Spending time on your hobbies;
- Engaging in spirituality ;
- Spending quality time with your pets;
- Getting a good night’s sleep;
- Eating healthy.
Negative Coping Skills
- Using drugs;
- Drinking alcohol excessively;
- Engaging in self-mutilation;
- Ignoring or bottling up feelings;
- Taking sedatives;
- Taking stimulants;
- Working too much;
- Avoiding your problems;
- Being in denial.
10 Ways to Build Resilience
Aside from using the positive coping methods, the Mental Health Wellness Week website also suggests ten tips you can put to use to strengthen your mental state and build resilience to life’s stressors:
- Build up your confidence ;
- Accept compliments when they are given to you;
- Make time for your loved ones;
- Give support to others when needed and accept support from others when needed;
- Create and stick to a realistic budget;
- Volunteer in your community;
- Find ways to manage your stress on a regular basis;
- Share your burdens with others, especially those who have been through the same things;
- Identify and address your shifting moods;
- Learn how to be at peace with yourself.
It takes some work to follow these tips, but they are sure to provide you with the strength and resilience you need to navigate difficult times in your life (Mental Health Wellness Week).
If you’re still looking for more coping methods, see these suggestions for positive coping methods from mental health organization Reach Out Australia.
To make it easier for you, we’ve selected some of our favorites and included them below.
Growing Stronger From Trauma
Bright and colorful, this Growing Stronger From Trauma worksheet is perfect for adolescents, teens, and adults who have undergone trauma in their past. It helps the user cope with traumatic experiences by focusing on the person’s strengths.
The worksheet starts by asking the person to list five strengths he or she had before the traumatic incident. Then, the person is instructed to name strengths that helped him or her deal with the traumatic experience.
The worksheet also has the person list strengths he or she gained because of the traumatic experience, and also write about how he or she feels about those new strengths.
This worksheet can help people see the silver lining of a traumatic experience, and help them recognize the strengths that allowed them to cope with that trauma.
This worksheet encourages you to think about the ways in which you manage your feelings in front of other people. It explains that we all “wear masks” at times in order to hide our true feelings from others.
It presents some examples of imaginary masks, like acting fine when you don’t feel fine or acting angry when you really feel hurt.
Now, the creative part: At the end of the worksheet, there is space to draw the mask or masks you frequently use to hide your feelings.
This worksheet can be helpful for older kids and for adults since we all wear masks sometimes. Put your creativity and imagination to use, and think of all the times you put on a “mask” to hide how you feel.
Download the Emotion Masks worksheet and give it a try.
Coping Skills Inventory
This colorful worksheet helps you to categorize the different coping mechanisms you find most helpful. The categories include:
- Emotional Release;
- Thought Challenge;
- Access to Your Higher Self.
In the Challenging Thoughts section, you can list the ways that you can effectively challenge the negative and unhelpful thoughts that arise. Replacing these with positive and realistic thoughts can be a great coping tool.
The Releasing Emotions category includes actions that help you vent, express your feelings, and move on, like screaming into a pillow or punching a punching bag.
The Practicing Self-Love section is where you can write down how you practice self-compassion and show yourself appreciation, like treating yourself to a massage or writing down good things about yourself.
In the Distracting section, you can write down the skills and techniques that are most helpful for distracting you from negative and/or irrational thoughts.
The section on Tapping Into Your Best Self is for listing the things you do that help you access your ‘higher self’. For example, this may be volunteering for others or extending compassion to everyone around you.
In the grounding section, you will list the ways that you can ground yourself in the present and keep your mind focused on what is happening around you. Mindfulness techniques are perfect grounding exercises.
If you aren’t great at the skills in any of these categories, that’s okay! Just write down why you struggle with it and what you plan to do to improve your skills.
Click to see the Coping Skills Inventory worksheet.
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 begin dealing with your stress.
Part 2 will help you to brainstorm new and healthier ways to cope with your stress. It first instructs you to identify the ways in which you can and cannot control the situations that trigger you. Then, you brainstorm ways to cope with a triggering situation in the moment. Finally, you brainstorm ways to cope with the situation that reduce or eliminate your stress.
These worksheets will help you come up with a solid and thought-out plan for dealing with stress and overcoming urges to cope in unhealthy ways.
This is a great worksheet for anyone suffering from panic or anxiety . The worksheet instructs you to imagine the worst possible outcomes, and how you’d cope if those outcomes came true.
The worksheet first instructs you to list the catastrophe you are afraid of and rate how bad you think it will be on a scale from 0 to 100. You’ll then consider the actual likelihood of that event, how awful it would be if it happened, and how you’d cope.
In the last section, you have space to list the positive and reassuring things you want to say to yourself about the catastrophe. Finally, you once again rate how bad you think the catastrophe would be.
Simply thinking through the likelihood and possible outcomes of a catastrophe you are fixated on can help you to decrease your anxiety about the potential situation.
