Tips for Handling Anxiety – How to Calm Yourself on the Spot


There are many situations that we may find anxiety-provoking. Some situations may be personal ones (e.g., where we may worry about loved ones). Other situations may be professional ones (e.g., where we may get anxious about speaking in public or at job interviews).

We may even find ourselves worrying about worry itself. This article provides three tips to help you calm yourself on the spot. Each tip can be used separately or in conjunction with the remaining tips, depending on what feels right to you.

Tip 1: Breathe Deeply

When we get anxious and worry, we tend to breathe more shallowly than when we are relaxed, centered and feeling in control.

It can therefore be useful to breathe deeply for a while. In so doing, we can calm our minds down and start to think clearly about whatever is making us anxious.

Tip 2: Stop and Examine the Facts

When you worry, perhaps about loved ones, perhaps about yourself, it is natural to awfulize what might happen. You might even see events playing out in an unwelcome way.

It can be helpful to just say stop. You can question those unwelcome imaginings and add what is more likely to be the case, e.g.”It is just a common cold” or “It is wet weather, they may be taking things a bit slower on the roads.” In so doing, you are replacing what is commonly referred to as “negative self-talk” with “positive self-talk”. You can even take it one step further and visualise events playing out in a way that you would like them to.

Tip 3: Step Outside Yourself

When the anxiety is most pronounced, you will be aware of physiological sensations such as butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms or shaky knees.

It can therefore be helpful to step outside of yourself. And, in so doing, you will find that you can quickly and easily calm yourself down. When you step outside of yourself, your attention is no longer on yourself. Instead, you can focus on the message you want to convey and how best to convey it. This tip is particularly useful in professional settings, such as job interviews and speaking in public. It is also useful when you find yourself getting anxious over asking someone out on a date.

At the end of the day, you can calm yourself down on the spot. Just remember to breathe deeply, question when your mind conjures up an image of something awful, and step outside of yourself.