Activity: Help teenagers challenge anxious thoughts

This activity makes it easier to review and release anxious feelings. The aim of the activity is to look at negative thoughts more objectively. It’s a good activity for teenagers to try alone, or you can do it together.

Either way, it’s useful to learn about the link between thoughts and feelings first if you can.

A man sitting with head in his hand

Whenever your child feels anxious, get them to think through these questions:

  • How do I know whether the thoughts I’m having are true or not?
  • When have I felt this way before? What was the outcome?
  • What’s the worst that could happen this time? How would I handle it? Would I be OK?
  • How much of my judgement is based on facts, and how much on feelings?

Encourage your child to take a step back from their own thoughts and try to answer the questions from an ‘outside’ perspective. It can help to write out the answers to these questions.

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