Skip to main content

Circle of Concern – for Stress and Anxiety

Mental Health Fact Sheets

The circle of concern activity helps to break down the things you feel anxious and stressed about and helps to identify those things that you are worried about that you can do something about, and those that you can’t. The aim of this is to help to focus your energy onto the things that you can do something about, whilst acknowledging that there are things we worry about that we can’t change.

Graph of 3 circles stacked within themselves

Start with your Circle of Concern – these are the things you have no control over e.g. the weather.
Add the things that you worry about that you don’t have control of, here.

Then draw your Circle of Influence – these are the things you can influence but maybe not fully control such as your health (can do things to improve this but you can still get sick), meeting a deadline in team situations (can do your work and encourage others but you can’t force them)

Then move on to your Circle of Control – these are things you can control directly e.g. what cereal you have for breakfast, which hat you wear.

A balanced circle of influence will help keep you motivated whilst also inspiring and empowering you through challenges you may face. Focusing your energy on the things you can control and influence will help reduce your anxiety and stress, and therefore help to make the things you can’t control feel less overwhelming.


You may also find our Stress Bucket activity helpful, view this resource here.

How No5 can help you

Need urgent help?