When I’m feeling nervous, my stomach can be in knots and I feel very uneasy. My shoulders are super tense and my head hurts. The more I think about my worry, the more I worry.  

So, what can you do this when this starts happening?
 Join me on this journey of calming anxiety to increase your self-care and wellness.

Calming Body

Let’s start with calming your body down, this can help you be able to calm your thoughts and emotions down as well.  When in a panic or fight/flight state, the body is trying to escape or fight it out.  As a result, calming down the body will bring assurance of safety and help let down the walls of escalating alertness.

Do a body scan.

When you’re feeling nervous, anxious, or worried about something, do a body a scan.  Ask yourself where the tension is in your body, and where the peaceful places are in your body.  Due to tension usually being more loud, bring attention to the peaceful places in your body and focus on the peace.  This helps place your attention on your current physical state and the present moment, while focusing on the peace.

Take a few deep breaths.

Also, taking a few deep breaths can help slow down your breathing one breath at a time, slowing down your heart rate and your thoughts.  Start out by matching your breathing and slow each breath down a little.  Try one slow breath in through your nose, one slow breath out through your mouth.  Continue a few deep breaths, focusing on slowing your breathing.  Most of all, bring your attention on your breathing and the present moment.

calming breaths
taking a few deep breaths and slowing down

Ground yourself.

In addition, grounding your body can help calm down your body’s reactions to stress and anxiety.  Ground your body by noticing where your feet, legs, arms, and back are touching.

For example: Lightly press your feet into the floor, press your legs into the chair, arms and back into the back of the chair.

Say to yourself:

  • “My feet are touching the floor.” (as you lightly press your feet into the floor and then relax your feet)
    • Take a deep breath
  • “My back in touching the chair.” (as you lightly press your back into the chair and then relax your back)
    • Take a deep breath
  • “My shoulders are touching the chair.” (as you lightly press your shoulders into the chair, or lightly push them back and get a good stretch, and then relax your shoulders)
    • Take a deep breath
  • Continue this until you are feeling grounded in the present moment, aware of what your body is touching and breathing deeply and more calmly.

This helps ground your body, calming your body’s reactions to stress and anxiety, and gets your body’s attention to the present moment.

Reflection Steps:

  • Where is this tension in my body? (there may be more than one place of tension)
  • Grounding your body by noticing your body touching the ground and around you.
  • Deep breathing and relaxing the tense parts of your body.

Calming Thoughts

Say calming affirmations.

Calming Mantra
Calming Mantra

Continue deep relaxing breathing while saying calming mantra to yourself.  Calming mantra is any statements that may be helpful in calming your thoughts. In addition, calming mantra can help your thoughts focus on your positive spirit and the present moment.

Calming affirmations:

  • I am loved.
  • I am safe.
  • I am strong.
  • I am valuable.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am kind.
  • I am brave.
  • I am friendly.
  • I am wise.

Reflection steps:

  • What is your calming affirmations?  
  • What phrases help you calm down? 
  • What phrases help you feel safe and loved?

Calming Emotions

Because my body and thoughts are now calmer, I am able to consider and reflect about what is going on inside and calm down my emotions.  Sometimes, if can feel like an emotional storm inside is hijacking my logical brain; because that is exactly what is happening.

I feel uneasy especially when there is a lot of unknown in the future.  Recently I had to switch supervisors because my current supervisor was moving.  There was so much unknown about the new supervisor, would we get along, would they accept and like my working style, what would this change?

In fact, I feel nervous, unsure, doubtful, intimated, and anxious.  Most of all, I feel anxious; that summed it up in one word.  When I can finally name what I am experiencing, it helps calm my racing mind trying to figure out what is going on inside me.  Name it, tame it, Dan Siegel calls it.

Name It Tame It

As a result, naming the emotion you are having helps tame the emotion (as wild as the emotion may seem).  Naming the emotion gives you the power and the choice of how to respond, removing the power from the emotion.

Once I can do this, then I can ask myself what I am anxious about.  Name it equals Tame it.

Name it = Tame it

Basic Emotions:

Because there are so many emotions and it can be hard to identify emotions, it may help to consider basic emotions.  Seems like happy, sad, mad are the basic emotions, yet let’s expand it to 6 basic emotions.

6 basic emotions:

  • anger
  • disgust
  • fear
  • happiness
  • sadness
  • surprise

While there may be many emotions, going on inside, identify what emotion(s) you are having right now.  Write down your emotions and see what they have in common.  Sad, mad, happy, afraid, disgusted?  Anxious?  What are you feeling anxious about?

For example, underneath it all, I was feeling anxious about being rejected.  If my supervisor did not like me and my work, then they would reject me.

Reflection Steps:

  • I am feeling _________________.
  • I am feeling _________________ about/because ___________________.

Acceptance Helps Calm Anxiety

As I accept that what is happening around me and within me are temporary happenings, I am a little calmer knowing this feeling and this situation will not happen forever (even if it feels like it at the moment).

Considering the example of me getting a new supervisor:

I accept that my worst fear, yep we are going to go there:  would be that I would be rejected and have to work somewhere else.  Ok well, now that I’ve gone there, that seems like a bad situation, but it could definitely be worse.

So, if I had to work somewhere else, I could find a new job  and I could start over.  So just going with that thought, that’s not so bad if that happened in the big spectrum of worst situations.  I’m still alive, and I have survived worse.

My grandmother says that really everything in life is good because we are alive to experience it, even the bad situations.

calming river
Notice the water streaming, the leaves rustling, the cool air

Overall, it helps me know that what I’m afraid of is not as bad as I first thought, and that I have a back-up plan if the worst happens.

Reflection Steps:                                                                                                                                                           

  • What can I accept within me that is happening right now? 
  • How can I accept the present moment?

Calming Behavior

Choosing What I Can Do

Now I can choose what I can do, and let go of what I cannot control.

Consequently, this is probably one of the biggest revelations in my life, seizing the moment and choosing what I can do and letting go of all the rest is so freeing.  I can not control other people, their choices, their emotions, their reactions.  That is one big action letting go of all that control, because in reality, I cannot control anyone else.  Therefore, I can only control myself.

Reflection Steps:

  • What can you choose to do in your current situation?
  • What can you let go of that you cannot control?

4 Ways of Calming Anxiety

  1. Calming body.
    • Where is this tension in my body? (there may be more than one place of tension)
    • Deep breathing and relaxing the tense parts of your body.
    • Grounding your body by noticing your body touching the ground and around you.
  2. Calming thoughts.
    • Calming affirmations: What is your calming affirmations?  What phrases help you calm down
  3. Calming emotions.
    • Name the emotion you are having = tame the emotion.
    • Accepting the present moment is temporary.
  1. Calming behavior.
    • Now I can choose what I can do, and let go of what I cannot control.
calming rocks
 Journey towards wellness through calming anxiety

Many of us may experience a nervous feeling, anxiety, and worry.
The 4 ways of calming anxiety can  help you calm your body, your thoughts, your emotions, and your behavior.  How can this calming journey help you? 

I hope this journey of calming down anxiety helps increase your self-care and wellness I’d love to hear about your journey towards wellness and what helps you, leave me a comment, or join me on FaceBook.


Disclaimer: This article has resources about restoring wellness, and is based on my research and my experiences.  This information is not meant to take the place of counseling or therapy.  If at any time you feel uncomfortable or need to talk to someone, wellness resources may be helpful.