Three Creative Ways to Be Calm When You Have Anxiety

When you have anxiety, it can be hard to be calm or to feel calm. The anxious brain behaves like a pinball machine: areas, systems, structures, hormones, and neurotransmitters zing anxiety and accompanying thoughts and feelings around and send them ricocheting around our very being. The result is that it seems impossible to be calm with anxiety. You don't have to let anxiety control you. Here are three creative ways to be calm when you have anxiety.

3 Creative Ways to Be Calm When You have Anxiety

1. Be the writer, director, and star of your own script.

Anxiety got you all mixed up? These three creative techniques will help you feel calm when anxiety shakes you up. Check them out.

Rather than feeling as if events are happening to you or people are exacerbating your anxiety, take the pen into your own hands. How do you want to be? To feel?

Write a movie or a book with yourself as the main character. Create yourself and direct yourself, making a you that is calm even when you have anxiety. Take it a step further and prepare sample dialogue choices so when you're in situations where you don't feel calm, you can fall back on a sample script for ideas rather than feeling like you're in the spotlight with no support from yourself.

Writing, directing, and starring in your own script is a powerful way to take charge of your anxiety. Don't forget to act it out.

2. Be a photographer.

Two ways to be calm when you have anxiety are through visualization and by putting a little space between yourself and your anxiety/the things that are making you anxious. You can accomplish both of these with the creative technique of being a photographer.

To harness the calming power of visualization, be a photographer by creating a photo essay of things that make you calm: places, objects, ideas, hopes and dreams, people--the list is seemingly endless. You can develop these and put them into a scrapbook, or if you prefer to keep it digital, you can keep a collection on your computer or phone. Looking at the calm images you captured as a photographer is a tangible reminder of calming people, places, and things and is a way to be calm when you have anxiety.

Being a photographer is also a way to be calm when you have social anxiety disorder. Some situations lend themselves well to this technique, such as parties or gatherings, club meetings, or group activities. These situations can be very unnerving when you have social anxiety. A way to be calm is to become the photographer. Take pictures of the event so people can enjoy them afterward. This allows you to be part of the fun while having some space in the form of a camera between you and others.

3. Be a reporter.

In being a reporter, you're not actually going around interviewing people, because that would probably increase anxiety. Instead, like a reporter, you're doing your research ahead of time. If you're going to an anxiety-provoking situation and you're afraid it's going to hard to be calm, prepare yourself before hand. What will the physical environment be like? Where can you position yourself so your anxiety is better? What conversation topic ideas can you prepare ahead of time so you feel calmer in the moment?

In These Creative Ways to be Calm Despite Anxiety, You're Playing a Role

These techniques are creative ways to feel calm when you have anxiety. They all have a common theme: you're playing a role. You're playing the part of someone who is calm, so the pressure of trying to be in the world with anxiety is reduced.

Whether you're writing, directing, and acting in your own script, being a photographer, or acting as a reporter, these roles let you participate in life while having a buffer that lets you be calm despite anxiety.

Over time, you'll notice that you've stopped playing a role and have begun to truly be calm because your anxiety has decreased.

Let's connect. I blog here. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. My mental health novels, including one about severe anxiety, are here.

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, January 14). Three Creative Ways to Be Calm When You Have Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of numerous anxiety self-help books, including The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, The Mindful Path Through Anxiety, 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, and Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps. She has also written five critically acclaimed, award-winning novels about life with mental health challenges. She delivers workshops for all ages and provides online and in-person mental health education for youth. She has shared information about creating a quality life on podcasts, summits, print and online interviews and articles, and at speaking events. Tanya is a Diplomate of the American Institution of Stress helping to educate others about stress and provide useful tools for handling it well in order to live a healthy and vibrant life. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dr Musli Ferati
January, 24 2016 at 2:12 am

Anxiety as innate and common emotional disorder exhibits tremendous life experiences; beginning from childhood age till older one. On the other side, we are faced with it through kind and unkind situations, in dangerous and happy events, alongside our perambulation to find out something important, in the midst of any interpersonal discussion, in the street, on the trade-market, at the doctor, before any crucial exam and so on. Anxious experience includes both: positive and negative effect to our global wellbeing. Daily life was teaching us to manage this unmatched emotional experience. But, when anxiety becomes overloaded and tiring one, then it should undertaking something to soft and to medicate it. Otherwise we put down oneself to many risk repercussions, In this direction your three suggestions are welcome, especially for adult and older persons with any academic performance. In a word, active and creative lifestyle contributes to prevent anxiety disorders as preliminary door to more serious mental disorders.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 26 2016 at 12:25 pm

Hello Dr. Ferati,
Anxiety is indeed part of the human experience, and we face it in so many ways and in so many situations. When it becomes overwhelming and all-encompassing, it needs to be addressed so it doesn't become severely life-limiting. And even before that, preventing it in the first place is optimal. Thank you for your input and feedback on these suggestions. I am in complete agreement with you that an active, creative lifestyle is vital for preventing anxiety disorders, reducing anxiety, and creating wellbeing.

January, 23 2016 at 8:21 am

i am inviting you, to share more and more posts

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 26 2016 at 12:27 pm

Hello Ramesh,
Thank you! And welcome to HealthyPlace/Anxiety-Schmanxiety. :) There is a wealth of information and ideas on this site. I have new posts every Thursday. I hope to "see" you back here!

Jennifer Orpen
January, 21 2016 at 7:06 pm

The first things coming to mind when reading your tips are focus (in what you're doing) and space (so you can breathe and think). Works wonders for my anxiousness. Thank you for putting them out there. It reinforces the inkling you can get your brain to work for you. Instead of against you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 21 2016 at 9:41 pm

Hello Jennifer,
Thank you for your comment and feedback. I love your statement that we can get our brain t work for us instead of against us. That's so true!

Jennifer Orpen
January, 24 2016 at 9:07 pm

Hello Tanya,
Isn't it? You can almost make a game of it. And, lose yourself in the process of doing something…anything. You're then, in the moment. Engaged. The noisy inner chatter goes quiet. Relief! And, some measure of tranquility. Hard to beat that feeling. Love it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 26 2016 at 12:18 pm

While anxiety isn't fun, I think the best way to find that wonderful peace you describe is to find a way to be lighthearted and approach it like a game. Anxiety is so heavy and serious. Sometimes the best way through it is actually dancing around it.

January, 19 2016 at 1:15 am

really good information. yoga is also very helpful and many pranayams help to calm mind. visit for more detailed information about yoga and its benefits.

Benjamin Adams
January, 14 2016 at 9:04 am

These are great tips and put into a great writing style. Often when I feel a situation is going to make me anxious, I need to step back and assess it. I think I use these when dealing with my anxiety, but don't fully realise it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 14 2016 at 6:29 pm

Hello Benjamin,
I appreciate your feedback. I share your strategy of stepping back and assessing potentially anxious situations. I strongly believe that people have helpful strategies, like these creative ones, within them and that they (we) have the capacity to use them successfully. Sometime just a reminder, something to bring these inner strategies into our full awareness is enough to get us moving toward reducing anxiety. Keep doing what you're doing to take control of anxiety!

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