Sometimes things can be too overwhelming and I find myself feeling flustered, anxious and uncomfortable with my own emotions. Over the years, there have been a few methods I’ve culminated that have helped to calm me down when I’ve needed it most. This can be from one end of the spectrum to the other. It’s been before jobs interviews, exams, driving lessons and even for no reason.
Anxious thoughts and feelings can pop up unexpectedly and leave us feeling confused and out of our depths. The methods I use to calm my anxieties down that I keep returning to, have lessened my anxiety as a whole for me. I think it’s important to note that I have never been diagnosed with anxiety, I am just referring to it as general anxiety that can peak especially with events that are commonly anxiety-inducing. These methods won’t work for everyone, but if they help even one of you – that’s good enough for me.
- Thinking literally can sometimes make things better, not worse. I’m a pro at overthinking and worrying, to the point I’m not thinking literally or realistically. It takes a good sitting down with myself to break the situation down into manageable bitesize pieces so that I’m not overwhelmed. A job interview is not a scary gladiator ring, in essence, it’s a chat with a stranger from the street who has to go home and put the washing on and cook dinner. It’s easy to make a situation seem way more daunting than it is. Compartmentalising can be key.
- Thinking of the “after”. If it’s a situation that has an end, e.g. a job interview, family gathering or dentist appointment, remember that it will end – it’s not going to last forever. Create things to look forward to so you give yourself the chance to shift your focus onto something that makes you feel positive emotions. I like thinking that when it’s over, I can finally focus on reading my book, watching Youtube or just enjoying that it’s over.
- Re-treating from social media. Social media can make my brain tick way too fast, which when feeling anxious, does not help in the slightest. I make a conscious effort to put my phone down and pick up a book or just go and sit with my dogs without distraction. I invest properly in things that relax me and allow me to take a breather.
- Listening to chill music or relaxing sound effects. If I’m feeling extra worrisome, house music is not the one for me. I have a chill playlist on Spotify that’s my go-to and there’s a handful of artists I know that will help to calm my mood. Online soundboards/relaxing sound effects can be helpful if you just want to lie down and focus on your breathing. I remember using Noisli and My Noise when I was back in Sixth Form and it was a good revision tool if I needed to focus. You can create your own atmosphere by adjusting sound effects such as fire crackling, ocean waves and even the inside of a cafe. My Noise have different scenarios such as rain on a tent and a Japanese garden.
- Allowing myself to feel the anxieties, then let them go. If I feel able to, I’ll feel out the anxiety so that I can rationalise with it and kind of get the bad feelings out of the way. I try not to let it consume me for longer than is necessary. I do think it’s key to accept our emotions, but learn to work through them and let them go when possible.
These are just a few ways that have helped me through some really stressful times. Life is full of events that can cause a lot of discomfort for some people, but not for others. Despite this, I think it’s important to remember the methods that help you and to share them with others if you’re comfortable, in case they haven’t tried it and it helps them too. I fight not to be my own worst enemy.
What methods do you use to calm yourself down?
Until next time,