We often think that anxiety and stress are negative feelings or emotions. However, they can also help us. The adrenaline and focus we experience during anxiety and stress help us during performances, games, tests, and much more! The key is not letting those stressors, or our anxieties, get the best of us, because then it can become difficult for us to function and think.

This week, we are going to learn ways to help cope and reduce stress and anxiety as well as learning about our Circle of Control and the influence that we all have.


  1. Meditate 5 minutes every day
  2. Go outside for 5 – 10 min every day
  3. Journal your experiences every day and at the end of the week
  4. Follow instructions for Circle of Control Theory
  5. Be respectful and positive to yourself and others


  1. Learn to meditate and focus on the present moment (mindfulness)
  2. Learn self-guided coping skills and relaxation skills
  3. Learn how to utilize and apply Circle of Control/Influence in personal life
Day 1 | How Stress and Anxiety can Help Us

Many of us think that anxiety and stress are bad, and only negatively effect our lives. However, there can be positives; the shift comes from learning how to manage those feelings and thoughts so they are less disruptive.


Ways to use your mind to manage your anxiety and stress:

  • Accept you cannot control everything and put your stress in perspective.
  • Just do the best you can with the tools your have. There's no such thing as perfect, and that's okay!
  • Stay Positive! Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Identify triggers. Learn what causing your anxiety by looking for patterns.


Ways to use your body to manage your anxiety and stress:

  • Sleep! Get a full night’s rest. Sleep hygiene is crucial for mental health.
  • Exercise! Just 30 minutes every day will help.
  • Eat well! Try to find fruits and vegetables that you like. Giving your body the resources it needs to be healthy will help keep your baseline level of stress lower.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which both affect your mood.


Ways to use your actions to manage your anxiety and stress:

  • Take slow deep breaths. Breathing out for longer than you breathe in triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages healthy regulation of the body.
  • Mindfulness, or being in the present moment. This can be accomplished through yoga, meditation, music, etc. Find guided meditations here.
  • Online resources:
  • Journal. Writing about your thoughts and feelings can help put things in perspective and process your emotions.
  • Talk to someone.

Positives of Anxiety & Stress

More here

  • Keeps us motivated and excited
  • Helps us face challenges, performances, etc.Assists us making good impressions, moving toward goals, and completing tasks
  • Helps warn us of dangerous situations
  • Brings awareness to current situation
  • Listen to the message your mind/body are trying to tell you and adjust life accordingly
  • Helps leaders be more careful and considerate, problem solvers
Day 2 & 3 | Being in the Present Moment and Getting Back to Nature

What does being in the present moment mean? It means being mindful of yourself and others and focusing on what is going on presently (that day) and not worrying about the future or questioning the past.

Being in the present moment is effective in helping to overcome and cope with depression and anxiety. Try to keep it at a regular schedule and place, either in the morning or at night. Continuing this practice will help you to feel more relaxed and shift your present thinking pattern to one that is more present-moment focused.

Aim: To achieve a calm, clean, alert mind. Let go of inner chatter (racing thoughts, etc.), let go of stressful emotions. Have an alert mind but relaxed body.

Setting Up: Get into a comfortable position (but do not sleep). Keep your eyes closed.  Shift from thinking to sensing things around you in the present moment. If your thoughts wonder, just bring them back to what is around you.

Phrase: Repeat silently 3 times: “Now is the time to be aware of the present moment. I let go of the past and the future.”


  • Sounds: focus on sounds around you come and go. Let them wash over you.
  • Body Sensation: Focus on how your body feels. The heaviness, tingling, clothes against your skin, let these sensations shift and change and simply notice them in this moment.
  • Thoughts: watch thoughts arise and pass. Do not focus on anyone. Focus on the differences, some thoughts are nonsense, others compelling. With demanding thoughts, label and acknowledge them and let them go. Imagine them like clouds passing in the sky.
  • Breathing: notice how your breathing changes. Shallow or fast? It will become more regular as you relax and practice.

I want you to go outside everyday for 10 min (if weather permits). I want you to walk around, listen to the sounds around you, look at the world around you. Be in the present moment.

Journal your experience and practice every day (5 min or more).

Additional information about Mindfulness and Present Moment

Day 4 | Your Circle of Control and Influence

The circle of control/concern covers 3 domains that each represent everything that matters to a person:

  1. What a person can control
  2. What a person can influence
  3. Things outside a person’s control and influence

The first area of control is the “I” and it is what you can directly control related to choices we make. Control = Awareness + Choice.

The next area is influence “WE” which are defined by our network of relationships. Here, we need to be aware of how our actions and thoughts, influence those around us.

Finally, there is the area of concern “I, WE, & IT” in this area we are aware of things that impact us or our relationships/networks (i.e. weather, etc.) that we have no control or influence over. (Click here for more information.)

Exercise: Click here and follow the instructions

The Circle of Control helps us to see what we can and cannot control or influence on the world around us. For things that we cannot control or influence, such as weather, other people, their emotions or actions, traffic, and more. We need to put those concerns out of our mind and thoughts because there is little that we can do to change them or affect them.

That way we can focus on the present moment and things that we can directly control and influence. It also helps keep us focused on tasks for that day or to help organize priorities.

For more information, click here.

Day 5 | Reflect, Practice and Continue

These techniques and skills are by no means the only ones, and they are not right for every person and every problem! There is no right or wrong way to do this. It is all about practice and time and giving yourself permission to make mistakes and be human. If you slip up, it is never too late to start again. Just remember to keep moving forward. Keep journaling, going outside, listening to music, being creative, etc. I hope you continue to use these skills!

From us at Care Team, thank you!