Anxiety Management Course : Session 5
Welcome to Session 5 of the course. Paddy will lead you through the session and in between the videos is the information from the course booklet.
If it wasn’t for anxiety I would…
Are there things you’ve stopped doing because of anxiety or places you’ve stopped going to? Are there new things you might like to try or things you admire others for doing but seem just too scary for you?
Try making a list of a few things you would ideally like to do then we’ll look at how you might approach doing one of them, perhaps the one which would cause you the least anxiety.
S A goal needs to be specific. What exactly do you want to do?
M You need to be able to measure the goal so you know when you’ve achieved it.
A Is it achievable? Is it something you’re able to do if you wish?
R Is it relevant? Is it something you definitely want to do?
T You’re more likely to achieve a goal if it has a time frame, for example, I’m going to aim to do this next Tuesday.
Example of a SMART Goal
Margie would like to join the community choir where her friend is already a member.
Margie’s goal is: To go to the choir session with my friend next Wednesday evening.
Is it SMART?
S Margie knows what she wants to do, when she intends to do it and that she’ll go with her friend.
M She can measure whether she achieves it.
A Margie thinks it’s achievable with the support of her friend.
R She loves singing and was in a choir years ago. She definitely wants to do it.
T The time frame is next Wednesday evening.
Have a go at writing your goal then follow Margie’s example to check that it’s SMART.
So we have a SMART goal but what if it feels too big to do in one step? We can do something called graded exposure. This means that we limit the amount of time that we’re exposed to the situation which triggers anxiety.
Here’s Joe’s example of how to break down a goal into more manageable steps by having mini SMART goals.
Mini SMART goal 1: Go to the bus stop each day for a week at 10.30 a.m. to get used to being with people at the stop. Stay for 15 minutes.
Mini SMART goal 2: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.30 a.m. with my friend and travel for two stops.
Mini SMART goal 3: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.30 a.m. with my friend and travel for half the journey into town.
Mini SMART goal 4: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.45 a.m. with my friend and travel all the way into town.
Mini SMART goal 5: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.45 a.m. on my own and travel for two stops.
Mini SMART goal 6: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.45 a.m. on my own and travel for half the journey into town.
Mini SMART goal 7: Catch the bus each day for a week at 10.45 a.m. on my own and travel all the way into town.
Remember that you can review your goal at any time.
It’s important to think about whether it’s the right one for you at this moment. You can also re-think your mini SMART goals if you feel each one needs to be smaller.
And don’t forget to celebrate or give yourself a reward when you achieve a goal or mini-goal. It’s important to mark your progress in some way and it will help to spur you on!
Always make your goals SMART. You’ll be more likely to do them and more likely to succeed.
Goals can be broken down into smaller steps – mini SMART goals.
Suggestions for the coming week
-Practise a breathing exercise 3 times a day.
-Try your SMART goal or mini SMART goal.
Keep practising and we’ll see you next week for Session 6.