Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Living with an anxiety disorder is not easy. One moment, you can be having a peaceful, everyday interaction, and the next moment, you may find yourself feeling fidgety and apprehensive for no apparent reason. This is a common occurrence if you have an anxiety disorder. It may seem complicated, because of how quickly your feelings of nervousness and fear may set in without warning. However, no matter how bad it seems, there are strategies that can help you to manage your anxiety and achieve a sense of peace in your life.
Useful Tips for Calming Anxiety Quickly
1) Take a Deep Breath
When you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to remember some of the basics, like breathing deeply. Set an intention now that whenever you feel anxiety, you’re going to do your best to slow down and take a few deep breaths. It’s simple, but it can be a powerful method for calming your body and your mind. When you breathe, make sure your stomach rises and falls, as this activates the calming response in your body called the parasympathetic nervous system. Chest breathing, on the other hand, can increase feelings of anxiety.
2) Your Emotions are Just Emotions
Sometimes our emotions feel overwhelming, but it’s important to recognize that you can handle emotions better than you give yourself credit for. Remind yourself that feelings always pass and that you’ll be OK. Sit with your feelings and don’t avoid them and you’ll find that they will reduce more quickly than you’d expect.
3) Learn to Question the Thoughts You are Having
It can be helpful to teach yourself to recognize your thoughts and how they lead you to feel. When you start to feel your pulse race or a nervous sensation, ask yourself, “What am I thinking right now?” Then ask yourself if the thought makes logical sense. Is it helpful? Likely it won’t be, and you can train yourself to look at the situation in a healthier way, with a more balanced, empowered thought. This takes some practice, but is well worth the time spent!
4) Use the Power of Visualization
Visualizing things, places and people that you love can be a powerful strategy for feeling better. Spend some time every day purposely thinking about and picturing those things that bring you joy. This will help calm your body and mind and help you to release the anxiety that is plaguing you.
5) Accept That You Are Anxious
We often make anxiety worse because we don’t accept that it’s happening. The more we can foster a sense of acceptance of our struggles, the more we can take the steps that we need to change them permanently. It seems odd and paradoxical, but it’s true!
If you are experiencing an anxious episode, it will be easy to succumb to “what if” thoughts and overthink the simplest of things. Turning mountains out of molehills may be putting it lightly. The strategies above can help you cope the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety.
It’s understandable that your anxious thoughts and emotions may become overwhelming. No matter how hard you try to cope on your own, it may seem out of your control. This is where psychological services may be a good option for you to consider. A psychologist can help you to better understand what is going on and give you actionable strategies for managing your anxiety for good.
If you feel you need professional help to deal with your anxiety, contact us at Ward & Associates Psychological Services. We’re a psychological clinic in Sherwood Park, offering video counselling for clients anywhere in Alberta. We also provide couples counselling, therapy for anxiety disorders, PTSD treatment, and other psychological services you may need.
If you’re ready to work with an experienced psychologist to reduce your anxiety, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.