Click here if you’d like to give this worksheet a try.
If you’re still hungry for more coping worksheets, check out our Cognitive Distortions article, which is packed with tons of resources to help you cope with any problem you may be experiencing.
Children may not have the same stressors as adults, but their problems are just as difficult to face as the problems of their elders.
This website is an excellent resource for learning about kids and coping. It emphasizes that good coping skills must be learned because no one is born with all the coping skills they need.
Coping skills can be learned through three main avenues:
- By observing others, including parents and other family members, friends and classmates, teachers and other adults in the learning environment, and from entertainment;
- Through trial and error—we all need to learn what methods work best for us, and that can only be accomplished by testing different methods and reflecting on the results;
- Through education programs, especially those geared toward teens and preteens; starting early can have a huge impact on coping skills later in life.
We can’t use the first two learning methods in this article, but we can make suggestions for educational worksheets and tools. Some of the best coping worksheets for kids are listed below. All of these worksheets can be found at this website .
Coping Worksheets for Young Children (Under 10)
To help children identify and work through difficult feelings, it can help to engage them in a fun activity, like the ones described in these worksheets.
My Feelings, My Body
This worksheet is simple—it’s just an outline of a body, along with instructions for putting it to use.
There are many ways to use this worksheet, such as having your child:
- Draw what different emotions look like
- Draw a diary of their school day, or
- Splitting the outline in half with a vertical line to compare the good and bad things they have heard, seen, or done recently.
There are also suggestions for what to focus on in each part of the body outline.
For example, children can write worries, hopes, ideas, and fears in the head; instincts and urges in the stomach; and spoken words from the past, present, and future in the mouth.
My Feelings, My Body presents the opportunity to talk through whatever your child draws.
Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, let your child draw or write whatever comes to him or her and encourage a discussion about it afterward.
Deep Breathing For Kids
Breathing exercises are a great way to feel less stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The potential benefits are not exclusive to adults—kids can also get in on this practice.
This guided script includes basic steps to deep breathing that you can read aloud to your child very easily.
- Sharing with your child how deep breathing can help when you’re angry or nervous
- Doing five deep breaths together, and
- Encouraging him or her to practice deep breathing regularly.
Deep Breathing For Kids is an easy, simple, and free coping method–a win for both parent and child.
Another exercise borrowed from mindfulness training , Noodle Caboodle is simply a child’s version of progressive muscle relaxation.
Like the deep breathing exercise, this worksheet has you to read the instructions aloud with your child, with both of you following along.
The worksheet has you explain that our bodies can get tight when we’re stressed and anxious, and has you compare a relaxed body to wet noodles. You’ll then walk your child through the process of scrunching and tightening parts of the body before relaxing into their noodle state.
The worksheet encourages you to tell your child that this exercise can help him or her relax and to encourage him or her to practice it regularly
Noodle Caboodle is a great exercise to join in on with your child. If they’re having trouble understanding the steps, you can help model how to do them.
In a Nutshell
In a Nutshell involves body relaxation as well as self-compassion by teaching children to do the “nutshell” a body position that promotes feelings of calm and safety.
To do the nutshell,
- Start out by standing with your feet slightly apart and your shoulders tall.
- Then, crouch down so that your bottom is down to your heels, and wrap your arms around your legs.
- Next, put your nose or chin on your knees, if it’s comfortable.
- Finally, give yourself a big, warm hug, and sustain that for however long it takes to feel safe and happy.
Parents or guardians can encourage their children to practice this exercise frequently in order to feel better.
Coping Worksheets for Older Children and Teens (10 and up)
With that in mind, you can try one of these worksheets that are geared toward more mature youth.
Bubbling Over uses the metaphor of a pot boiling over to explain feeling overly stressed, angry, or anxious.
There are three columns with illustrations of pots: one at a simmer, one at a rolling boil, and one bubbling over.
The worksheet lists goals that correspond to each boiling stage, and they correspond to the responsibilities of both the child and the adult when stress, anxiety, or anger take over.
The child is responsible for bringing their bubbling “pot” back to a simmer, and the adult’s responsibility is to aid them in their goal.
- The goal for the simmering pot is simply to keep it simmering.
- The goal for the pot at a rolling boil is to return it to a simmer.
- The goal for the bubbling over pot is also to return it to a simmer, but it may require some more drastic action to get there.
Children can use this worksheet by writing down some coping skills for each situation.
- For the simmering pot, children can write down coping methods that help them maintain their happy thoughts and good mood.
- Under the second pot, they should write down ways to cope when they’re feeling a little off or out of sorts.
- For the third pot, they must identify some of the most powerful coping skills at their disposal, especially ones that work fast, like deep breathing and sharing their feelings with an adult.
They also have an opportunity to tell the adults in their lives how to help when the pot is starting to boil.
For each situation, they can write down things that an adult can do to help maintain their happy mood, calm them down, or help them address some really bad moods.
