How to Make Therapy Skills for Anxiety a Habit

In this post I’m going to share how you can work on making a consistent time for your therapy skills for anxiety. 

Therapy works best when it becomes a part of your daily life. Despite what many people think, the work of therapy doesn’t happen in session. It happens when you start to make little changes, consistently, in your everyday life. 

Research also shows that people who do homework have better results in therapy ( 

One of the most powerful ways to make sure you’re making time for homework is to establish a new habit to practice your therapy skills. 

therapy skills for anxiety

Implementation Intentions for Using your Therapy Skills for Anxiety

Research shows that setting a specific implementation intention about when and how you’re going to change your behavior is very important. Taking this simple step makes a big difference in setting up a new habit.

An implementation intention is just a statement that links the behavior you want to change with a specific time and location. 

I will [behavior] at [time] and [location].

For example:

    • I will exercise for 20 minutes at 5:30 PM in my basement.
    • I will meditate for 10 minutes after lunch in my office.
    • I will eat a serving of carrots before dinner at my dinner table. 

For the next week, the behavior I suggest you start practicing is a daily journaling habit. What time and place do you want to set your intention for?

My Implementation Intention

I will journal for 10 minutes at ________________(time) and ___________________ (place).

therapy skills fo ranxiety

Use a Visual Cue

Another strategy you can use to increase the chances that you will follow through with your intention is to make it obvious. This comes from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

Setting up a clear visual cue to start the habit makes it more likely that you will remember to do the behavior.

For example:

    • I set out my workout shoes on the couch so when I walk in the door I see them and remember to exercise at 5:30.
    • I pack my mindfulness book in my lunchbox and set it on my desk so I remember to meditate after I eat.
    • I place a bag of carrots on the top shelf of my refrigerator, next to the water pitcher, so I remember to put them on my dinner plate. 

To make the cue for your journaling habit obvious, I suggest getting or finding a notebook you will use just for your therapy notes and journal entries. 

Then use this as your visual cue. For example, if you want to journal before bed, place it on your pillow first thing in the morning.

If you want to journal with your morning coffee, place it next to your coffee maker.

Or, if you want to journal after you get ready in the morning, place it with your toothbrush. 

How I will make it obvious to start my journaling habit: 

I will place my note book _______________________________________. 

Starting the Habit of Using your Therapy Skills for Anxiety

And lastly, here are your journal prompts for the next week. If you don’t like these, feel free to search the internet for others that suit you better. 

If you’re wondering if you need more therapy skills and would like to talk more, schedule a free, 15 minute consultation call with one of our therapists here.