17 Affirmations to Help Calm your Anxiety.

Calm your anxiety with affirmations. Using the right affirmations for your anxiety, you will be able to calm your attacks be they take hold.  Below are some affirmations to help reduce your anxiety when you are on the verge of an attack. I would suggest keeping a list in your bag or on your phone until this becomes second nature and you have memorised the affirmations.       

How you can calm anxiety attacks with affirmations or mantras

These affirmations bring you into the present and allow you to ground yourself.  Repeating positive affirmations or phrases instil these messages in your brain, helping you become calm and in control. Affirmations are really simple and extremely useful to use when your anxiety strikes. Well known mantras are “om”, “om mani padme hum”, personal mantras could be “I am full of light”, “I belong, I have faith” mantras are most commonly used in meditation and have a more spiritual background. Although I have used these when out walking on my own. Mantras again are repeated frequently in your mind and will immerse you completely in an idea and bring you closer to your goal. Whatever you use to calm your anxiety has to feel right for you.

Challenge your negative thoughts with these affirmations.

To manage our anxiety, we need to learn how to change our anxious thought patterns using affirmations or mantras. When you start to feel your anxiety rising, instead of listening to the negative thoughts your mind immediately gives you, thoughts like, “I am having an anxiety attack” or “I am panicking”, these often lead to negative self-talk like, “I am so stupid, why did I do …….” Or I hate myself. Why do I do …………….”. As soon as you feel an attack coming, start to read your affirmations from your phone or written list. “I am calm”, “I can feel this fear and let it pass”,, and “I am in control”.

Breaking the cycle of anxiety with affirmations

Anxious thought patterns get embedded in the brain each time you experience an anxiety attack. You can either programme your brain to react to the situation with the negative thought patterns creating anxiety or use positive affirmations to reduce your anxiety. Therefore, you can break the cycle of anxiety by using positive affirmations and mantras to rewire your brain through plasticity.

Not using any form of positive strategies like affirmations or mantras, you feed your fear of a situation, confirming to your brain that this situation results in panic. Using affirmations, you lessen the fear, forcing your brain to see this situation is not scary and not needing to release fear and panic and the fight and flight hormones.

Using affirmations can serve as a distraction to your anxiety.

Using affirmations serves as a distraction from your anxiety, giving you something else to focus on. Having positive affirmations in places around your home, on your phone as wallpapers take your brain away from the panic. By focusing on these positive affirmations, reciting them, so you memorise them will immediately bring your focus away from the anxiety attack, which will end your attacks quicker after time.

Rewire the brain with positive affirmations

Studies and science have shown that our brains can be rewired by our thoughts. Therefore, positive affirmations and thoughts can change your brain to be more positive and creating less panic. We have all heard of positive thinking and positive self-talk; this is why it is so important. Your mind will always believe what you constantly tell it.  Continually affirming you are having a panic attack or will have one, your brain is more likely to make it happen. By repeating to yourself regularly, “I am calm,” your brain is more likely to make this happen.  Affirmations can change your life.

Affirmations to use when you are feeling anxious.

Below are some affirmations to use when you feel your anxiety and fear rising. These are short, so they are easier to remember and use: –

  • I am calm and in control”.
  • I feel the fear and let it go”.
  • “I am not defined by my anxiety”.
  • “I let my anxious thoughts flow in one ear and out the other.”
  • “I am okay.”
  • “I am getting through this anxious moment, just as I have done a million times before”.
  • “I am strong and resilient”.
  • “I choose to feel calm and peaceful”.
  • “I have survived this before; I will this survive now”.
  • “I am free from my anxiety. I am in control”.
  • “I am in charge of my breathing, and I can slow it down”.
  • “I can do this”.
  • “I am above stress of any kind”.
  • “I am familiar with these feelings, and they do not scare me”.
  • “I am surrounded by people who understand”.
  • “I am supported, loved and cared for”.
  • “I have the techniques and tools I need to persevere”.

Using affirmations to relieve your anxiety.

Affirmations can be used in meditation, while you are out walking when you are not experiencing anxiety, this further helps rewire our brains, there are many ways you can use them, you choose what is best for you. The one rule for helping anxiety is to recite an affirmation at least 10 times or until you feel it resonating with you, every time you are feeling anxious wherever you are.

