When you feel overwhelmed by things you can’t control—like gridlocked traffic or your boss’s mood—calming anxiety isn’t always easy. Accept that bad things happen and give yourself up to the course of the day. “It’s the nicest thing because you’re not trying to manage anything anymore,” says Kathleen Hall, PhD, DMin, founder and CEO of Mindful Living Network and The Stress Institute. “It’s like hitting the delete button.”
It will go away
When you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, remind yourself that anxiety is fleeting. “When you are chronically stressed, it can feel like you are drowning in problems and are barely staying afloat,” says Aarti Gupta, PsyD, clinical director of anxiety and family therapy center TherapyNest. “Reminding yourself that the stressor is not permanent can provide peace of mind and grant the energy required to tackle the problem and explore viable solutions.” Look out for these silent signs stress is making you sick.
Give yourself a pep talk
By referring to yourself in the second person, it’s like you’re calling in a team of family members, mentors, and other loved ones to remind you that you’re not alone and that calming anxiety is possible. “When you say ‘I can do it,’ it stresses you out a little bit because you’re alone,” Dr. Hall says. “Second-person works because you’re calling yourself to action.”