Anxiety can be a challenging experience for adults to navigate. Whether in the day-to-day or larger settings like meetings and retreats, these anxiety group activities for adults will help.
Fortunately, group activities can provide a supportive and safe environment for individuals to explore their anxieties and develop coping mechanisms.
I’ve compiled a list of 31 anxiety group activities for adults that can help alleviate anxiety symptoms and promote mental well-being.
These activities include meditation, art therapy, physical exercises, goal setting, and more. They will promote trust, relationship building, and various other positive attributes.
Individuals can connect with others and feel empowered to manage their anxiety by engaging in these activities. Let’s dive into the list and explore the benefits of each exercise.
1. Brainstorming Goals
In this activity, individuals can come together as a group and brainstorm their personal goals.
The group can discuss their aspirations, identify obstacles, and develop strategies for achieving their goals.
This activity promotes self-reflection and helps individuals gain clarity on their objectives. I love pairing this journal with this activity; it helps illustrate the structure well.
This is one of the most productive things to do at home by yourself as well!
2. Share Your Fears
This activity provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their fears and anxieties with the group. The game’s purpose is to be supportive and encouraging.
This activity can help reduce feelings of isolation and promote emotional bonding among group members. Its vulnerability allows it to break down social and emotional insecurities.
3. Strength Spotting
Individuals can identify and share their psychological or character strengths with the group in this activity. If the group knows each other, they can also share about others.
By focusing on strengths, individuals can build their confidence and resilience.
The game creates a healthy, friendly environment where people feel comfortable trying new experiences.
4. Fear in a Hat
This activity involves writing down fears on pieces of paper and placing them in a hat. The group can then take turns drawing out fears and discussing strategies for overcoming them.
This activity promotes a sense of camaraderie and helps individuals realize they are not alone in their fears.
The anonymity of it helps garner a collective bond in offering ways to fight anxiety.
5. Group Meditation
Meditation can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety. Group meditation sounds counterintuitive, but collective quiet proves beneficial for insecurities.
In a group setting, individuals can practice meditation together, providing support and accountability for their practice.
The bonding during quiet moments offers quiet moments of grace.
6. Check-In Questions
Check-in questions are an opportunity for individuals to share how they are feeling and what is on their minds.
Offer appropriate sample questions before the event to keep things relevant.
This activity promotes emotional awareness and helps individuals feel heard and understood. The questions are great tools to build trust in a micro or macro setting.
7. Trust Fall
This activity involves one person falling backward into the arms of a group of people who catch them. This game promotes trust, vulnerability, and interpersonal connection.
Pair duos or group appropriately together as best you can–meaning height and weight should get considered for safety. I’d grab a mat like this just in case–better safe than sorry!
8. Color or Paint Mandalas
Mandala coloring or painting can be a relaxing and meditative activity that promotes mindfulness and focus.
The repetitiveness but intricate work that goes into coloring a mandala helps a person zone in on the task.
In a group setting, individuals can share their creations and appreciate each other’s unique styles.
This mandala book is a great starter to try this idea out and works well with any medium.
9. Make an Affirmation Poster
Affirmations are positive statements that individuals can use to cultivate a more positive mindset.
Create individual posters or a large group one in a community space for continual reflection.
In this idea, individuals can create affirmation posters and share them with the group. Affirmations can get made in any fashion of the creator’s needs or hopes.
10. Mental Health Charades
This activity is a fun and engaging way to educate individuals about mental health topics.
As we dive further into the pursuit of mental health, it’s important to continue to keep them in conversations for awareness.
In this game, participants act out mental health-related scenarios, and the group can guess the answer.
Make sure to illustrate that anything inappropriate is unallowable and can get a participant disqualified from playing.
11. Go for a Walk or Hike
Exercise and fresh air can be beneficial for managing anxiety. In a group setting, individuals can enjoy the outdoors together and bond over their shared experiences.
Fresh air and natural environments are key factors in helping reduce stress and help a person with anxiety.
Stick with woodsy but generally easy paths for accessibility of anyone interested in going.
This is one of the most fun outdoor activities!
12. Cooking Together
Cooking can be a relaxing and creative activity that promotes mindfulness and focus.
Anything from meals to sweet treats, working in the kitchen is an excellent sensory experience with a tasty turnout.
In a group setting, individuals can collaborate to create a delicious meal and enjoy each other’s company.
Each time making a dish is different, so it helps jumpstart the person or people cooking.
Follow up your group dinner with these fun beer drinking games!
13. Create a Motivation or Vision Board
Vision boards are a visual representation of an individual’s goals and aspirations. It’s a visual way to kick start working toward one’s goal.
In this exercise, individuals can create vision boards and share them with the group, supporting and encouraging each other’s dreams.
Communicating about goals is a great constructive way to combat anxiety while starting to tackle one’s dreams.
14. Goal Visualization
Visualization is a powerful technique for achieving goals. In this goal, individuals can visualize their dreams and share their vision with the group, gaining inspiration and support.
It can get done in various ways, from physical to verbal practices.
15. Checking In Questions
Like check-in questions, these are additional prompts to help individuals express their feelings and thoughts.
