Dealing with worry using a worry tree

Fatmata Kamara
Mental Health Nurse Global Case Manager
19 May 2023
Next review due May 2026

We all worry sometimes. Our worry tree infographic below is designed to help you work through your worries, with tips and ideas on how to manage them better.

lady with a toddler on lap, working at a laptop

Infographic: Worry tree

The worry tree infographic is designed to help you work through your worries, with tips and ideas on how to manage them better. Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way up.

Alternatively, you can either follow our written step-by-step guide below or click on the image below to download a larger version of the infographic (PDF, 0.3MB).

Worry tree

Work through your worries

The step-by-step guide helps you work through the worry tree infographic above.

What are you worrying about?

Start with identifying what it is specifically that you’re worrying about.

Is there something you can do about it now?

If there is something you can do, this is a practical worry. It’s a worry that you can do something about right now.

What can you do about your worries?

  • Think about your options – you may want to make a list. Pick the best option and do it. If it’s not something you can do right now, then decide when you will do it.
  • Take comfort in the knowledge that you’ve done what you can and let it go.

What if I can’t do anything about what’s worrying me?

If you’re worried about something that you can’t do anything about right now, then this is what’s called a hypothetical or ‘what if’ worry.

So, what can you do if you’re in this situation?

  • Be present. When your thoughts start to spiral, try to bring yourself back to what’s happening right now in the present moment.
  • Try a relaxation exercise such as progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Postpone the worry – give it a specific time and place when you can deal with it better.
  • Write your worries down. Keeping a journal can help you get thoughts out of your head. When you look back at them, you may find the worry is no longer there.
  • Practise accepting uncertainty – this can help you let go of wanting to predict and control every outcome.

If you’re concerned about your worries and they’re affecting your mental health, speak to your GP for advice and support.

If you’re worried about your mental health, our direct access service aims to provide you with the advice, support and treatment you need as quickly as possible. You’ll be able to get mental health advice and support usually without the need for a GP referral. Learn more today.

Fatmata Kamara
Fatmata Kamara (she/her)
Mental Health Nurse Global Case Manager



Rasheda Begum, Health Content Editor at Bupa UK

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