Home Stories 8 Effective Strategies To Calm Your Anxious Thoughts

8 Effective Strategies To Calm Your Anxious Thoughts


If you’re already dealing with anxious thoughts, then you must know how overwhelming and unbearable they are. Because eliminating these thoughts completely is very difficult, almost impossible, you have to learn how to calm them.

Having frequent anxious thoughts can make you doubt your abilities and be afraid or reluctant to take action and use your whole potential. Anxiety can prevent you from pursuing your goals, dreams, and passions. It can stop you from having a normal life. Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate them when you feel like it and if you try to suppress them, you’ll only intensify them even more. Yet, there are ways in which you can handle them.

These are the 8 effective strategies that will help you control and calm your anxious thoughts:

1. Start defusing your thoughts.

When you’re anxious, all sorts of thoughts will keep popping up in your mind. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept all of them as truthful. You need to understand that your thoughts are different from who you are. They’re often a product of your expectations or fears. You have to separate yourself from them. For example, if you think that you’re too fat or dumb, it doesn’t mean you REALLY are fat or dumb.

2. Focus on and experience the present moment.

Your anxious thoughts can often appear as a result of something unpleasant or bad you experienced in the past. Yet, if someone hurt you in the past, it doesn’t mean you’ll go through the same pain again. Instead of obsessing about feelings and uncomfortable events from your past, which you can never completely get rid of, try focusing on the choices that you can make now. Connect with your five senses as this will help you to have more control over the things that REALLY upset you and aren’t just a product of your past experiences.

3. Question your thoughts.

Let’s say that you’re about to go on a job interview. If you start thinking “Oh, I’ll probably won’t present myself in a good way. I’m sure I’m going to get so confused that I’ll forget my name and I won’t get the job”, you won’t do any good to yourself.  Just because you think you could fail, it doesn’t mean that you will. Don’t always take your thoughts as facts but check how realistic they are. Use your knowledge and experience to see if there are plausible reasons for a negative outcome.

4. Try observing your thoughts.

Don’t just react hastily to your thoughts but try to observe them and see which of them are appealing to you and which you’d like to avoid. If you’re about to experience something new for the first time, you have the chance to behave in accordance with what you feel, hear, or feel without letting your judgments interfere with neither your behavior nor experience.

5. Decide if your thought can help you.

You can have thoughts which are truthful, but not helpful at all and deserving of your attention. For example, let’s say you’re still thinking about doing the blood test you were supposed to do a long time ago. If you start thinking that the results might show there’s something wrong about your health or even that you might have some serious disease, most probably, you’ll avoid doing the test again. When you have such thoughts, always ask yourself: ”Is this thought helpful?” Or, “is it true?” 

6. Focus on the broader context.

When you’re faced with an uncomfortable or bad situation, make sure you aren’t only focusing on the negative aspects of it and try to see the whole context instead. For example, if you’re about to deliver your first public speech, thinking that someone from the audience will start laughing at and make fun of you, won’t do you any good. Why don’t you see it as a valuable experience that will make you prepared to deal with more stressful future situations?

7. Start labeling your thoughts.

Instead of focusing on the content of your anxious thoughts, start giving names to the kind of thought you’re having. What you have to do is to closely follow your thoughts and if you sense that you’re feeling fear or worrying about a possible future failure, label it as FEAR or WORRYING. Similarly, if you’re criticizing yourself or others for your or their flaws, insecurities, and mistakes, label it as CRITICIZING.

8. Stop worrying and take action.

Instead of worrying about an issue, use your energy to find a solution to it. Don’t let your anxious thoughts get in your way of doing things. If you have a deadline to meet, start working toward it, instead of racking your brain worrying that you might not finish your task on time. If you’re overwhelmed with anxious thoughts, try doing something that will make your mind focus on different things. Going out for a walk, watching TV, or talking with someone can really free you of these unrealistic thoughts.