Use any or all of the following coping statements to help you to develop states of acceptance and OK-ness, “float”, and allowed time to pass during an experience of high levels of Stress and Anxiety. You may find it helpful to repeat a single statement over and over again in conjunction with diaphragmatic breathing, especially during the first minute or two when you notice stress and anxiety symptoms. If one of the statement does not fit, or make any sense to you, or get tiresome, or seems to stop working, try another:
- This feeling isn’t comfortable or pleasant, but I can accept it.
- I can be anxious and still deal with this situation.
- I can handle these symptoms or sensations.
- This is not an emergency. It’s okay to think slowly about what I need to do.
- This is not the worst thing that could happen.
- I’m going to go with this and wait for my Stress and Anxiety to decrease.
- This is an opportunity for me to learn to cope with my fears.
- I’ll just let my body do its thing. This will pass.
- I’ll ride this through- I don’t need to let this get to me.
- I deserve to feel okay right now.
- I can take all the time I need to let go and relax.
- I can always leave if I need to.
- There is no need to push myself. I can take as small as step forward as I choose.
- I’ve survived this before and I’ll survive this time, too.
- I can do what I have to do in spite of stress and anxiety.
- This Stress and Anxiety won’t hurt me – it just doesn’t feel good.
- This is just stress and anxiety – it won’t hurt me.
- This is just stress and anxiety. I’m not going to let it get to me.
- Nothing serious is going to happen to me.
- Fighting and resisting this isn’t going to help – so I’ll just let it pass.
- These are just thoughts – not reality.
- I don’t need these thoughts – I can choose to think differently.
- This is not dangerous.
- So what?
Negative self-talk always aggravates Stress and Anxiety. If you can learn to replace negative self-talk with positive coping statements, you will eliminate or atleast diminish the severity of your stress and anxiety reactions. Select three or four coping statements from the list. Write these down on a three-by-five card and keep it with you at all times. When symptoms come on, pull out the card and repeat one of the coping statements again and again. It may be necessary to do this for three or four minutes – but with patience, you’ll find the technique to be effective. You may want to combine this skill with diaphragmatic breathing previously described.
How to Get the Most Out of Coping Statements
It does not require that you concentrate on the messages or make any special effort. However, it improves its effectiveness, we suggest that you play soft music, and read the affirmations at least once each day. It is especially helpful to read the affirmations aloud to yourself before going to bed at night.