Affirmations for anxiety not only help improve the symptoms of anxiety, they can reduce stress, boost confidence, calm you down, and improve your mindset.
They also allow you to rationalise and stop with the negative self-talk, which has been proven to massively hurt your self-esteem and mental health.
While affirmations shouldn’t be used in place of professional help, they can really complement any therapy you might be getting, medication you might be taking, or self-care you might be practising.
In this blog post, I’ll not only give you a handful of affective anxiety affirmations (as well as a download PDF of these affirmations), I’ll also go into how to use them properly and how to deal with feeling overwhelmed.
Calming positive affirmations for anxiety
- I am strong
- I am confident
- I am present
- I am a badass
- I have got this under control
- I am in charge of this situation
- I am rational and calm
- I breathe in calm energy and breathe out the energy that doesn’t serve me
- I am free from anxiety
- I choose to only let in what serves me
- I am capable
- I am in charge of my own mind
- I will do anything I put my mind to
- I am positive
- I attract positive energy
- I only allow positive people to enter my life
- I am calmer with every breath I take
- I overcome anxiety with ease
- I can do this
- I overcome difficult situations with ease
What are affirmations for anxiety?
The definition of an affirmation is the ‘action or process of affirming something.’
Affirming means to support or back-up a person or statement.
In the content of affirmations for anxiety, it means to repeat positive, supportive affirmations geared towards helping relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Raised or racing heart rate
- A sense of dread or doom – like something bad is going to happen but you can’t always pin-point what
- Heart palpitations
- Dizziness or fainting
- Feeling ‘on edge’
- Nausea, upset stomach or belly ache
- Pins and needles – a prickling sensation on the skin
- Shaking or trembling
- Tense muscles and aches
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability and even unexplained anger or outbursts
- Difficulty getting to sleep and/or staying asleep or even insomnia
The aim of anxiety affirmations is to feel calmer and more capable of tackling the day.
I’ve suffered with anxiety since childhood and it can often leave you feeling like your world is about to collapse in on itself. By repeating affirmations on a daily basis, I’ve managed to fend off that overwhelming feeling of dread and reduce the amount of days where my anxiety super-high.
How to use affirmations for anxiety
The key to using affirmations to deal with your anxiety is repetition, repetition, repetition.
Just like all types of positive affirmations, its the repetition, perseverance and consistency that overrides old, negative self-talk patterns.
When you actively replace negative self-talk with positive, with time, it becomes automatic. Your mind no longer goes to that dark, anxious place straight away, it goes to a place of rationalisation and positive thinking.
Repeating phrases and statement gives them power. It strengthens the thought patterns. This can work both ways…
- Related – Affirmations for Badass Women
If you constantly tell yourself that something bad is going to happen, your heart rate speeds up and, before you know it, all you can think about is that terrible thing that’s going to happen.
On the other hand, if you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re a bad-ass and you can handle any situation life throws at you, you’re going to start to believe it.
This is why affirmations are so powerful.
Affirmations for anxiety help slow this down and even stop it from happening, allowing you to rationalise and move forward with your day without overthinking or potentially experiencing a panic attack.
Here are a few ways that you can turn repeating your affirmations into a habit.
Practise your affirmations for anxiety daily
In order to make repeating your affirmations a habit, you need to make time to do it daily.
Schedule them into your morning and evening routine, if you can. You only have to take a few minutes!
A good tip that I used to get into the daily habit is to repeat your affirmations while brushing your teeth. You brush your teeth at least twice a day for a few minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to work on your affirmations.
You’re also looking at yourself in the mirror and facing yourself without feeling a little bit awkward. (Although this does get easier with time and practice.)
You can also write down your affirmations in your journal before or after your gratitude practise.
I also sell printable affirmation wall art in my Etsy store, which not only looks pretty damn cute on your wall (even if I do say so myself), but helps remind you to repeat your affirmations whenever you look at it.
Write your anxiety affirmations in a journal
Affirmations for anxiety can be repeated out loud and/or written down in a journal.
Writing your affirmations down means they’re kept to hand so you won’t forget to repeat them and you can just reach for them whenever you feel you need a little extra internal support.
You can also look back at your affirmations and won’t forget the ones that worked for you.
I personally prefer to write my affirmations for anxiety down in my journal each morning and repeat more general affirmations geared towards positive thinking and self-love in my head.
Pick affirmations that resonate with you personally
While getting into the habit of repeating affirmations can be great for your mental health in general, it’s important that you pick which affirmations resonate with you personally.
It’s hard to connect with affirmations that don’t really mean anything to you and don’t help relieve your anxiety.
We’re all different and different statements will resonate.
You don’t have to repeat 100+ different affirmations for anxiety all the time for the practise to have an affect. Honestly, I only repeat about three!
Once you’ve found affirmations that really work for you and help your anxiety, make sure to make a note of them so that you don’t forget them.
How to create my own affirmations for anxiety
If you want to create your own affirmations, always use ‘I am/I have’-type positive statements in the present tense and be careful with the words you use.
