Calming anxiety, one tip at a time

The never-ending cycle of questions, doubts and worry can be overwhelming sometimes. One week the running cycle of anxiety in the back of my mind is quieter than others, but some days it’s almost unmanageable.

When I was younger, I thought these feelings were typical for a young “insecure” girl. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize, I’m not insecure, I have anxiety. Some days are better than others. But days like today, and days like these past two weeks, have been unbearable. I start to question everything.

Sometimes I don’t want to be around me, so why would anyone else? The feelings of not being enough flood my mind every time I take a break from work. I question my relationships and wonder why people stick around. I feel the compulsive need for reassurance that everything is okay every day, if not multiple times a day. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting. During these times, I look for advice on how others cope with such feelings.

Patricia Harteneck, Ph.D, with Psychology Today recommends a few helpful tips to quell these racing thoughts:

Use cognitive distancing. Harteneck explains that our mind worries about things that are not true. She advises coming up with positive alternatives instead of always jumping to the worst conclusions.

Use a mantra. Harteneck says that a mantra, or a simple phrase, that you can repeat can calm your mind. I typically remind myself to “just breathe” and “everything will be okay.” These words are simple enough but remind me that even if all the bad things my mind is worrying about came true, I would still be okay.

Write things down. Harteneck says putting your thoughts on paper will allow you to return to them later. Making lists is always a great release. It helps organize your thoughts and concerns. You won’t forget something you would like to take time and revisit later, but it might help your mind from racing.

To read the other two tips from Harteneck, click here.

But more importantly, how do you calm your racing thoughts? Share what helps you keep your anxiety at bay. You never know, you just might end up helping someone in return. Comment below!

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