This worksheet is a great way for kids to think about and plan ahead for stressful and difficult situations that will arise. It’s also a great way for them to let adults in on how they’re feeling and what they need when the going gets tough.
Complete this exercise with your children, and you will learn about how to help them when they need you most.
Visualization For Kids
This is another technique that is frequently used by adults to address stress, anxiety, or anger.
Employing imagery when you are feeling overwhelmed can be a great way to take you back to feeling calm and collected. With their vivid imaginations, kids are especially adept at using imagery.
This worksheet identifies two keys to effective imagery. The first is to utilize all five of your senses—the more sensory-rich the imagery is, the more effective it will be. The second is to breathe deeply and calmly throughout.
It also provides some ideas for how to use imagery.
One example is to imagine your favorite place and to focus all of your senses on that place in order to go there in your mind.
Another is to imagine your favorite person—someone that makes you feel safe, fictional characters you like, or a higher power (if you believe in one)—and to focus on what they look like, what they say, and what it feels like to be with them.
Imagery can be a powerful tool, especially in a particularly difficult moment. Encourage your child to put his or her imagination to good use.
Ups and Downs
Children that love making lists, thinking about pros and cons, or coming at problems with a well-thought-out plan will love this worksheet.
The Ups and Downs worksheet helps kids to think through a difficult decision by listing the ups and downs, or pros and cons, of each choice.
For each choice, the worksheet provides a space to write down the ups and downs of choosing each option and the ups and downs of not choosing each option.
It’s a simple worksheet, but it can be useful for guiding a child through a difficult decision.
Help your child complete this worksheet, making suggestions if needed, and you can be involved in practicing good decision-making.
Progressive Relaxation: Easy Basics
This is a slightly more mature version of the Noodle Caboodle exercise described above.
The worksheet teaches a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and it can be done anywhere and anytime your child feels overwhelmed with emotion.
The full steps can be seen here , but this is the outline:
- Sit or stand tall but comfortably, and close your eyes;
- Take three deep breaths through your nose;
- Start from your feet and work your way up to your head, totally relaxing all the muscles in each area;
- If you want to, you can take another relaxing sweep from your head back down to your feet.
The worksheet encourages the child to practice this regularly in times of stress, sadness, or anxiety.
Other Coping Skills
These are just a few of the coping skills kids can use to deal with stress, anxiety, anger, and other difficult emotions. For more ideas, see the following articles:
- 6 Scales to Measure Coping + The Brief Cope Inventory
- The Connor Davidson + Brief Resilience Scales (Incl. PDF)
- What is Coping Theory?
Given this reality, it is essential to learn the skills and tools we can use to combat the negative effects of mental illness.
There are several effective ways to cope with depression, many of them borrowed from cognitive behavioral therapy .
The three worksheets below should help you deal with the difficult feelings that come with depression.
Simple Thought Record
Sometimes, all we need to face our negative thoughts and feelings is to identify and confront them.
This worksheet is a good way to do that.
The worksheet consists of six columns:
- Date and time
- Situation (who, what, when, where);
- Automatic Thoughts (what was going through your mind, thoughts or images).
- Emotions (what you felt, how strongly you felt it);
- Alternative Thoughts (evidence that challenges or refutes Automatic Thoughts), and
- Outcome (the results of challenging the Automatic Thought)
In the first column, write down the date and time that an automatic negative thought came into your head.
In the Situation column, describe what happened to trigger a negative reaction.
Outline what Automatic Thoughts and images came to mind as you dealt with this negative reaction in the next column along. What popped up that was unwelcome or seemingly came out of nowhere?
In the fourth column, note the Emotions you were feeling and rate their intensity from 0 to 100.
In the next, Alternative Thoughts , try to come up with facts that challenge the credibility of that negative thought. What else might be true, instead?
Use the last column to re-assess the credibility of your Automatic Negative Thought once more. Have your feelings changed? Have some new possibilities emerged?
Simply identifying what is happening to us when we are stressed and upset is the first step toward successfully addressing the problem.
Challenging Negative Thoughts
Just in case you skipped ahead, the Getting Rid of ANTs, Identifying ANTs, and Positive Thought Replacement worksheets above offer different ways to deal with those pesky negative and irrational thoughts that can plague all of us.
When we are feeling depressed, it’s much more difficult to not buy into those thoughts.
In general, challenging Automatic Negative Thoughts – or ANTS – frequently involves answering some questions that can help you address them directly, including:
- Is there substantial evidence for my thought?
- Is there evidence contrary to my thought?
- Am I attempting to interpret this situation without all the evidence?
- What would a friend think about this situation?
- If I look at the situation positively, how is it different?
- Will this matter a year from now? How about five years from now?
Asking yourself these simple but profound questions can help you move from fretting to feeling better.
Keeping a gratitude journal is more of a long-term maintenance method than a way to feel better immediately, but it’s a powerful tool nonetheless.
