Are you looking for how to calm anxiety right now? Here are two strategies that may help.
Many of us struggle with anxiety. When we feel anxious, our worrying thoughts intensify and it can be difficult to stop this train of worrying thoughts. It may feel like we’ve lost control of our inner dialogue.
When this happens, it’s important to take back control of our thinking and to bring ourselves back to the present moment. There are different ways to do this, but today, I wanted to share two of my favourites.
I like these exercises for a couple of reasons:
# 1 – They are easy to remember.
An anxious mind is one that has difficulty focusing. So, when we can easily remember a technique, that makes it helpful.
# 2 – You can do them anywhere.
Having these little techniques in our back pocket anytime we need them is comforting and can be a calming force in itself.
How to calm anxiety right now: 2 simple strategies
# 1 – The 3-3-3 Rule
Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist, shares this little trick to help bring us back to the present moment. The next time your mind is racing, try the 3-3-3 Rule. It’s a simple yet super effective strategy to calm an anxious mind.
How does it work?
- Name three things you see
- Name three sounds you hear
- Move three parts of your body – your fingers, toes, leg, etc.
Why is it helpful?
Focusing our attention on the present moment helps our anxiety because it stops the vicious cycle of anxious thoughts. We tend to experience anxiety when we worry about the past or the future, being present helps stop that worrying. By focusing our thoughts and senses on the here and now, we interrupt our relentless negative thinking, which enables us to regain a sense of control.
# 2 – S.T.O.P
Here’s another simple strategy to help interrupt your cycle of anxious thoughts. This little trick can be used any time you feel anxious tension in your body or worried thoughts about the future. And it couldn’t be easier to remember – just think S-T-O-P.
How does it work?
S: Stop. Stop what you’re doing in the moment.
T: Take a deep breath, or two, or three.
O: Observe your experience – your sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Pay attention to your thoughts. Remind yourself that thoughts are not facts. Notice your emotions and how your body is expressing them. Become aware of your full experience in that very moment.
P: Proceed with something that will help you at the moment – talk to a friend, go for a walk, have a cup of tea.
Why is it helpful?
Similarly to the 3-3-3 Rule, the S.T.O.P strategy helps calm anxiety by literally stopping our anxious thoughts and bringing us to the present moment. Taking a few deep breaths helps us relax. Being mindful of our sensations, thoughts, and emotions allows us to regain control of ourselves and see things more clearly and realistically. Finally, this technique ends with a reminder to proceed with something that will support us in the moment. Something that we commonly neglect to do.
The next time you experience a vicious cycle of anxious thoughts, and you’re looking for how to calm anxiety right now, use these two strategies to calm your mind and regain control. The 3-3-3 and S-T-O-P strategies are simple little tricks that are easy to remember and available for you to use everywhere and anywhere. You got this, my beautifully resilient friends! <3
What are some of your go-to strategies for calming your anxiety in the moment? What helps you manage your negative self-talk? What helps you be more present? I’d really love to hear – leave me a comment below!
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