According to Psychology Today, our subconscious can’t always tell the difference between positive and negative intentions and may hone in on any words that carry negative connotations and ignore the positive intention. For example, if you say, ‘I don’t want to have a panic attack,’ your mind might focus on ‘panic attack,’ which is far from ideal.
Meditate on your affirmations
Meditating on your affirmations can be super affective.
To do this, pick one affirmation that particularly resonates with you that day.
Focus on it. Repeat it in your head.
Start to time each inhale with the affirmation, then picture you exhaling negativity as you breathe out.
Repeat this for a few minutes.
Do affirmations work for anxiety?
Affirmations are brilliant for helping reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
The benefits of affirmations aimed at anxiety are:
- Increased self-worth and likelihood of practising self-care (affirmations are actually a form of self-care)
- Increased positive self-talk/decreased negative self-talk, which boosts self-esteem
- Stress and anxiety relief
- Improved mental health overall
- Ability to rationalise more efficiently and not disappear down that rabbit hole of anxious thinking
- Less likely to overthink
- Empowering and builds confidence
Studies show that self-affirmations can improve mindset, outlook, growth and happiness.
Basically, if we repeat that we’re awesome and capable and strong every day, we start to believe it.
Affirmations aren’t about burying our heads in the sand and ignoring problems, they’re about helping us see the problem, acknowledge it for what it is (rationalise) – NOT catastrophising – and knowing we’ve got this. We can handle it.
Although, of course, affirmations shouldn’t be used in replacement of professional treatment and therapy.
How do you instantly reduce anxiety?
While affirmations for anxiety are obviously really helpful at calming you down, I want to include a few other tips to instantly reduce anxiety if you’re feeling really overwhelmed.
Get some fresh air
If you can, try to get outside in the fresh air.
When I’m spiralling into a panic attack, I feel like the walls are closing in and that all the oxygen has been sapped out of the room. If I can get outside, I instantly feel like I’m not as enclosed and can breathe a little bit better.
If you can’t get outside, even just sitting near and cracking a window can really help you feel as if you’ve got more space to breathe.
Anxiety can make us nauseas, dizzy and even faint. This then becomes dangerous because you’re at risk of hitting your head if you do fall over.
When I get really anxious, the first thing my body tells me to do is sit down.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always an appropriate place for this – I’ve had to sit on the cold pavement more than once. However, it’s the best of a bad situation – I’d rather get a cold butt than potentially faint, hit my head, and have to go to hospital.
Control your breathing
Anxiety, which can be triggered by a situation, event, or sometimes by nothing in particular, causes our body to go into a state of panic.
When we go into a state of panic, our body enters fight-or-flight mode. When this happens, we get a surge of adrenaline, which we’re supposed to put to use fighting or running away from the perceived danger… Except that panic attacks aren’t always triggered by actual life-or-death situations, meaning we’re stood there in a state of panic for seemingly no reason.
The fight-or-flight response increase blood pressure, our heart rate, and breathing.
If you’ve ever had a panic attack or even suffered from anxiety in the slightest, you’ll know all to well how hard it can feel to breath.
Your chest feels like it’s tightening and your lungs feel as if they can’t fully expand to get enough oxygen. Your heart races at what feels like a mile a minute.
You often feel like you’re dying.
Your main struggle – and most important one – when it comes to overcoming sudden and overwhelming anxiety, is to get your breathing under control.
First, just try to control your breathing. Slow it right down and concentrate on each inhale and exhale.
If you’re finding it hard to take in enough oxygen, concentrate on your belly breathing. Breath deep into your belly and focus on the rise and fall of your stomach.
Try breathing in for five seconds, hold that breathe in your lungs for five more seconds, and then breathe out for another five seconds.
Then, once you’ve started to calm down slightly, try some more breath work.
A trick my therapist taught me once was breathing out for longer than you breathe in.
Try breathing in for seven seconds and then breathe out for eight seconds.
This will allow your brain to focus on something that’s not your racing heart rate and tight chest.
Once you’ve started to get your breathing under control, consider repeating some affirmations.
Reassure yourself that you’re strong, that you’ve got this, that you’ve gotten through this before, and that you’re okay.
(This is where having affirmation art around your house can be helpful.)
Anxiety and panic attacks can cause dry mouth so make sure you take some sips of water if you can.
If you’re not with anyone you know and/or trust, make sure you call or text someone that preferably knows and understands your anxiety.
Firstly, you’re letting them know so they can either come to get you now if that’s what you need, or they can be prepared if you need picking up in the near future.
Secondly, it’s just good to chat with someone you trust. It’ll help take your mind off the situation at hand and relax your nerves.
Take it easy
Try to take it easy. An anxiety attack is sometimes your body’s way of telling you to slow down or remove yourself from a situation. Listen to it.
It also takes it out of you, and you’ll likely feel exhausted afterwards.
If you can, take it easy for the rest of the day. Practice some self-care and don’t beat yourself up.
Writing down what happened, why you think this might be, and basically unpacking how you’re feeling can be really helpful going forward.
I like to analyse the peaks and troughs in my emotions because it makes me feel a little more in control of my mental health in general, but that’s just me.