The exercise is simple: You just write down what you are grateful for.
Simply noticing the good things in your life is a great way to protect yourself against the negative. Acknowledging the positive can construct a buffer of “good” around you that makes it harder for the “bad” to get in.
This worksheet provides space to write a list about ten things one can be grateful for. We recommend filling out this worksheet twice a day and spending about 5 minutes on it each time.
Give this exercise a try, and encourage the flow of gratitude !
10 Coping skills when you’re feeling down – Kati Morton
Many people experience anxiety as a normal part of life and are able to combat it, but when it gets to be too much to deal with, there are many coping methods at our disposal.
This Interoceptive Exposure worksheet provides several methods of Interoceptive Exposure . By exposing yourself to the bodily sensations that you experience when you’re anxious, you’ll become more comfortable with them and less likely to panic when they arise.
To simulate breathlessness, you can breathe through a straw for several minutes, or hold your breath for about 30 seconds.
To experience a racing heartbeat, you can run in place or run up and down steps.
To practice feeling lightheaded or dizzy, you can twirl around in a desk chair, twirl around while standing, or shake your head from side to side before looking straight ahead with open eyes. You can also put your head between your thighs and then sit up quickly, or lie down and relax for at least one minute before standing up quickly.
And to simulate feelings of unreality, you can stare at yourself in a mirror without blinking for two minutes, stare at a dot on a blank wall, or stare at a 60-Watt light for one minute before trying to read small print in a newspaper.
Once you try some of these exposures, record how you felt and what you were thinking during the activity. Next, rate your anxiety after completing the activity on a scale from 0 to 100.
The What If? Bias
With this worksheet, you will think of positive and negative outcomes that can result from different situations.
We often get bogged down with worrying about all the bad things that can happen, but this exercise can help balance out those negative thoughts. Think of it as coming up with a “glass half full” way to think about things as well as a “glass half empty” one.
The worksheet is simple, with only two columns:
- “What if” it’s Negative?
- “What if?” it’s Positive?
On each side, write down the possible outcomes of the same situation. For example, if you are nervous about giving a presentation, you might write “What if I freeze and can’t speak?” on the negative side, and “What if I do well?” or “What if I stumble, but laugh about it?” on the positive side.
This exercise can help you balance out the good and bad potential outcomes, and take on a more realistic outlook. Click here to give The What If Bias a try.
Bipolar disorder causes periods of depression as well as sudden, intense mood and energy swings. Many of the worksheets for coping with depression can help, but here are some that are especially helpful for those struggling with bipolar disorder.
Fighting Irrational Thoughts With Logic
This worksheet is another simple one, with only three columns:
- Irrational Thought
- Logical Response
- Fresh Thought
The goal of this technique is to challenge your negative and/or irrational thoughts and replace them with fresh, more positive, logical, and realistic thoughts.
First, you write down the irrational thought that is nagging at you, like “ Everyone hates me. ” Then, you write down a more reasoned response, perhaps something like “ There are billions of people in the world, and there’s no way they all hate me. ” Finally, you write down a fresh thought to replace the negative one, such as “ Some people may not like me, but that’s okay because I like me. ”
To learn more about this technique and see an example worksheet, click here: Fighting Irrational Thoughts With Logic .
Coping: Stressors and Resources
Coping – Stressors and Resources helps you to identify the sources of your stress and sadness. It also instructs you to list resources you can use to help you cope, some of the obstacles that hinder coping, and the strategies you can use to overcome the obstacles.
You can use this worksheet to create a master plan for combating stress that’s caused by any mental health issues, including depression, anger, anxiety, or irrational thinking.
The worksheet has four columns to work through.
The first column is split into three parts:
- Present sources of stress;
- Past sources; and
- Expected future problems and stressors.
Write down at least one problem or source of stress in each category.
The second column is where you can identify the resources that help you cope. These can be coping skills, exercises, and techniques that you have found to be helpful.
The third column is your space for thinking of the things that can get in the way of your coping, like strict deadlines at work, tensions in your personal relationships, etc.
The final column provides a space to write down how you can address these obstacles to effective coping, like planning ahead to increase the chances of meeting those deadlines or attending couples counseling to address the problems in your relationship.
Substance Abuse Recovery and Relapse Prevention Worksheets
Even though we all know that these negative effects are potential outcomes of substance abuse, addiction can make it extremely difficult to pull away.
These worksheets are intended to help you face this challenge head-on, although they aren’t a replacement for interacting with a qualified professional. Hopefully, they can be a useful complement to professional treatment.
Modes Influencing Recovery
This worksheet is a great way to start your journey toward wellness . It can be employed for just about any behavioral or mental health problem, including substance abuse and addiction. Of course, it should complement treatment from a qualified professional rather than standing on its own.
