How to Calm Down When Anxious
If you suffer from anxiety you know how frightening and upsetting it can be when you experience a problematic episode. Your mind goes into overdrive, your heart rate rises and you just wish it would all stop so that you could get back to normal. We are here to help you learn how to calm down when anxious so that you feel in control once again.
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How Can I Reduce Anxiety Fast?
Everyone wants to know how to calm down when anxious as quickly as possible. So some of the strategies and tips we will be giving you are short term solutions to help you feel better. However, where anxiety is concerned it is always better to get to the root causes of the problem and resolve that otherwise, the anxiety will simply return again and again.
Anxiety fires because a part of your mind is trying to keep you safe and away from perceived upset, harm or embarrassment. It learned to do this usually in childhood after an incident that created a problem. It will continue to give you this anxiety until you find a way to rationalise and remember what happened to you.
Learning to identify what is causing the problem creates a new thought process in your mind thereby increasing the chances of long term reduction or eradication of anxiety. Usually, this is achieved by anxiety therapy with a trained professional. Short term strategies will, of course, help to reduce the severity of the anxiety which is incredibly useful whilst you work out what next steps you need to take.
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Finding the Root Causes of Anxiety
Finding the root causes of anxiety is usually done with a trained therapist however there are ways you can try and source the reasons for your problem by yourself. We have created an anxiety tracker printable which consists of 8 worksheets to help you identify and challenge any negative thoughts. You can purchase our printable in our online store as a pdf document which you can print out and use again and again.
You can also use self-help methods to relax when you are feeling anxious. Here are our top ten recommended routes to help you to learn how to calm down when anxious.
How do You Stop Anxiety Attacks? Breathe
When we see clients who have issues with anxiety they tend to think fast, speak fast and breathe too fast. That adrenaline that is pumping round their bodies makes everything seem a little more urgent and they are definitely on edge. This is the part of your brain that is putting you into fight or flight mode in case you need to flee danger.
We recommend that our clients learn to take a step back and start to slow everything down. This can be done by changing your breathing patterns. There are plenty of breathing exercises you can use but we recommend the 7/11 breathing technique. Simply find a safe place to sit and spend five or ten minutes breathing in for the count of 7 and out for the count of 11. Do this regularly and you start to help ease the fight or flight response.
Breathing techniques are also incredibly useful for hyperventilation if you are experiencing a panic attack. People feel that they are not getting enough air but in fact, they are getting too much oxygen. Slow the breathing down and the balance is restored.
How to Calm Anxiety – Reduce Stress
One of the biggest causes of anxiety is stress yet most people don’t even notice it creeping up on them until it is too late.
- Work Long Hours?
- Look After a Family?
- Have Money Worries?
- Care for Relatives?
- Do Extra Activities in the Evening?
- Suffer from Illness?
- Work as Well as Study?
- Live with Unresolved Trauma?
When you are feeling overly worried one of the first ways you learn how to calm down when anxious is by removing as much stress as you can from your life.
That might mean arriving home from work on time instead of staying late at the office. Dropping unenjoyable activities and finding time for yourself. Going to bed at a reasonable time and getting good nights sleep. Finding relaxing hobbies to do to calm down the anxiety and stress.
Something has to give in your life. No matter what people try and tell you it is impossible to have it all without creating problems. So find time to rest, relax and recuperate to allow the anxiety to reduce as well.
Calm Down Strategies – Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety
The quickest and easiest way to get our clients to reduce their anxiety is by giving them a self-hypnosis download. Self-hypnosis for anxiety downloads are a quick and easy way to change feelings without any complex training being needed. Simply press play on the mp3 and lie back and allow the audio to work its magic.
Our self-hypnosis anxiety guided meditations have been created to help our clients get into a deep state of relaxation incredibly quickly. Once they are there they are given suggestions to help change the way in which the subconscious thinks. Each of our anxiety downloads helps with one particular aspect of anxiety.
- Worrying and Negative Thinking
- Panic Attacks
- Generalised Anxiety
Pick the audio that is most relevant to you and allow it to wash over you and get your mind to wander (you do not need to concentrate on the audio). Eventually, your mind should start to drift and enter into a trance allowing the positive and helpful suggestions to permeate the subconscious. Just make sure that you use an audio once a day and never do anything else whilst it is playing.
Things to Do When you Feel Anxious – Distraction Activities
Want to learn how to calm down when anxious? Then you need to learn distraction activities to keep your mind occupied on other things.
When your mind is feeling anxious it starts to think inwardly. That means you will start to focus on what you are thinking, worry about how your feelings and panic about any feelings which you perceive to be strange in your body. Your mind starts to go into overdrive and that only fuels more panic and worry.
