Stress accompanies us every step of the way.
Sometimes, it seems that there is literally no choice but to constantly be nervous, always on edge, and to experience a whole range of negative emotions, but you always have a choice, you know. You can choose what to say to yourself when your emotions are trying to drown you:
1. It will be over soon.
Nothing lasts forever. Not trouble, nor happiness, nor stress. Sooner or later, it’ll end. Those moments where anxiety consumes you, when emotions boil inside of you, usually get forgotten. Remind yourself that everything goes away in time and you’ll feel better.
2. Will I be worried about it in a year?
This is also a great way to get back to reality. Today you’re pissed off that some entitled lady cut you off in line, or your friend upset you, or whatever. But the majority of these cases are fleeting, they’ll pass. Today they dominate you but tomorrow they will no longer be relevant and you won’t even remember.
3. One. Two. Three. Four. Five…
Yes, really, start counting – out loud or to yourself, breathing in and out after every count. Say to yourself, “I’ll calm down on number forty-five,” and keep on going. This encouragement, breathing, and even repetition will reduce stress and redirect your attention.
4. Is that really that important?
We’re worried and nervous about a lot of things. In many cases, we do it almost out of habit, using a familiar algorithm. It’s important to ask yourself in time, is it really worth so much time and so many nerves? If the answer is no, your brain can relax.
5. I can choose whether to get nervous or to stop worrying.
I think we already know that. However, by saying it out loud, or “voicing” it to ourselves, it takes on a completely different meaning. You can definitely choose how you will react – what choice will you make?
6. Can I influence what happens?
There’s a quote from a cartoon that goes, “Can something be changed? No? Then I don’t see the point in panicking.” You can pace around the room from corner to corner gnawing at a pen, or do anything else, but it won’t change the outcome. So remember to ask yourself this question as it’ll reduce your anxiety by half.