It can help individuals process their emotions and provide support and understanding within the group.
16. Letter Writing
This activity involves writing letters to oneself, others, or imaginary people with a specific message in mind. In this case, it’d include one’s anxieties.
It promotes self-reflection and introspection, providing individuals with a safe space to express their thoughts and feelings and with the opportunity to share.
17. Two Truths and a Lie Icebreaker Activity
This game is a fun and engaging way to get to know each other better. It works as any sort of icebreaker for any age.
In this game, individuals share two true statements and one false statement, and the group can guess which information is incorrect.
The activity is silly but fun in format to break down any anxious feelings.
18. Bardic Circle
Participants take turns sharing their own creative works, such as poetry, songs, or stories. Grab a fun board like this to use as a sign-up board to make an uncompetitive way to share.
Set time parameters so everyone has an equal amount of time to share if interested. Keep it open-ended, too.
Only those willing to share that week get on the “stage” during that week need to share.
19. Mirroring Sequence
Participants pair up and take turns mirroring each other’s movements, breathing, and vocalizations to create a sense of connection and harmony.
Classically, you can find this game getting played amongst actors or performers in pre-rehearsals or performances.
It builds communication in a nonverbal way and is a great community builder.
20. Mental Health Bingo
Mental health bingo is a fun and interactive alternative way to learn and discuss important mental health topics, such as self-care strategies, coping skills, and healthy habits.
Leave time for discussion after the game for learning opportunities.
The more open conversation around classically “troubled topics” will help destigmatize and help those who need professional help without shame.
21. Emotions Wheel and Discussion
The emotions wheel is a visual tool for identifying and exploring different emotions, followed by a group discussion about each emotion’s impact and how to manage it.
Leave it as open-ended and flexible as possible to meet any participant where they need it. This customizable wheel is perfect for this idea and can get reset as many times as you’d like.
22. Therapy Dice
Roll the dice to prompt a discussion about different topics, such as coping strategies, self-care, or gratitude.
Great for large groups or couples, therapy dice structure the conversation unassumingly.
This pair is great to start trying out. There are other options more specific to your needs out there; make sure to shop around if my recommendation doesn’t work for you.
23. Mindfulness Body Scan
A guided meditation encourages participants to focus on different parts of their bodies and release tension.
Have them situate in whatever manner feels right to them during the moment and make the space quiet and nondistracting.
The lead will verbally guide the participants into checking in with specific parts of their bodies. The aim is to calm and restore any worked-up areas.
24. Visit a Positive Feeling and Share it with the Group
This idea obviously works better with a group with history, but there’s a fun way to turn this into something for a group meeting each other.
Have them share something they’ve noticed about the majority or what they hope to get out of the experience.
For those that are involved with more familiar members, have participants identify and share a positive feeling or memory with the group.
The intention is to promote positivity and gratitude.
25. Group Dancing
Dancing is a fun and physical way to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Have some structure to the dance or open it to completely free interpretation.
Depending on the dancers, cater to what would make them most comfortable.
Dim the lights, hold the event outside, or even use essential oils to help ease nerves–whatever will help the group dance.
This is also such a fun weekend activity if you have little kids at home!
A gentle form of exercise that promotes relaxation, mindfulness, and physical health.
There are many different practices to choose from, so again, opt for something that will cater to those participating in yoga.
During the session, offer props, modified poses, and the like to welcome people of varying abilities. This is a great bundle pack if you want to provide mats.
27. Breathing Exercises
Simple breathing techniques can help manage anxiety and promote relaxation.
Do your research to collect different ways to perform breathing exercises–one may work for some, but not all.
Set up stations for those that want to experiment with different opportunities of breath work to discover what works for them.
Breathwork is highly individual to each person, and they should get the respect and space to figure out what works for them.
28. Discussion about Self-care Routines and How to Help Each Other Improve Daily Routines
Participants discuss their self-care routines and share ideas for improving them, providing support and motivation. Keep this idea open, letting the people take what they find useful.
Don’t make them feel as if the solutions in the conversation are what needs to happen.
Encourage them to tweak, alter, or interpret what is required for them to thrive in their own lives.
29. Music Appreciation
Listening to music can be a powerful way to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Participants share and discuss their favorite songs or artists.
Music reaches so many in many ways, making the playlist, at least to begin with, more gentle and comforting to help those into the idea of participating.
Let the listeners have their own space and let them do what they feel comfortable doing while listening for the best results.
30. Sound Bowl Meditation
Sound bowl meditation can get done in a few different ways. If someone has a Tibetan singing bowl, use it, but if not, find a recording and let it play for those listening.
If someone does have a singing bowl, try this.
Participants listen to the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl, promoting relaxation and mindfulness for a short but sustained amount of time.
31. Gratitude Mapping
Gratitude tracking can get a little hard after a while, especially if journaling it in a casual way, amongst other entries.
Participants create a visual map of things they are grateful for, promoting positivity and gratitude.
The mapping of gratitude is a much easier way to digest and track what one is thankful for. I like to use a sketchbook like this one to keep track of my own life and what I am grateful for.
Keep expanding your social skill with these other fun socializing activities for adults!