When you have an attack you can, recite the affirmation silently to yourself, read it from your phone or paper list, or sit and write them down. Our brains all work differently, so choose the way feels most comfortable for you. You must keep repeating the affirmations for them to rewire your brain.

The above are only a few affirmations; there are hundreds more online and plenty of apps that will send you an affirmation each day. We are all at different stages of our anxiety, and using affirmations may not be enough for you. If you feel you need more support, please do not hesitate to contact me to support you further. There is lots of help out there, and you do not need to suffer in silence and alone.

If you are already on medication, DO NOT stop taking this without getting advice from your doctor.

Bring Back Happiness in your Life Doing These 10 Things.

How do we keep happiness in our life?

How do we define happiness? Psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar defines it as “the overall experience of pleasure and meaning”.  Meaning gives you a sense of purpose in life, and pleasure gives you a sense of joy and wellbeing in the present moment.

Therefore, to keep happiness in our lives, we need to add pleasure and meaning to it. This allows you to increase your happiness in the moment and in the future.

Negativity is hardwired into our brain, to help us be aware of threats, problems, and stressors in our environment. This bias has helped us survive over the centuries. However, we also need to wire some positivity and happiness into our brains, so we are not ruled only by our negativity.  Happy experiences and thoughts help us to grow new neural circuits in our brains. These neural pathways provide you with inner strengths such as resilience, gratitude, enthusiasm, and happiness. 

The following ideas will help you keep happiness in your life.

If you are suffering from depression or serious anxiety, you may need more than these tips. Please continue with any medication or therapy you have been prescribed. If you would like to work we me as a therapist, please get in touch.

  1. Taking a deep breath – by taking deep breaths, we can turn off our “fight-or-flight” response, and feel calm and more relaxed, helping our confidence and happiness. Taking this one step further, and learning meditation is another great way to help your happiness grow.
  2. Gratitude – Find things in your day that give you a feeling of gratitude. Examples are, I have a job, I have a loving spouse, I have time to engage in my hobbies. Let that feeling of gratitude sink in, by continuing to plant positive experiences in your thoughts it will begin to embed them into your brain.
  3. Focus on the positive things that happen – my car got through its MOT, I didn’t get angry with anyone today, these are similar to the above, but help you programme your thoughts to be positive to help create happiness.
  4. Smiles are contagious – the deliberate decision to smile activates happiness-inducing chemicals too. When someone smiles at you, often we smile back even if it is a complete stranger. Make yourself happy and someone else with smiling.  
  5. Consciously swap a negative thought or emotion with a positive one immediately. When we feel sad, helpless, or anxious, try to remember a situation, you were happy and focus on that memory.  This will change the brain from the emotional part to the thinking part, which will help you feel more in control.
  6. Posture – studies have shown slouching can cause you to experience more bad moods, lower self-esteem, and less confidence than people who sit upright. Good posture helps physical wellbeing, also prevents neck, shoulder, and back problems. All this will help with you feeling happy.
  7. Appreciate the small pleasures of life – good experiences; however, small help our feelings of happiness. Focus for a few moments on the small, pleasant experiences you have like, “I have completed one item on my to-do list”, “I have chatted to a friend”, “I have had a relaxing bath”, “going for a walk and seeing wildlife”. The more you can reflect on good experiences and let them become your thoughts, your happiness will slowly increase.
  8.  Appreciating yourself – Begin by listing things you have accomplished today, examples; – written an email to a friend, made an important phone call, or finished a project. Bringing your attention to all your strengths will lift your spirits.
  9. See the positive in your setbacks – Remember we all have setbacks when a problem arises and blocks a project you are working on, or something is cancelled at the last minute. Instead of getting upset and angry, look at it as a challenge, not a failure or block. Think of ways to move forward, a new opportunity.
  10. Positive screensavers and wallpapers – seeing pictures of happy experiences regularly throughout the day can help us focus on our happiness. These can also be inspirational quotes, there are many screensavers you can buy which give you a new quote each day. Looking at pictures and enjoying nature or a quote can help promote a healthy life, lowering our stress, blood pressure and increasing our happiness. Changing the pictures regularly, so you do not get used to one picture is a good idea.

