Someone asked therapists to share things THEY do to calm down when they’re stressed about the future . . .
1. Consider the best-case scenario. We tend to focus on BAD things that could happen. So just thinking about how things could work out can help calm you down.
2. Remember what you’ve made it through to get here. We’ve all dealt with situations that were difficult before. So try to think of strategies you’ve used in the past that might help you out. It’ll also remind you of how resilient you are.
3. Get moving. Anxiety can be paralyzing, so do something physical to counteract it. It can be going for a walk or a run, or just dancing in your living room . . . any sort of movement helps.
4. Make a schedule and stick with it. Not knowing what’s in store can make you feel out of control. So sticking to a schedule gives you a routine and a sense of normalcy.
5. Make a list of things you CAN control. Like wearing a face mask or donating to charity. Keeping a list like that around is an easy way to help ground yourself when anxiety starts to creep in.
6. Try repeating a mantra. Write down some phrases you associate with strength, and then repeat them out loud several times in a row.
7. Take a break from the news and social media, and do something good for yourself, like reading or heading outside. Sometimes we just need a break from that stuff to clear our heads and put things in perspective.
8. Practice gratitude. Stay present and try to be grateful for what you have right now in the moment. It works best if you do it every day. Just think of three or four things you’re grateful for. The more specific the better. Writing them down helps too.
9. Connect with other people and vent. Just talking to someone can help. Or even just verbalizing your concerns out loud to yourself might work. The point is to talk it out and see things from another angle . . . it’s a technique called “cognitive reframing.
10. Remember that anxiety is natural. Some people get anxious just about BEING anxious. So sitting with it for a while can sometimes help by normalizing it in your brain. It gets easier to deal with when you remember anxiety is part of life.
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