How To Stop Anxiety Thoughts Immediately

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When anxiety hits, it can feel like you have no control over your own body. The signs and symptoms creep in and it can feel like you can do nothing to stop it. It just has to run its course.

Anxiety is a normal emotion. Everyone experiences it from time to time. It can be just as common as other emotions that you experience daily. Happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy, boredom. You can run through all of these emotions each and every day. It’s not uncommon for anxiety to be thrown into the mix.

While anxiety can be a common emotion, if it starts to have a negative impact on you and your life, there’s a good chance that there’s a larger issue at play.

Here’s how to stop anxiety thoughts immediately.

Deep Breathing

When anxiety starts to creep in, you may experience changes to your breathing patterns. Some may experience difficulty breathing or catching their breath while others may feel like their breathing is increased or intensified. Next time you’re feeling stressed or panicked, try to remember to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly is a great way to return your breathing back to a normal state again.

There are many different breathing techniques to try out like the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This is just one of the many different types of breathing exercises that you can try out to see what works best for you. The 4-7-8 technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, exhaling slowly for 8 seconds, and repeating until you feel a sense of calmness.

Acknowledge How You Feel

Although it can seem scary at the moment to admit how you’re feeling, it’s important to acknowledge all of your feelings, even the ones that may feel uncomfortable. Admitting to yourself that you’re anxious can help you feel more calm and at ease. Instead of panicking and worrying about what’s wrong, you’ll call it for what it is and realize that it will pass. Admitting to yourself how you’re feeling can help you process those thoughts and emotions to move on from them more quickly.

Move Your Body

Exercise is proven to naturally reduce stress and anxiety and improve one’s mood. If you’re feeling a little on edge or anxious, try finding ways to channel that pent-up energy into movement instead. You can go for a walk or run outside, hit up your local gym, or hop on a bicycle. Find ways to get your blood pumping and heart racing to see the benefits.

Try a Coping Mechanism

Another great coping mechanism or technique to try out the next time you’re feeling anxious is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. The idea is to help keep you grounded and focused in on the present moment. You can do this by channeling your five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Try sitting down in a room and paying attention to your surroundings. Name or write down the following:

  • Five things you see around you
  • Four things you can touch
  • Three things that you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • One thing that you can taste

Next Steps

While there are coping mechanisms, techniques, and lifestyle changes that you can make on your end to help reduce some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety, there isn’t a replacement for proper treatment options. If your anxiety is starting to impact you negatively, it’s important to reach out for additional support. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

A licensed and trained mental health professional may be exactly what you need to regain control over your anxiety and your life again. Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out today to set up a consultation for anxiety therapy.



Jeffrey Aviles

Baltimore Counseling Center