Excessive worry can lead to significant problems. Worrying about a speech can make it harder to focus. And constant worry over your health can mess up your sleep and hinder your well-being long-term.
If you are experiencing peaking anxiety, here are six ways to calm your worries fast:
1. Acknowledge Your Anxiety
Saying to yourself, “Don’t think about it,” will backfire. Trying to suppress your anxious thoughts will only add to your distress. Accept your feelings of anxiety and your intrusive thoughts might actually go away.
2. Reframe Thoughts
Anxiety can lead to catastrophic thoughts. Imagining one bad test score will ruin your entire life, or that one mistake will lead you to being homeless, will increase your anxious feelings.
Replace these heightened negative thoughts with realistic self-talk: When you say something like, “I will stumble and look like an idiot,” say instead, “I have great things to say. If I mess up, I will just keep going and it won’t be a big deal.”
Only focus your energy on solving the problems you do have some control over. If you are very worried you will look unprofessional at an interview, take measures to prepare yourself. If you are anxious about your debt, create a budget. Get into the habit of turning worrisome thoughts into productive actions.
Feelings of anxiety can cause unwelcome physical symptoms—like high heart rate, sweaty palms, or stomach problems. You might also have issues sleeping or difficulty staying still. These symptoms can exacerbate anxiety and negative thoughts, which might trigger your anxiety to get even worse.
Take steps to soothe your physical body. A jog, yoga, deep breathing, or deep relaxation exercises will help you calm your body and will also calm your mind.
Mindfulness means to become completely in tune with everything happening around you right now. Being mindful will lesson negative thinking and reduce your stress levels.
6. Change Things Up
When you are struggling to forget something you are worried about, and you can’t take steps to solve the problem, get yourself up and start doing something new: Go for a walk, clean out an old closet or your garage, do some home repairs you’ve been putting off—do whatever you must to stay busy. Taking your mind away from your problems for just minutes can lower your stress and give your mind a huge break.
Struggling with anxiety doesn’t mean you are weak. Men with incredible mental strength have self-doubt, fear, and anxiety just like all people do. And just like them, you can always do things to build up your mental stress muscle.