It lists the seven different modes or factors that influence recovery, provides space to write down the problems you have in these areas, and prompts you to decide what you need to quit doing, or reduce, and what you need to start doing or increase, to facilitate recovery.
The seven modes are:
- Feelings/affect (what you feel and what makes you feel this way);
- Behavior (actions, coping strategies, what you do or avoid doing);
- Cognition (thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, values, opinions, and thought patterns);
- Sensations (what you see, hear, taste, smell, touch, what makes you feel pain or tension, your sexuality);
- Physical Health (physical exercise, diet, sexual health, substance use).
- Social (communication with others, relationships); and
- Mental Imagery (the pictures in your mind, your self-image, fantasies);
Beside each mode, identify the problems you encounter. For example, if you are struggling with substance abuse, you might write “putting myself in dangerous situations” for the behavior modality, or “wanting to use when I get depressed” in the affect/emotions category.
For each modality, think of the problems you face and make a plan to stop or reduce the actions that do not facilitate your recovery and start or increase the actions that facilitate your recovery.
Here’s a link to the Modes Influencing Recovery worksheet.
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This worksheet can be an extremely useful resource for identifying when and why your strongest cravings arise, which is the first step to learning how to effectively combat them.
In the first column, identify the situation in which a craving arose, including what happened, where you were when it occurred, and who you were with.
The second column is where you write down the mental processes that went through your mind when the craving hit, like “I’m weak and I’m useless, I might as well give in.”
The third column is for sensations, where you identify the emotions and physical sensations you felt when the craving hit. You might write something like “knot in my stomach, hopeless.”
The fourth column provides space to rate the intensity of your craving from 0 to 100.
The final column is the most important one. This is where you brainstorm an alternative, more balanced thought, and coping response. For example, you might write something like, “I overreacted to the situation. It was only a small issue. Next time I can practice deep breathing to work through it.”
Managing Cravings can help you realize when you tend to be most vulnerable to cravings and gives you a chance to put together a plan of action for when the next craving hits.
This worksheet can be an excellent resource for outlining a plan for remaining sober.
The first part provides space for you to list coping strategies that can help you resist the temptation to use again. The second instructs you to list three people that can provide you with the social support you need when you are most vulnerable.
The third section encourages you to think about the consequences of your actions. On one side, you write down the potential outcomes of relapsing. On the other, you list the potential outcomes of staying sober. This is a simple but powerful way to compare your two possible futures and to help you see which one is more appealing.
The final section contains tips to help you avoid relapse, like distracting yourself from cravings and avoiding situations that will put you at risk of relapsing.
Click to download this Preventing Relapse worksheet.
For more information on coping with substance abuse and addiction, check out these articles, websites, and worksheets:
- Substance Abuse Client Workbook
- Oxford Clinical Psychology
We hope you walk away from this article knowing that there are hundreds of positive ways to cope when facing challenging or demotivating situations. Reading this article may have taught you a few new ways to cope, or you may have realized that some of the ways you cope are not healthy or constructive. If so, don’t be too hard on yourself—we all have a few unhealthy coping mechanisms.
No matter what you’re going through, there’s no shortage of ways to cope. Try some of these methods and add the ones you like to your proverbial toolbox—that way, you can use them when you need them most.
What are your favorite coping strategies? How do you make sure those coping skills are healthy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Resilience Exercises for free .
- Coping Skills for Kids: Brain Works Project (n.d.). Retrieved from www.copingskills4kids.net
- Flannery, B. (2016, December 18). A list of coping skills for anger, anxiety, and depression. Retrieved from https://healdove.com/mental-health/Coping-Strategies-Skills-List-Positive-Negative-Anger-Anxiety-Depression-Copers
- Getselfhelp.co.uk (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.get.gg/
- Mental Health Wellness Week (n.d.) Retrieved October 2017 from www.mhww.org
- Plum Tree: Child & Adolescent Psychology (n.d.). Retrieved from https://theplumtree.net/
- Psychology Tools (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.psychologytools.com/
- ReachOut.com (n.d.). Retrieved from https://au.reachout.com/
- Schuder, K. (n.d.). Coping skills worksheets for adults. Retrieved from http://stress.lovetoknow.com/stress-management-techniques/coping-skills-worksheets-adults
- Therapist Aid (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.therapistaid.com/
- Unstress Yourself (n.d.). Retrieved from www.unstressyourself.com/
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What our readers think.
It is very useful, thank you.. Can you explain with examples, how coping mechanisms are used by humans in the real world.. Thank you
So glad you found this useful. One example of using coping skills in the real world might be an employee who is growing anxious about a challenging task but then takes ten minutes to go for a walk to help calm their negative emotions and allow their mind to detach from the problem for a little while.
Another example would be if a person was experiencing intense distress over the loss of someone they loved, and took some time off to lean on the support of family.
These forms of ‘taking care of oneself’ and using the resources available to you during difficult circumstances are both examples of positive coping.
