Stressing Out: 7 Ways to Cope with Situational Anxiety

If you suffer situational anxiety, you’re in good company. Many people experience heightened stress when faced with worrisome events or changing circumstances. Anticipating the anxiety itself can cause even more stress, which only makes matters worse. But have no fear; there are ways to cope with situational anxiety that are easy, effective, and at your fingertips. These six ideas will help quell your quivers so you can stop stressing over stressful events and start confronting scary situations with calm and courage:

Be Realistic About The Situation

Worrisome situations often aren’t as bad as they seem. If you’re a glass-half-empty type, it might be time to get realistic about how truly dire the situation is. Often, you’ll see that even in a worst-case scenario, no major harm will result or there’s hope for a good, long-term outcome. Realistic optimists tend to face challenges with self-control and a positive attitude.


Research has shown that certain breathing techniques, like deep abdominal breathing and meditative breathing, can lull you into a state of calm and relaxation almost immediately. Try several methods and choose one that works best for you. Relaxation breathing isn’t just for situation anxiety; it can help you manage chronic anxiety symptoms, too.

Do a Trial Run

Often, worry about an upcoming presentation or other nerve-racking event is due to being unprepared. Put your fears to rest by practicing your skills or playing out the event in advance. Acquiring confidence goes a long way in helping you cope with situational anxiety. Enlist family members or co-workers as your audience, and rehearse your worries away.

Grab a Friend

Is there someone you enjoy being with who has a knack for putting your mind at ease? Ask him or her to tag along. Companions accompany people to stressful events–including doctor’s appointments, funerals, and court dates–all the time, so there’s no need to feel awkward about bringing a pal. The more supported you feel, the less anxious you’ll be.

Adopt A Plan B

Feeling locked into a stressful situation can increase anxiety, but knowing there’s a way out if the stress gets too overwhelming can do wonders to calm your nerves. Come up with an alternate plan–something that accomplishes the goal in a manner that’s more comfortable for you. Even if you don’t need to use plan B, you’ll feel better knowing you can.

Reassess Your Stress

Not all stress is bad. Getting worked up about a fearful event can ultimately be a good thing, according to studies. The adrenaline and energy that result can help make you more successful at handling the situation–and improve the outcome. Next time, try embracing rather than fighting stress, and see how it can work to your advantage.

Consult A Professional 

For some people, situational anxiety is downright paralyzing. If all else fails, consider consulting a health professional for help. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek counsel. Remember, situational anxiety is a common problem, and mental health professionals treat all types and degrees of it with sensitivity and success. You can come in without an appointment at Clay Behavioral Health Center whenever you are ready!

Facing worrisome situations can be daunting, but you don’t have to let stress get the best of you. The above ideas will help you overcome situational anxiety so you can face anything that comes along in life with a peaceful, positive mindset.


  1. Linda millet on April 18, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Since the pandemic I realize I do not want to live totally alone. I have become very depressed and extremely anxious. I am seeing doctors for both depression and anxiety. I’m trying to decide whether to stay alone 3 hours away from my children or make a move closer to my children but in a 55 year or older community where there would be activities for me to do the closer I have, to make a decision the more anxious I become. I can’t stop this wave. And I have no desire to do anything. I have come to hate the home I’m in but I think it’s because of the pandemic isolation for a month

  2. Ester on August 29, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    It is sounds perfectly normal to feel that way. My stress levels have also gone way up with the ‘pandemic’ and all that goes with it. I have been divorced since 2014 and struggling to find a good honest relationship. Even having my kids with me I still feel terribly alone and like a failure. Like I’m unworthy of happiness. I know it’s bs but that’s what I feel

  3. Linda on October 31, 2021 at 12:07 am

    I am suffering from anxiety and depression. I moved into Senior Housing and having hard time adjusting. They put me on medication I think it’s helping me. But I have hard time cooking I get very anxious. I have been grieving since I lost my mom 2 years ago plus had to get out of my house of 20 years it’s very hard.

    • Emily on September 25, 2022 at 6:04 am

      Praying for you, Linda, I hope you find community, friendship, and peace.

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