Jordana del Feld
3 min readApr 29, 2024


How to Calm Your Anxiety No Matter Where You Are

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get trapped in an anxiety spiral? As soon as one anxious thought sneaks into your mind, a swarm of fellow demons follows it. Before you know it, there you are, cowering in the corner, while your anxiety fills the rest of the room.

And there isn’t always a lavender-scented bubble bath or a tropical beach sitting right next to us to help calm us down!

Anxiety is a hypnotic trance. The more attention we give it, the more attention it demands. We rehearse anxious details, memorize anxious reactions, and internalize worst-case anxious scenarios. The anxiety starts to sound like reality. Then we feel rotten. And it can seem like there’s no way out of that anxiety spiral.

But there is. You can exchange an anxiety trance for a hopeful trance that helps you feel better. It only takes a few minutes. You can do it anywhere. And as with any practicable skill, the more you practice creating these healthy trances, the more habitual they become.

Here’s how.


Let’s say you’re experiencing a minor anxiety trigger. Perhaps you’re thinking about attending a party. Before you know it, there’s your anxiety, chanting about loneliness, rejection, and doom. If you allow it to do so, your anxiety could devour all of your attention!

This is where you must boldly notice what is happening. And pause.

Give thanks

How you feel now is not how you will feel later. Feelings always change. Even if you’re worried right now, there will come a time when you won’t be worried at all. You’ll be just fine. Maybe even great.

With that in mind, can you thank your anxiety for trying to defend you? (Because your anxiety believes it’s protecting you from danger. It all comes from love.) Then let it know that you are going to spend the next five minutes paying attention to something else. Anxiety doesn’t like feeling abandoned. Hearing a short time limit helps it calm down.

How will you feel when you start feeling better?

Take a couple deep breaths. Feel your feet on the ground. Remind yourself that you won’t always feel anxious the way you do right now. Then ask yourself: how will you know when you’re starting to feel better?

What will be the very first sign?

Can you imagine it?

Can you visualize it? Can you hear it, taste it, smell it? Can you feel it in your body? What exactly does it look like, sound like, taste like, smell like, feel like?

Slow down. Get curious. Enjoy.

What emotions come up while you imagine yourself in this “feeling better” space?

What happens next?

What happens after that very first sign? How does your healthy trance evolve? The more time you allow yourself to pause and enjoy your trance, the more details reveal themselves to you. Details help trances feel real. Details help your feelings shift.

Come back

After five minutes, give yourself a shake and return to the here and now.

How are you feeling?

Chances are you won’t feel like returning to your anxious trance.

You can also repeat this exercise.

Once you’ve calmed down, it’s easier to think critically about the situation that was causing you anxiety in the first place. Once you’re calm, you can contemplate how you would like to address your needs around the situation. But we feel strong emotions before we think thoughts (1). This is why it helps to shift our feelings first.

Practice everywhere!

You don’t need to rely on special objects or special locations to help you soothe your anxiety. You’ve always had the power inside you, all along. Now you can take this new skill with you wherever you go. You can practice it anywhere that anxiety strikes. The more you practice, the more habitual this tool will become. And that will make it really yours.

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

Jordana is a certified Ericksonian hypnotherapist.

  1. Amygdala hijack: when emotion takes over.