More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Anxiety Reducing Techniques

1. Retreat to a safer place or person, or at least move away from your
present situation

2. COGNITIVE COPING STATEMENTS: Immediately start to talk to yourself or to someone else. Use positive statements such as "I can handle it", "It`s just anxiety", "It will pass", and "Nothing terrible will happen to me. Ask yourself, "what am I telling myself that`s scaring me"? Remember, NO PAIN, NO Gain.(Some discomfort is helpful)

3. Take deep , slow breaths

4. Do things slowly

5. DISTRACTION or EXTERNALIZATION: Distract your mind. Put it on something else, such as the coins in your pocket, familiar fragrances or object from a safe place or person. Describe what your senses tell you. STAY IN THE PRESENT.

6. Picture your calm place. Look at an actual picture of a vacation spot, child or pet. Carry this picture with you.

7. Question or challenge the negative thought.....Don't accept it as fact.

8.THOUGHT STOP/THOUGHT SWITCH: When you find yourself thinking "What if", STOP and switch your thoughts to "SO WHAT IF"?, or other positive thoughts. Accentuate it with a rubber band.

9. EXPECT and ACCEPT the anxiety to be there, so you are not startled by it. Talk to your anxiety.

10. EXPRESS the fear to a piece of paper, a tape recorder, or another person. Expressing the fear makes it go away.

11. Elizabeth, "THIS IS THE BIG ONE"! In reality, IT'S No DIFFERENT from the others. Every reaction seems to be the worst. If you feel brave, try to make the anxiety more intense.

12. Give a number to your anxiety from 1 to 10. Notice it go up and down.

13. Don't fight the fear, float with it and let time pass.

14. Take an action. Don't sit and wait for the anxiety to build.

15. Try to keep your muscles relaxed.


1. These feelings are normal body reactions, but at a more intense degree. They are distressing, NOT DANGEROUS.

2. Don't add frightening thoughts.

3. Watch the anxiety rise and fall.

4. Observe how you can function with a low to moderate level of discomfort.


REACT: Approach the situation until you react only up to a #3
RETREAT: Stop or back off. Walk away from the situation, either physically or imaginarily. Retreating is NOT COWARDLY.

RELAX: Distract your mind and allow yourself to relax.
REPEAT: Return to the situation and repeat the process. Try to never leave a situation on a negative note.

REWARD YOURSELF: (6th "R") for your efforts.

Helpful hint: Have these techniques printed and laminated on a 5 x 7 card so you can take it where ever you go.
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