Anxiety Worksheet: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure

Sometimes, a roadmap is all we need to find our way out of a confusing journey. I find that flowcharts can sometimes be that roadmap for managing the symptoms that occur as a result of anxiety and depression. In this literature, I created a step-by-step guide for dealing with anxiety symptoms in an empowering – and even playful – way.

Rather than creating a step-by-step guide (boring!) or a static flowchart created by a word processing app (less boring, but still not fun), I created a choose-your-own-adventure formatted flowchart.

Download the Anxiety Flowchart PDF

Taking inspiration from the choose-your-own-adventure books of the ’90s, popular board games, and even Dungeons & Dragons, this flowchart educates and entertains.

Whether you are an anxiety sufferer or someone who is supporting someone with anxiety, this resource can be a tool to educate, empower, and entertain.

a snippet of a flowchart about anxiety

Using this Anxiety Flowchart as an Educational Tool

Everyone deals with the symptoms of anxiety from time to time – it’s normal. In fact, some anxiety is normal for all brains. Often, the key is in how we deal with it. Like the symptoms of coping with trauma, processing anxiety in a healthy way (which allows it to process and go away) requires that we know our enemy.

In the case of anxiety, knowing how to cope and self-soothe can be key to getting our anxiety symptoms to go away. However, many of us default to self-criticism, sabotage, or even dissociation when we feel anxiety rise.

Without becoming too instructional or boring, this flowchart informs while also entertaining. As users follow the arrows through the anxiety minefield, they’re sneakily learning about the negative consequences of neglecting their symptoms, dissociating from anxious feelings, or turning to self-criticism.

a snipped of a flowchart about anxiety

Using this Anxiety Flowchart as a Tool to Empower

One of my least favorite things about many mental health resources is that they sometimes discourage people from using their creativity and ingenuity to create their own solutions that work for them. While textbooks prescribe certain coping skills (that may or may not work for everyone) and worksheets often subtly steer users towards predictable answers, I believe that reformatting resources into a format more associated with play – such as this board game-inspired anxiety flowchart – can be a way to engage brains in creative thinking and problem-solving.

a snippet of an anxiety flowchart

Using this Tool to Entertain

One of my very favorite parts of being an illustrator in the niche that I find myself in is that I get to entertain while secretly educating. The truth is, even if you aren’t looking for a printable worksheet on how to cope with anxiety, this flowchart can be a fun brain exercise. Most viewers will find themselves repeating a few trips through the flowchart, accidentally learning along the way about ways that work to cope with anxiety and ways that actually don’t work very well.

anxiety worksheet in a flowchart style

Key Takeaways From this Fun Anxiety Worksheet PDF for All Ages

As I created this resource, I held three key ideas in mind: play, self-sabotage, and healthy coping through various forms of self-compassion. Understanding each of these ideas, and combining them while using this resource, can be a powerful multifaceted strategy to manage many forms of anxiety including generalized anxiety, trauma triggers, panic attacks, social anxiety, and even phobias.

Here’s how the ideas of play, self-sabotage, and healthy coping are bundled into this resource:


Play inherently disrupts the brain processes active during an anxiety episode. Play challenges brains to experiment with different ways of being, in the process disrupting the scripts each of us have on repeat which often contribute to the symptoms of anxiety.


For most people, our knee-jerk response to anxiety symptoms is our response of criticism directed at ourselves. We may call our anxious feelings silly or stupid, punish ourselves for feeling that way, pretend anxiety isn’t real or valid, or worse, engage in self-harm behaviors to cope. With few exceptions, anxiety responses rooted in self-criticism or intentional dismissal only make anxiety symptoms worse. Accordingly, a large section of this flowchart is dedicated to categorizing these self-critical and dissociative responses to feeling anxiety.

Healthy Coping

While there are popular coping skills recommended by therapists, the truth is, everyone’s roadmap for healthy coping skills looks a little different. That’s why, when it comes to this section of the anxiety flowchart, you’ll find (on the PDF download version) that the chart becomes more interactive.

Coping well is essential to dealing with – and yes, even resolving – anxiety symptoms, but it requires knowing ourselves and what works for us. Blank spaces are left in the section of the flowchart in order for users to insert their own favorite coping skills. If you don’t have a favorite coping style, consider checking out my resource called “Jar of Copes.”

In Summary

Everyone’s experience of anxiety is different. The emotions, body sensations, and accompanying thoughts are different from person to person. What doesn’t change, however, are the fundamental truths of the ways we are impacted by our own choice of neglect, criticism, or self-compassion. As you can see in this flowchart, the roadmap to deal with anxiety that leads through self-compassion and healthy coping results in fewer symptoms of anxiety, something I hope for every viewer of this resource.

Image Description for Screen Readers:

This is an image of a flowchart titled “Anxiety – Choose Your Own Adventure.” The flowchart is hand-drawn and has a yellow background. The flowchart has multiple decision points and paths, with each decision point represented by a speech bubble.

The flowchart starts with a white box that has a yellow striped border and reads, “Start Here.” This is pointing to a box that says, “Uh-Oh! Anxiety Increases.”

If you ignore the increase, you can choose to ignore by disassociating or neglecting it, but you’ll end up at the same point: “You’re still anxious but have secondary problems,” and you’ll be sent back to the start.

If you decide to pay attention to the increased anxiety, you get to a flowchart point that says, “Good call! How?” If you choose to be mean instead of kind, you may have a shame spiral or self-contempt, making you feel worse and spending you back to the start.

If you choose to be kind, you can choose to seek care and connection/movement/journaling, and it may help lead to self-care, or you can choose self-care directly. Will it be with others or solo?

If solo, you can pet a dog, garden, or make art. If you do it with someone, you can talk, move together, or hug. Either way, your anxiety may improve! The flowchart is credited to @lindsaybraman.

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