What you actually need to do is occupy your mind doing something else. Whether that be cooking some food, watching a film or absorbing yourself in a good book. As you start to become preoccupied with another task the anxiety begins to reduce as you are no longer bringing focus to it.
Anxiety Calming Techniques – Visualisation
If I asked you now to imagine yourself sat in a beach bar on a hot summers evening watching the waves lap against the shore how would you feel? Imagine seeing the sand, relaxing with a drink and hearing some music in the background. Unless you have a total aversion to water my guess is you would be feeling relatively relaxed.
Now imagine a hot underground train where people are packed in like sardines. It is standing room only and when the doors open at the stop people have to push their way out of the train and run to catch their connections as fast as they can. There is a drunk shouting in a part of the carriage and a baby crying. How do you feel now?
Visualisation has the capability of changing your state relatively quickly. You just need to think of a situation that immediately starts to make you feel relaxed and allow your mind to concentrate on that thought. For some people the beach will work, others may love thinking about the countryside or diving in the water. Have a go-to memory that elicits feelings of happiness and serenity and think about it when anxiety strikes.
Create Calming Thoughts – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a wonderful technique to stop you from worrying about a future that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, you learn to focus on relatively mundane things that you are experiencing right now at this moment.
As an example, you could concentrate on walking mindfully. You could start to think about the surface that you are walking on and how it feels beneath your feet. Allow yourself to hear the sounds that your feet make against the ground. Think about whether the ground is soft or hard. Now listen to what sounds you can hear. Are they loud or relatively quiet? What are the colours that you can see around you? What details can you note?
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to just allow your mind to focus on what is happening around you instead of what is happening in your mind. With regular practice, it is a great tool to manage anxiety and depression.
We love the Year of Mindfulness Jar which gives you one task to use each week so that you improve your mental well-being.
Staying Calm – Use Relaxation
We always tell our clients to never underestimate the power of relaxation. If you want to learn how to calm when anxious then you need to practice relaxation. Not just now and again but regularly.
We all need to take time out to do absolutely nothing but switch off. If we don’t do this and run our lives at a hundred miles an hour we experience burn out and anxiety. By simply creating balance in our lives and finding time to rest and relax we give ourselves time to recuperate from our day to day stresses.
Simply choose a time each day to spend half an hour with your feet up doing nothing. A guided meditation can be used when you are relaxing or alternatively just spend some time daydreaming or reading a good book. That switch off time will work wonders for your mental health.
How to Calm the Mind – Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are short phrases that you can use to make your mind focus on something other than your anxiety. In addition they help to keep your mind focused on the present instead of worrying about the future. If you make sure that your affirmation is also helpful you are on to to a winner.
We’ve come up with 50 positive affirmations for anxiety that you can use to help you when you are feeling worried. They are designed to help you regain control of your mind and to remind you that however you are feeling now those feelings will eventually pass and you will feel better.
Use the affirmations to alter your mental state so that you feel more positive about taking steps to change how you feel. Practice them regularly and you will find that they will have a calming effect and make you feel happier.
What Can You Use to Calm Down? – Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are a relatively recent tool to help anxiety. Originally Occupational Therapists used them to help their patients feel calmer and more relaxed and slowly the world started to wake up to their benefits.
The pressure that these blankets create is supposed to create a feeling of relaxation and security. Plus they are supposed to reduce the amount of cortisol that you produce which means you are lowering stress hormones. Just make sure that you choose the right weighted blanket for your particular size.
You can look at our handy guide to weighted blankets and our weight chart which will help you to choose the right blanket for you. We have also created a chart for children as well. As these blankets are entirely natural they are perfectly safe to use. Learn how to calm down when anxious naturally is an important consideration as nobody wants to rely on medication in the low term if it can be avoided.
Therapy to Calm Down Anxiety
Last but not least you should consider therapy as a way of learning how to calm down when anxious especially in situations where you don’t know what is making you feel bad. Anxiety therapy is a great way of helping you when you appear to experience anxiety for no reason.
Even if you believe there is no obvious reason for your worry and fear it may be hard to think rationally because of your anxiety. Plus it can be hard to look at the big picture when you are living your life. Therapists are used to taking an overview of the situation and helping you to see possible reasons why you may be experiencing issues.
To get more information on our anxiety programs simply fill in the form below to learn more about our online sessions to improve your mental health.
Read More Articles About Anxiety Calming Strategies
10 Panic Attack Hacks to Calm You Down
Get Your Calm On with Self-Soothing for Anxiety
10 Things to Stop Doing if You Have Anxiety
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