Top tips on how to stay calm and manage everyday anxiety

Lots of people describe me as a calm person. It’s a word that comes up time and time again. I find it interesting that people call me calm; those who don’t know me that well along with those who have known me for years. On the outside I probably seem quite calm but just like a swan I’m busy paddling quickly underneath. I guess going through different things have given me a perspective on what I really need to worry or panic about. So as we’re all different, how else is it possible to stay calm? Here’s some top tips on keeping your cool and managing everyday anxieties…

Know yourself…Each of us can feel calmness but at different levels. We also stay calm in different situations. What encourages some one to stay calm but cause another to panic or worry. So know yourself and think about what triggers your calmness or your worries? Also recognise your signs when you start to panic. Is it your heart beating faster? Do you speak faster? Do you get anxiety butterflies in your tummy? Knowing these signs will help you to respond to any panicky moments. It will also help you to prepare for any moments when you know you won’t be feeling calm.

Pause…Sometimes it might feel like we don’t have time to pause. We might be busy juggling work, studies, home life and other things. It only takes a few moments to stop and pause. Taking a short break in your thinking can help you retain a bit of calmness instead of making your brain work overtime. If you need help to pause, try it a bit of practical mindfulness. This isn’t about sitting on loads of cushions in a quiet room away from everyone. Pausing through mindfulness can be practised on the move too. Check out the Transitional Pause developed for busy people (designed by Dr Tamara Russell). Lots of us practiced this at the Lucky Things Meet Up in January. It helps your brain and energy ready for the next space, activity or task.

Find your calm inspiration…Is there anyone you can look up to who seems to stay calm? Is there someone who never loses their cool? How do they approach situations where they need to remain calm and just carry on. Ask them about how they keep their cool. Listen to their experiences and tricks for injecting calmness into their busy lives.

Have your uncalm moment and get it over and done with…There will be times where we can’t control how we initially feel about a situation. You may not be able to be calm and just carry on. So acknowledge how you feel and think about how you’d like to feel. Then do your best to move on so you don’t waste previous energy on negative feelings. Don’t forget to remind yourself it’s going to be OK. Even say these words out loud if you need to. When my little family went through ups and downs last year I kept saying this out loud. I think it reassured me that I can get through the tough moments.

Speak to someone about your everyday worries or anxieties…Staying calm takes practice. In a way it’s a skill. There are lots of things that I may feel calm about like technical hitches at an event. However there are things I don’t always feel calm about, like the fear of my children hurting themselves. Find someone you trust to offload your worries so you can also come up with some ideas on how to stay calm the next time you’re faced with a hectic situation. I often discuss things that make me worry with trusted family members and close friends. When you speak to someone about your uncalm moments, you can also gain perspective on whether you need to worry as much about something similar in the future.

Find your calm tools…There are some tricks to help you stay calm or respond in a calmer way. It might be a motto you pop up on a post it on your mirror. It might be a special thing you wear to remind you of calmness (you assign calmness meaning to your watch, ring or necklace). I learnt this from a career coach years ago. If I started to feel nervous or anxious during interviews, I could just touch my watch as it reminded me everything is going to be OK. It may sound like a trivial approach but it helps to start training our brain into more positive thought patterns. Find other calm prompts. I’ve found loads in the book The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim.

What do you do when you need to feel calmer? Have you any tricks to share? How else can we manage everyday anxieties? Leave a comment below as we’d love to hear what you think too.

Thanks to Sarah at @the_mama_works for introducing me to Haemin Sunim’s book. Sarah is speaking at the London Lucky Things Meet Up on 14 October 2017 in London. Tickets have now sold out for this event, but please get in touch if you’d like to go on the wait list or if you’d like to hear about the extra date for London in November.

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