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Tools for Handling Anxiety in Confrontation

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Though confrontation can be scary, there are tools we'd love to give you that can help reduce your anxiety and help you communicate effectively. Imagine your boss came to you and said “I need you to blow up 50 balloons by this afternoon or you’re fired”. Blowing up balloons wouldn’t usually sound too bad, but in this scenario you have a balloon allergy.

So what do you do? Would you avoid the task and lose your job? Or would you look for another way to handle the balloons safely? Now imagine you found an air pump and gloves. Instantly, you’ve made a seemingly stressful task much more manageable!

Everyone is capable of confronting others well, we just need to find those tools that make it less scary. So, let’s talk about tools that can help if you start to have an anxious reaction to confrontation!

5 Tips To Lower Anxiety

1. Why This Confrontation is Important

Think about why you’re having the confrontation and ask yourself why this confrontation is important. Why did you want to confront said human in the first place and why is it important for you to share? What benefits will come from it? And what problems could arise if you don’t confront them? Simply getting in touch with your motivation can give you the courage to confront someone peacefully.

2. Speak affirmations or encouragements to yourself or better yet, ask a friend!

Use statements like, “I am safe and I am not in danger”, “I have everything I need”, or “I am strong and I can do this”. You can even take a moment to visualize yourself after the confrontation and remind yourself of the peace that is found on the other side of it.

3. Breathe

Use breathing techniques to calm your body and slow your heart rate. Take slow, deep inhales and exhales while you focus on how these breaths move within your lungs. Deep breathing is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety in the body. You can also meditate on a word like "safe” or “peace” as you breathe.

4. Do A Physical Activity Beforehand

Exercise and workouts are a great outlet for releasing nervous energy and reduce stress. A few example of physical activities are: jogging, yoga, dancing, lifting weights, A regular release of anxious energy inhibits stress from building to levels that become difficult to manage.

5. Ground Yourself With Sensory Techniques

If you find your heart racing before you approach someone, try grounding techniques that engage your senses and calm your nerves. You can connect your mind and body by identifying at least 3 things around you that you can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. Acknowledging and participating in your surroundings are helpful to relax your body and remind you that you are not in danger.

By regularly practicing these stress-relief tools, even when you don’t currently feel anxious, you can release small stressors before they build up over time. We hope these tools help you manage stress as it fights for your attention the next time you need to share something difficult. To continue working through anxiety, pick a new habit to try this week! Regularly practicing these stress-relief tools even when you don’t currently feel anxious can help you release small stressors so they don’t build up over time.

And remember, you can do this!

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Check out our additional blogs here or read more from our posts on Confrontation:

Human Creative Coaching, A Life Coaching Practice and Mental Health Movement


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