Let me know if this helps 🙂
– Nicole | Community Manager
This is some really good info. I am the recovery counselor at 2 facilities, one male and one female. I would love to be able to download a couple of the worksheets you mention. I do not see any links for the worksheets?
Thank you for caring,
You’re very welcome — we’re so glad you’re finding these resources useful. If you look at the subsection with the worksheet you are interested in, you’ll find that some of the body text (usually the name of the worksheet) is hyperlinked and in bold. If you click this, it will take you to the worksheet.
However, if you find that a particular link isn’t working, please let us know so we can correct it.
Hope this helps!
Courtney, I am looking for a blank copy of the “My personal coping skills list” activity. Thank you
Thanks so much,it’s really benefit for me, i can avoid negative thougths!.
Thank you so much this is a great resource and some fantasic hints, tips and brilliant exercises.
Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, regards.
Thanks a lot madam your given a wonderful worksheet and that it is gives a lot of benefit to me. A.Yashoda (Research scholar)
Hi, Just curious to know as to what theory or evidence based practice that is behind the ‘Boiling Pans’ worksheet. I really enjoyed that worksheet activity but was curious as to how I can explain it. Thank you
Dear Courtney Very helpful suggestions and doable too !! But again I feel we need to connect through a chat room or else a live discussion forum I am based out of India and I find a great paucity of online forums on this subject in my country Could you guide me to an interactive forum which is truly helpful and the country of residence is not an issue ? Would be truly grateful
These are great ideas and wonderful resources. Unfortunately when I printed this webpage with Google Chrome, some of the information was cut off at the top by the “sharing is caring” tweet frame on every single page. I know this is not your problem, but it’s really annoying. Perhaps there is some way to offer a tweet without it disrupting the actual content.
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10 Effective Stress Management Worksheets & Activities
Stress is a common yet unwelcome presence for many of us in this fast-paced world. Whether it comes from the pressures of work and personal responsibilities or the constant flow of information and societal expectations, stress is constantly on the rise. While it is the unfortunate reality that many of our stressors are not going anywhere anytime soon, we can still find a way to face them. Stress management worksheets and activities are simple tools that can help you deal with your everyday stressors. Taking the time to do this can have a significant impact on your well-being.
10 Effective Stress Management Worksheets & Activities
Here are 10 effective activities and worksheets for stress management that you can make use of whenever you’re feeling stressed.
1. Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is much like taking a short trip in your mind. When doing guided imagery, you can imagine yourself being in your happy place, whether that’s a beach, in a quiet forest, or even on your sofa reading a book.
To start with guided imagery, you can try listening to a recording where someone walks you through a peaceful scene. After some practice, you can then practice guided imagery on your own. Close your eyes and go through the peaceful scene you prefer, taking note of all the sensory experiences you can engage in. After a short while, open your eyes and return to the present moment.
2. Circle of Control
The Circle of Control is a model that demonstrates how our perception of our level of control can change depending on what we choose to focus on. By focusing on certain things like their goals, the company they choose, and their mindset, kids can gain a lot.
Start by directing their attention and resources toward the things they can control in their lives by using this circle of control handout . By doing this, they will be guided in the proper direction and can feel peaceful, optimistic, and less worried. This is a fantastic resource for visual learners, and you may display it for kids on your office door or wall.
Although the physiological benefits of exercise are well known to all, there are also significant and well-supported psychological benefits. A seven-week exercise regimen was found to boost optimism, self-belief, resilience, and a growth mindset while lowering perceived stress and improving people's moods [ * ]. Exercise programs don't have to be rigorous to be beneficial. Regular participation in even low levels of physical activity can improve mental health, a growth mentality, and lower stress levels.
4. Coping with Stress
Children, teenagers, and adults all encounter various circumstances that make them feel worried and overwhelmed. They can engage in activities that will help them feel better and calm down during these times.
This coping with stress handout is a useful tool that provides a definition of stress, information on related moods and emotions, and a list of 9 methods that have been scientifically shown to reduce stress. You are welcome to post it on a bulletin board in the corridor, at home, in your office, or in any common area that promotes relaxation.
5. Tactile Activities
Returning to your senses can help you focus on the present moment. It takes you back into your body whether you're popping bubble wrap, organizing your change jar for the bank, or making homemade slime with the kids. Alternatively, you may try this brief exercise. Ask yourself, "What are five things I can see, four things I can hear, three things I can touch, two things I can smell, and one thing I can taste? Activating all of the senses is a good grounding technique.
6. Stress Relievers
Young people can increase their resilience and their ability to enjoy life through stress-reduction exercises. Such activities may include positive affirmation recitation, journaling, and participation in sports. Start promoting stress-relieving behaviors in children and teenagers, especially considering the numerous obligations and challenges they face at school and home. You can make use of this stress relievers handout to choose the right stress relief activity for you.
