photo of stressed out man


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.