We’ve been talking a lot about anxiety on the blog the past couple of weeks. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to try some of the strategies I’ve shared and have found at least one new skill to help you calm your anxiety. If not, that’s ok. In therapy we do a lot of work finding the “right” strategies for your specific need. This means that sometimes clients have to try a lot of different things before they find something that helps.
Today I’m sharing with you 5 affirmations for you to say to yourself when you are feeling anxious. Affirmations are a great way to disrupt an uncontrollable thought pattern or to disrupt a thought that is on a loop. Affirmations can also help you start to rewire the brain so that you experience more calm throughout your day. Once the brain recognizes the affirmation as a calming statement (takes time and lots of practice), saying your affirmation one time can bring a feeling of instant calm.
When using any of these affirmations, choose just one to work with. Say it over and over to yourself until you have it memorized. Practice saying the affirmation as you walk, from your car to your office, from your desk to lunch, around the house. Put the affirmation on a piece of paper and place the paper in your wallet or tape it in a place you will see it throughout the day. When you feel anxious, close your eyes (if you feel comfortable and are in a safe place to do so), focus on your breath and say the affirmation over and over to yourself.
Remember, pick just one affirmation to work with for a couple of days.
I am calm, I am safe.
I am doing the best that I can.
I trust that everything will be OK.
I feel calm, I feel in control, I am OK.
I am safe, I am OK.
If none of these affirmations resonate with you, make your own. Choose a statement that helps to calm your specific anxiety trigger or worry. Make sure it is short and easy to remember.
One final note on affirmations. When you start saying/using your affirmations you might feel like it feels fake. That’s OK. Keep working with the affirmation. What you are doing when using an affirmation is working to rewire your brain for calm. It may feel uncomfortable or not true at first. That’s to be expected.
If you would like personalized support with your anxiety, I am happy to help. I have some available appointment times both in office or online. When you are ready to get started, call 619-383-1900 to schedule your appointment.
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist located in San Diego, California.