Trying to Feel Calm When You're Anxious
When I have racing thoughts, feel overwhelmed, and feel like things are out of control, it becomes a major struggle to feel a sense of calm. Calmness, when you're anxious, becomes difficult to achieve, at least at the moment, because it's so hard to quiet all of the other thoughts and resulting symptoms that accompany anxiety, especially when you experience a panic attack. So, then I try to pull myself away from being overstimulated.
The problem is that, because of chronic anxiety, overstimulation is easy to come across. So what I've found is that I'll just simply withdraw from many things -- people, crowds, noisy environments -- basically, much of the world around me.
Strategies for Staying Calm When Anxious
This can become an issue because withdrawing from many things is not always realistic, and, sometimes, it's simply not the best solution. So after several years of dealing with anxiety, I've learned that self-calming strategies are essential to have available to you when you are in overstimulating environments.
Some self-calming strategies are:
- Deep breathing -- Taking a slow, deep breath in, holding it, and then fully exhaling helps to calm your system. I've found that this is especially helpful for me if I have a panic attack.
- Focusing on a grounding object -- I've found that focusing on something specific can help me to stay centered and can ultimately be calming. For example, I wear a necklace that I will usually hold when I am extremely anxious.
- Going outside -- I've also found that getting out of a room and going outside can be immediately calming. The change of scenery and the fresh air can help soothe and can also interrupt any chaotic thought processes that I am having.
I've also learned that it's vital to have self-calming exercises that allow you to achieve peace when you are at home in your own space where you feel the most comfortable. Being able to engage in self-soothing activities is helpful for overall maintenance of a sense of calm in my daily life. Additionally, I've learned that it helps develop resilience to stress.
Self-calming activities that I engage in include:
- Exercise -- This helps me release stress, but it is also meditative. Overall, daily exercise helps me relieve tension and results in more of a sense of peace.
- Journaling -- Journaling allows me to express my emotions and process the racing and complex thoughts that I seem to have. It also allows me to express worries, fears, and things that I feel overwhelmed about in a safe space.
- Meditation -- Meditation is especially helpful for calming any physical symptoms of stress. This is something that I practice daily, and so I know that, even if I am going through a stressful situation that will trigger my anxiety, I can look forward to peace and tranquility when I meditate.
Try these strategies to self-soothe when you are anxious and as a form of self-care.
If there are strategies you use that aren't discussed here, share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2022, July 5). Trying to Feel Calm When You're Anxious, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2022/7/trying-to-feel-calm-when-youre-anxious