The worry tree activity

The worry tree helps children offload worries, instead of dwelling on them. Try this activity to help your child when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

If it’s helpful, you can print a copy of the worry tree , or draw your own. Otherwise, ask your child to think about each of these questions.

A mother holding her daughter's hands

1. Are you worried right now?

What are your worry warning signs? For example, your shoulders might feel tense, or your breathing might be faster than usual.

2. What is the worry about?

What’s the worst thing you imagine happening?

3. Can you do anything about it?

No: Worrying about it won’t change anything. Put the worry to one side.

Yes: Decide what you’re going to do about it, and when you’re going to do it. For example, this could be ‘right now’, ‘this afternoon’, or ‘on Tuesday’. Then put the worry to one side.

Putting the worry to one side could mean trying to think about something else for a while. These mindfulness tips can help you do that. Or you could write the worry on a piece of paper, then put it away in a box (or in the bin).

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