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5 Steps to Scheduling Anxiety

by Staci Sharik, MSW Intern

Scheduling anxiety? Why would I want to schedule a time to be anxious? Anxiety is an emotion that we all have experienced in some form and it can be overwhelming at times. Even though anxiety is a part of life, frequent anxiety can lead to long-term emotional and physical damage. If you are someone who feels overwhelmed by anxiety, this may be a helpful tool for you.

Too much anxiety is bad. What is next?

A very popular and evidenced-based therapy technique that addresses how to manage anxiety and a variety of overwhelming emotions is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). One of the primary ideas behind this therapy is the idea that we have more control over our thoughts than we often realize, which in turn helps us manage and cope with unpleasant emotions. CBT suggests a number of coping skills such as mindfulness through physical grounding and deep breathing, along with more cognitive practices such as “catching'' negative thoughts and checking them against reality (Lee & Edget, 2012). As helpful and effective as many of these practices may be, it is also important to recognize that anxiety is often an inevitable part of life. How can we live alongside stress and the worries that may develop? By scheduling anxiety.

Steps To Scheduling Anxiety:

  1. Schedule a time each day for a one week period. 15-30 minutes is the recommended time to set aside to think through your worries and sit with your anxious thoughts. It is recommended to set aside a time not too close to bedtime in order to keep this practice from affecting your sleep.

  2. During this scheduled 15-30 minute anxiety time, think of anything