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Behaviour, Thoughts and Feelings: Tom’s Story

Self reflection is a great way to understand your feelings!


  • Think about what makes you anxious.
  • How does it affect your feelings and thoughts?
  • How does it affect your behaviour?

Reflecting on

What improves your mood for example, eating ice cream, talking to a friend or listening to music.

How does that make you feel- happy, calm, relaxed?

Therefore how can you change your behaviour to challenge anxiety – I will listen to my music whilst walking into a crowded shopping centre.

It’s important when challenging your anxiety that you set small targets which you can achieve.

Tom’s Case Study

Tom has anxiety about going to school, he hasn’t been going to school for over 6 months.

To help Tom overcome his anxiety it’s important he’s able to set small targets. For example working with his school he could plan a phased return to school:

Step 1    Wake up, put on his school uniform and pack his bag

Step 2    Getting ready and going to school on the bus and coming home

Step 3    Being able to get ready, catch the bus, and go into reception area

Step 4    Getting ready, catching the bus, going to reception and attending his tutor session

Step 5    Getting ready, catching the bus, going to reception, attending his tutor session and two lessons in the morning.

Every step achieved is a step towards Tom’s goal. Some steps may take Tom longer than others.

Eventually Tom will set targets which are achievable, gaining in confidence and self-satisfaction without consciously thinking he is challenging his anxiety. He will attend school for a full day and overcome his anxiety and fears about school attendance.

However, when setting targets, it’s crucial to focus on your mood, feelings and behaviour at every stage.


How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below.

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