Suddenly, it’s all too much.
Suddenly, problems become insurmountable.
Suddenly, solutions are hard to come by.
From my experience, the way that you talk to yourself during an anxious period is key and manages the situation so it doesn’t escalate.
Here are 3 things I tell myself when I’m anxious:
- In 5 years…
I get it. Anxiety can make you feel like the world is ending on a daily basis. That mistake you made? The worst. The way that person spoke to you. Killer.
Spoiler alert – none of it is true.
One of my main strategies to put things in perspective is to try to view situations from a vantage point of 5-years in the future. Ask yourself whether you will still be stressed about the situation you’re going through in 5-years time? Guaranteed, the answer 99% of the time will be a big, fat NO.
Although some things are worth stressing about, most things aren’t and using a qualifying benchmark, such as working out whether you will still be stressing about something after a time period has elapsed, helps majorly.
How it works?
- You will remember something = fair enough, experience the emotions of the situation.
- You will not remember something = park the stress. It’s not doing anything for you and it’s not worth it.
Try it. See if it works for you.
2. It might not be ok now. But it will be ok.
When things feel like they’re terrible and always will be, it’s important to remind yourself that no feeling is permanent.
Remind yourself of this little chestnut (it makes me feel slightly at ease every time – no matter how wound up I am feeling).
‘Everything is ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end’
Tell yourself that you won’t always feel like this. That you will come out the other side, no matter how trapped you may feel in your emotions at the time, and like you have done hundreds of times before.
3. The outcome will be amazing.
Anxious thoughts, at least from what I have experienced, come in a series of open-ended questions and more emphatic statements.
‘What if Mary took what I said the wrong way?’
‘What if I am delivering a bad experience to my client?’
‘I am a bad friend’
‘I am the worst employee’
‘I am not prepared for this meeting tomorrow’
From my personal experience, I like to reframe these statements and questions with those that are more positive:
‘I am going to have such a good meeting tomorrow’
‘I am always there for my friends’
‘I can’t wait to talk with Mary’
As up yourself as they seem, these types of statements provide an instant rebuttal to the anxious silent monologue going on in your head. As I know it can be hard to think of ANYTHING positive whilst you’re anxiety is running rogue, try to build up a bank of positive things you can say to yourself when you’re not in a state.
I encourage you to try the above things. Although these have worked for me in the past and have served to calm me down, it’s important that you also explore different options to see what works for you.
The most important thing I have learned is that you should do the work when you’re feeling anxious in order to alleviate the symptoms when you are.
To a peaceful day.