7. Focus on a Problem
If your stress is more mental rather than physical in nature, try focusing on a problem or doing a specific activity. This can include activities such as doing a word or number puzzle or even sorting your shoes and clothes. When we are under stress, our brains can tell us that we have an issue to solve, which is why it keeps running. It’s a good idea to use your brain during these moments. You'll feel calmer and more able to handle what's genuinely worrying you out if you give it something to concentrate on.
8. Coping Skills for Stress Management
Give this coping skills for stress management handout to kids and teenagers to help them cope and reduce stress. You may also put this up somewhere where they can easily see it, like a calm-down area or a hallway bulletin board. Students in elementary school, middle school, and high school are urged to put these coping mechanisms into practice, which include working out, listening to music, deep belly breathing, and journaling.
9. Take a Bath
By changing your body temperature, you can experience a sensory slow-down. This can significantly lower your stress levels. It’s almost like rebooting a computer that has all the windows on and is doing too much processing. If you like, add some more calming sensory stimulators, such as aromatic soap or some relaxing music.
10. Mental Health Coping Skills
Consider these mental health coping skills handouts a useful resource whether you're a parent, teacher, social worker, or mental health professional helping young people overcome mental health difficulties. They will learn about the science of happiness, develop a “happiness mindset," use a list of stress-reduction techniques, and more with the help of the posters in this 9-page collection. You might use this as a conversation starter, as part of your therapy sessions, or in a group learning setting.
It can take some trial and error to find the best stress-relieving activities for each individual. Some methods may require additional practice. However, it's crucial to continue looking for the resources that will enable you to deal healthily with life's unavoidable ups and downs. For your overall health and well-being, it is absolutely crucial to manage your stress.
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Maryland settles in suit involving medical examiner’s office
State officials approved a settlement stemming from the police-involved death of anton black, 19.
The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will revamp how it handles autopsies of people who die in law enforcement custody under a settlement agreement approved Wednesday by state officials with the family of Anton Black, a Black teenager who died five years ago during an encounter with a White police officer.
Under the agreement, the state will also pay $235,000, largely split between Black’s relatives and their lawyers, putting an end to a three-year legal battle over Black’s death.
The Maryland Board of Public Works, a three-member panel consisting of the governor, comptroller and treasurer, approved the settlement without public comment, resolving a federal lawsuit without any admission of liability.
The action comes as the state attorney general’s office continues its review of how the medical examiner’s office has handled autopsies of people who died in law enforcement custody and more than a year after three small Eastern Shore towns agreed to pay Black’s family $5 million and institute changes in policing in a partial settlement.
The first state to pass a police ‘Bill of Rights’ could become the first to repeal it
“We know that this settlement cannot undo the hurt that Anton’s family has suffered, but we do hope that it can bring them some measure of peace,” Jennifer Donelan of the attorney general’s office, which represented the medical examiner’s office, said in a statement.
The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Rene C. Swafford, an attorney for the Black family, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The agreement approved Wednesday calls for the state to adopt a policy that explicitly addresses how medical examiners are to handle deaths in custody. This will require the office to adhere to National Association of Medical Examiners guidelines, which include a “but for” principle that says if a death involving restraint would not have occurred but for the “unnatural factor, then the manner of death should be classified as unnatural.”
At issue in the lawsuit was whether the medical examiner applied that standard in Black’s death, said Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland. The ACLU argued that it did not. The ACLU represented the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black, a grass-roots group that has fought for transparency and accountability in Black’s death, in the suit.
The agreement also requires the office to document “sources of initial investigative information” in its investigation report; disclose if law enforcement or other personnel are present during an autopsy in its autopsy worksheet; and provide families who receive autopsy reports with notice of their rights to seek correction and review of the findings.
Sonia Kumar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Maryland, said the agreement is “just the beginning of the reckoning needed to address decades of misrepresentations so we can bring justice to families still waiting for the government to tell the truth.”
“We can’t prevent such deaths if we aren’t honest about what caused them, and this settlement is a crucial step toward that goal in future cases,” she said.
Black, a 19-year-old college student who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was experiencing a mental health crisis when Greensboro police officer Thomas Webster IV, who was responding to a possible kidnapping call involving a child, chased Black and used a Taser on him, records show. In an affidavit filed in response to the suit, Webster wrote that the 12-year-old boy, a family friend of Black’s whom a 911 caller said Black was roughhousing, told Webster “something to the effect of ‘he’s crazy, he has schizophrenia,’” about Black.
After the chase, police body-camera footage shows Black being tackled outside his mother’s mobile home, pinned in a prone restraint on his stomach, with his hands cuffed and legs shackled by several officers and a civilian. He lost consciousness and died in a manner the lawsuit described as “chillingly similar” to George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in 2020 by Derek Chauvin, a White Minneapolis police officer.
Black’s death in 2018 sparked protests in the tiny Eastern Shore community as the family waited more than four months for the autopsy report to be made public.
