Staying calm during moments of anxiety isn’t always effortless. The state of the world right now is already uncertain and stressful. Adding more “crisis” moments on top of it can make it difficult to stay in control of your fears and worries.
That’s especially true if you already struggle with anxiety.
Unfortunately, high-anxiety moments can exacerbate some of the traditional symptoms of anxiety, including a rapid heart rate, sweating, and thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness.
So, what can you do to reclaim your calm during high-anxiety moments? How can you rein in those symptoms, stay mindful, and let the moments pass you by without taking over your thoughts?
Avoid Reacting Immediately
If you’re in a high-anxiety moment or even a crisis, your first instinct might be to react right away. People have an innate “fight, flight, and freeze” response. If you feel that you want to duke something out, run away, or are stuck you could be experiencing anxiety taking over. .
Whenever possible, try to slow things down in a stressful situation. Take a breath, count to ten (or 100) and take a step back. Instead of reacting, gather information. Try to consider how the current situation might affect you at this moment. Conversely, think about how it might affect you a year from now. What are the worst-case scenarios?
By pausing and thinking about every aspect of the moment, you might find that it isn’t as scary or hopeless as you initially thought.
In addition to slowing things down and allowing your reaction to come later, you might find it helpful to disconnect from the situation. Step away for a while. Even if it’s only a short period of time. Disconnecting can give you the time and space you need to work things out and process your emotions.
When you return to the situation, you will undoubtedly feel calmer. Also, you’ll have a fresh perspective instead of feeling immersed in the shock of the moment.
You might worry that other people involved in the situation will judge you for having to step away — but consider disregarding that part of the story. It’s unimportant, after all. Your mental health and emotions are your top priority. If it takes walking away from a situation briefly to keep your sense of calm, don’t let anyone stop you or make you feel as though it’s wrong. It is always ok to take care of your needs first.
Ban Negative Self-Talk
When you’re in a high-anxiety situation, it’s easy to let your mind wander to the worst possible places. Negative self-talk can cause a lot of damage when you let it control your thoughts.
If you can slow down your thoughts in a crisis situation, use that calm, collected moment to focus your thoughts on something positive. Or, at the very least, challenge any negative thoughts that might surface. Negative thoughts are often unrealistic or try to exaggerate the truth.
Call Someone You Trust
It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone in times of anxiety. If you’re feeling like your worries are out of control, call someone who can support you. A family member, friend, or even a mental health professional can help you to rein in those feelings of anxiety and experience a sense of calm again.
On a long-term basis, finding ways to cope with high-anxiety moments is a necessity. Naturally, people have different coping strategies and techniques. Finding one that works for you will give you the emotional tools needed to reclaim your calm.
If you tend to struggle with high-anxiety moments and you want to remain calm, feel free to contact me. Together, we can find strategies to manage your high anxiety moments so you can reclaim your calm.