Effortless Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem Fast

Self Esteem – what is it?

Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.

When your self-esteem is healthy, you tend to feel positive about yourself and about life in general. It makes you more resilient to life.

When your self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life more negatively and critically. We also feel less able to take on the challenges in life and are less resilient.

Causes of Low Self Esteem

In childhood, we absorbed the positive or negative messages around us, from our teachers, siblings, parents, teachers, and possibly the media.

The most common message we take on is “We are not good enough”. You could never please your parents, teachers or other adults, therefore, creating thoughts about how we are expected to be or not be.

Life events, losing loved ones, serious illness will also impact our self-esteem.

How Low Self-Esteem Affects us?

Low self esteem or a lack of confidence encourages us to: –

  • Hideaway from groups or social situations.
  • Avoid trying new things.
  • Prevents you from challenging yourself.

These will temporarily make you feel safe, but hiding and avoiding situations, reinforces your doubts and fears, teaching you the only way to cope is to avoid people and situations. This will possibly lead to depression anxiety and habits like drinking and smoking.

Improving Your Self Esteem

Ideas to boost self-esteem and confidence.

  • Identify and list the negative beliefs that you have about yourself.
  • Think about when you first had these beliefs and why.
  • Now list positive evidence to counteract the negative beliefs.
  • List all the positive things about you, example “I am kind”, “I am good at ….”
  • Keep this list somewhere you see it regularly.
  • Add to this list each day and pick 5 to focus your attention on. Reminding yourself, you are GOOD ENOUGH.
  • Try to avoid spending time with people who bring your mood down. Let them know how you feel about the way they talk to you.
  • When you listen to that inner voice that is being very self-critical, think of how you would talk to a friend, and talk kindly to ourselves.
  • Stop saying yes to please others, when you don’t want to do something, let people know honestly how you feel. Learn to say no, so you do not become overburdened and stressed.
  • Remember, no one likes to be outside their comfort zone, by giving yourself a challenge and achieving your goal will increase your self-esteem. Start with small challenges and build to more complex ones.

5 Tips to Stay Positive

The philosopher Marcus Aurelius quoted “Our life is what our thoughts make it” Many others have written similar quotes since.

Do you always look for the problem, or do you look for a solution?

Are you a glass half empty or half full person?

Many studies have shown the benefits of being a positive thinker, mainly a much lower risk of dying from death’s main causes. 

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Various types of Cancer
  • Infection
  • Respiratory diseases

I am not going into detail on the above diseases, there is loads of information on the internet to read.

Other benefits of being positive from studies are: –

  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved psychological and physical health.
  • Quicker recovery from injury and illness
  • Fewer colds
  • Less chance of depression and anxiety
  • Improved management of stress and being more resilient.
  • Living a healthier longer life.

Thinking Positively

Focus on the happy times.

In life, we all have good and bad memories.  To stay positive, we need to focus on finding the silver lining of the situation. When an event is cancelled, don’t take it personally, think about an activity you can do instead that you enjoy.

Gratitude

Keeping a gratitude journal, or any other way of practising gratitude has been proven to reduce stress, increase self-esteem and resilience, to help you cope when life throws you difficult times. Write of think of people and all the situations and things you find comfort or happiness with. Do this once a day, it can be part of meditation too. The list can be simple things like thanking a person for helping you, the love you receive from your pets, the joy of your garden.

Laughter

Laughing lowers stress, anxiety, depression, as well as improving your mood and self-esteem.  When things are hard to find the funny side and laugh, I am sure many of you have experienced this when in a group, how laughing instantly changes the mood and the situation becomes easier.

Positive people

Positivity is as contagious as negativity. Therefore, consider spending time with positive people. It has been said you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Positive Self-Talk

We are our own worst enemies; we talk to ourselves in ways we would not consider talking to others. You need to become aware of this talk and change the negative statements immediately with a positive one.  There are also phrases and words we should try to avoid, “I can’t”, “Should”, “problem”, “if”, “just”, “if only”, “but”, “someday”, “why me”, “I don’t know” are some, read a blog post here for 21 words and Phrases.

Want help in finding ways to quiet your negative self-talk, email Rosemary@soul-essence.com