Here is a condensed version of Dr. Helen De Rosis' 20-step anxiety-management program. Pick a time to work when you won't be disturbed, record your feelings in a loose-leaf notebook and don't rush.
1. Select one issue that causes you to feel anxious or creates repeated tension, guilt, anger or conflict. It should be a clear-cut concern such as, "I'm dreading New Year's Eve" or, "I hate the way my spouse and I always fight about money."
2. Determine how this issue causes you or someone else to suffer. Be specific, listing examples of the problem and recalling how you or someone else felt.
3. State ways you have tried to deal with it. Have you attempted to overlook it, or have you actively tried to change things? If so, how.
4. Decide why your efforts at solution have been ineffective.
5. Find out how you react to change in regard to that issue. Does it frighten you? Excite you?
6. Decide if you want to run the risk of trying to make a change. List what you could lose and what you could gain by changing.
7. Choose a possible solution. Lay plans for concrete actions.
8. Put that solution into action. How did you feel about it? What do others -- friends, respected advisers and/or relatives -- think about your efforts?
9. Evaluate your new action in term of losses and gains.
10. Decide on another solution if the first solution has been ineffective, and repeat the evaluation process.