2 Techniques To Help Calm You Down When Experiencing Anxiety

Experiencing anxiety is a very normal part of life. Some people only experience anxiety on an occasional basis, and others experience it on a regular basis. Either way, it is helpful to have some tricks that will help you feel calm when you are experiencing anxiety.  

Technique #1: Think Through the Consequences

One of the driving factors behind anxiety is the fear of something. One way to deal with that anxiety is to work through the consequences that you fear, and figure out what the consequences really are.  

For example, if you are feeling anxious about going to a wedding, you need to figure out what you are afraid of. You decide you are afraid of talking to people you don't know. Take that fear and break it down. Why are you afraid of meeting new people? Maybe you are afraid you will not have anything to say. Break that down next. What will the consequence be if you don't have anything to say? Perhaps the other person takes over the conversation, or you just have a short conversation and move on. Is that so bad? Oftentimes, when you break down what you fear and the consequences that occur if that fear happens, you'll figure out what you need to get through the situation that is causing your anxiety, and you'll know that even if the worse outcome happened, the situation would not really be so bad. Naming and understanding your fears—and following through your fears to their logical consequence—can help you see the reality of the situation, which may help to calm your anxiety.  

Technique #2: Change Your Response

When you feel anxiety, your body responds in a certain way. You may feel nervous and straight-faced, your body posture may tense up, and you may only be able to take in shallow breaths. Your body, when you experience anxiety, generally respond as if it is under threat. 

If you change the way that your body responds to anxiety, you can help your body move through the anxiety attack and realize that you are not experiencing an actual emergency. You need to consciously try to change one of the ways that your body responds when you have an anxiety attack. For example, you can try to open up your body posture, instead of staying tensed up. Or you could try to smile, which will send positive endorphins to your brain and help you relax. Or you can try to take deep breaths to stop the short, panicked breaths that you are taking. Changing just one way that your body responds to a threat can help you work through an anxiety attack and maintain control over your mind and body.  

Learning how to deal with your anxiety is a process; these are just two tricks that you can try out. Continue to attend your young adult counseling and work with your therapist so you can learn other coping strategies as well.