Have you ever felt as though your anxiety would never go away? Maybe you feared that your heart rate would never decrease or that your spiraling thoughts would continue to consume you? It can be a terrifying feeling as you try to take control of your mind or body.
The good news is I will give you two coping strategies that could be beneficial when dealing with your anxiety. These skills are mental activities that will help you feel calmer in the moments where your anxiety has gotten the best of you.
Challenging Irrational Thoughts
Challenging your thoughts can be a great way to decrease your anxiety. Sometimes your worries might not have a lot of evidence behind them and challenging their validity can help you take the power away from irrational thoughts. One way you can do this is by using socratic questioning. This is when you ask yourself questions to determine the logic and validity of a thought.
Here are some socratic questions you can ask yourself:
- Is my thought based on facts or feelings?
- How would my best friend or spouse view this fear?
- What is the likelihood that this is going to happen? (0% to 100%)
- What is the most likely outcome of this situation?
- What evidence is there to support that your fear is going to happen?
- What evidence is there to support that your fear will not happen?
What you think about has the power to change how you feel and behave. For example, if you are thinking about your fear of getting fired at work, it might make you feel insignificant or insecure. Knowing your thoughts have this ability means that you can also use them positively.
Imagining peaceful situations can make you feel at ease when faced with anxiety. When using imagery, you want to use all 5 of your senses. This way you can envision this place in greater detail.
First you will want to identify a place that brings you comfort. Now use all of your senses to take you to that place. You want to be as detailed as possible. For this example I am going to use the beach as my comfort spot.
Sight: I see waves lightly crashing on to the shore, a family eating sandwiches out of a picnic basket next to me, birds flying around, kids building sand castles, endless miles of white sand, a line of tall hotels behind me, and my best friend sitting next to me
Hearing: I hear the sound of the birds chirping, country music playing, the family next to me laughing about the birds trying to take their food, and the crunch of the chip bag as my friend tries to stick her hand in there.
Smell: I smell coconut because of the sunscreen that I am using, the saltiness of the water, my lavender body spray, and the pepperoni pizza that I am having for lunch
Taste: I taste saltiness after swimming in the ocean, marinara sauce from the pizza, and the taste of a yellow gatorade
Touch: I feel the soft sand in between my toes, the sun beating on my face, the water dripping off of my hair onto my back, the wind blowing to the right of me, and the cold gatorade in my hand
If you found these coping strategies to be helpful and are looking for more ways to reduce your anxiety then we are here for you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have a team of compassionate and highly trained therapists who can help. They will work with you as you become the best version of yourself. The version who lives in peace and not stress and fear. Call (405) 921-7776 to start the process or get more information on how we can help. We are excited to hear from you and begin the journey towards what better looks like for you!