In a world where anxiety is pervasive, therapist Alison Seponara, known as @theanxietyhealer, provides a lifeline with phrases to soothe anxious minds. Anxiety, a common stress response, affects 301 million globally, according to the World Health Organization.
Seponara distinguishes stress from anxiety, highlighting that anxiety, unlike stress, can become overwhelming and impact one’s quality of life. Recognizing this decline in quality of life serves as a red flag for heightened anxiety, which typically unfolds in four phases.
Affirmations and positive self-talk emerge as powerful tools for managing anxiety. Seponara shares eight phrases she personally repeats:
- “My brain is giving me the wrong signals. I am safe.”
- “I know how to cope. I trust myself.”
- “This feeling won’t last forever.”
- “I accept this feeling.”
- “Thank you for this warning, but I am OK.”
- “I am a total badass. I got this.”
- “I have felt this way before, and nothing bad happened.”
- “I have a toolkit and will use it.”
These phrases work by reshaping thoughts, turning affirmations into reality. Seponara emphasizes the importance of cultivating positive self-talk to create a more compassionate and regulated mindset.
Furthermore, she encourages the proactive use of these phrases to preemptively address anxious feelings. By incorporating these affirmations into daily life, individuals can create new neural pathways in the brain, normalizing fear without equating it to constant danger.
In addition to affirmations, Seponara suggests three therapist-backed ways to cope with anxiety:
- Go outside: Nature serves as a reset button, breaking the cycle of anxiety. Connecting with the outdoors, whether feeling grass beneath one’s feet or breathing fresh air, offers a grounding effect.
- Find support: Building a support system is crucial. Sharing thoughts and feelings with trusted friends, family, or a therapist provides perspective and validation, alleviating the burden of feeling alone in struggles.
- Deep breathing exercises: When words fail, deep breathing becomes a powerful tool. By focusing on slow, deliberate breaths, individuals can activate the body’s relaxation response, calming the nervous system and reducing the intensity of anxious thoughts.
In a world where anxiety is pervasive, Seponara’s phrases and coping strategies provide a beacon of hope for those seeking inner calm and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The Parade