Worksheet: Feeling Safe

Experiencing a traumatic event of any kind can leave you feeling unsafe or unstable. Finding ways to focus on safety and building a sense of control over aspects of life can help you feel more grounded. When we lack safety, we may feel anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed. Use this worksheet to think through how you can increase feelings of security in life.

This worksheet is an excerpt from Mental Health America’s 2021 Back to School Toolkit.


Here’s a web-friendly version of the activity from the worksheet:

Building awareness

  • Are there other situations in life that make you feel out of control?
    • Example: having an unexpected conversation or visit, getting into an argument, having to do something you didn’t want to do
  • What are some of the thoughts that go through your mind that increase negative feelings or experiences?
    • Example: I don’t know what to do, everything is going to go wrong
  • What are some of the physical experiences in your body that increase negative experiences?
    • Example: my heart races, I get a stomach ache, I sweat

Building safe coping

  • What are some positive words you can say to yourself to feel better?
  • What are some things that have helped you feel safe in the past? This can be an action you’ve taken to reduce negative physical reactions or an object that feels safe.
    • Examples: holding a stuffed animal, reading your favorite book, listening to calming music
  • Think of a place where you have felt safe in the past. Take a moment to close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and visualize the place. Think through the details. What do you see, hear, smell, feel, or even taste?
  • Who in your life can you talk to when you feel unsafe or unstable?

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