The lawsuit, which named then-Chief Medical Examiner David Fowler as a defendant, accused the agency of collaborating with law enforcement to absolve the officers and the state in Black’s death.
Fowler testified as an expert witness for Chauvin at his murder trial in 2021. During the trial, Fowler deemed the cause of Floyd’s death “undetermined,” linking it to heart disease and drug use rather than to oxygen being cut off by Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck. Black’s death was ruled “accidental,” the autopsy saying it was “likely that the stress of his struggle” with police contributed to his death, as did bipolar disorder and underlying heart issues.
“As the false story of laced drug use and abnormal strength spread throughout the media, the [medical examiner] sat idle and silent with full knowledge that toxicology reports contradicted those claims,” the lawsuit reads. “When the State finally released its autopsy findings, officials outrageously contended that Anton’s bipolar disorder was a contributing cause of death, as opposed to the law enforcement officers’ brutal actions.”
Last year’s partial settlement with Greensboro, Ridgely and Centreville — and two officers and two police chiefs from those towns — imposed a new use-of-force policy that, among other things, limits restraining a suspect in the prone position, a technique long seen as problematic by some police safety experts and advocates that was brought to the forefront after Floyd’s murder.
The agreement also required additional police training for mental health intervention, implicit bias and de-escalation for all officers, and required the towns to introduce new officers to the community through a town meeting and for the officers to remain on probation for one year.
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Home > Teacher Printables > Stress Management
Were you ever in a situation where you felt sick to your stomach out of nowhere? Maybe you were about to take a test, loaded with homework, or about to start the big game. When we feel anxious or unnerving about something this is called stress. This concern that is on your mind can make you feel a sense of pain. It may be in the form of a headache or feelings of anger or fear. If it carries on for long periods of time, it can have a profound effect on your health. People of all ages experience stress whether it be the stress of making a Little League baseball team or getting that job promotion that you have been working on for a decade.
While we cannot just eradicate stress altogether, there are techniques we use to reduce the affect of stress on ourselves. It starts will focusing on having a positive attitude and look for the good things in life. We need to accept that change is inevitable, and we will need to roll with it. Practicing common relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga really help a great deal. Exercise has huge benefits for the body and mind as well. Using these techniques is called managing your stress. These worksheets will help students learn to assess their current level of anxiety. Once we get a good gauge, we look at the internal and external factors that are contributing to this. We look at the physical symptoms that we may be experiencing as a result of this constant tension. The students will then progress to understand what is a healthy level of this so that it will not reach a level that is dangerous to their physical or mental health. We encourage students to learn to identify possible coping strategies and how to reach out for social support whether it be from a peer or adult. The goal here is to help students understand that stress is healthy, but too much or too harsh levels are not. We help them ponder how to balance their world and carry these life skills through the remainder of their young lives.
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Printable stress management worksheets, click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key..
Examine Your Life
What's going on in your life that you think if contributing to you feeling this way?
Internal and External Stressors
What internal and external stressors do you have in your life right now?
What physical symptoms do you experience when under pressure?
Did you experience any physiological symptoms (tension, dizziness, nausea, etc.)?
Why do I perceive this situation as dangerous?
Causes and Coping
Stress is how the body responds to difficult and potentially dangerous situations. Experience of conflict, loss, or overcommitment can invoke the body's physical response.
Developing Coping Strategies
Coping strategies help you to deal with anxiety when it arises. Practicing your coping strategies regularly will keep it from building up over time.
This can cause emotional and physiological response to difficult situations. People experience it in a variety of ways. Emotional responses can include worrying and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Physiological responses can include an increased heart rate, headaches, difficulty sleeping, etc.
Having social support can do a lot to alleviate pressure in our lives. Talking about our problems and connecting with others causes our brain to release hormones that ease it.
Think of a chronic stressor in your life or a recent situation in which you have experienced stress. What emotions did you experience as a result of that stressor?
How balanced is your life? Use a scale of 1 to 5 to assign a rating to each area of your life according to how much attention you devote to it. Assign a 1 to things you devote little to no attention to and a 5 to things you devote a great deal of attention to.
Stress and Self-Care
For each basic need that you have identified, think of steps you can take to ensure that basic need is met, even when you are feeling highly stressed.
The Good and the Bad
There is more than one kind of anxiety. Sometimes it can be good for us, like the kind of stress that comes from playing a game or meeting a challenge. Negative versions, however, like family or relationship problems, health problems, or other situations that worry us or make us feel threatened can take a toll on our mental and physical health.
One of the simplest things you can do to reduce the experience of physical stress in your body is to slow down your breathing. When you take long, slow breaths from your diaphragm, you are telling your brain that you are safe.
Reducing or Eliminating Stressors
Sometimes we can reduce the amount of stress in our lives by using personal management techniques. This means identifying new behaviors or ways of thinking that we can incorporate into our lives in order to reduce stress.