College of Veterinary Medicine

Counseling & Wellness Services

Self-Help Information: Tips for Alleviating Anxiety 

1. Give yourself permission to be anxious instead of thinking you always need to be in control of the situation. (“Fighting” your feelings sometimes just increases them.)

2. Plan for the future rather than worry about it.

3. Do something about the situation rather than “stew” about it.

4. Appropriately share your feelings instead of keeping them stuffed inside and letting them intensify.

5. Concentrate on doing one thing at a time and avoid the superman urge.

6. Realistically decide what you can do in the time you have and then give yourself an extra hour or two.

7. Look for enjoyment in the “doing” of something rather than focusing so much on the end result.

8. Live more in the present day and reduce anticipating what will happen tomorrow or next week.

9. Think in terms of hoping for rather than expecting certain things to happen.

10. Do things because you want to rather than to win the approval of others.

11. Speak, eat, drive and move at a slower and more relaxed pace.

12. Use abdominal breathing when anxious feelings occur.

13. Take care of your body by eating properly, exercising regularly and getting enough rest.

14. Engage in physical activities which involve large muscle movement when feeling anxious.

15. Try perceiving stressful events as beneficial or natural rather than negative.

16. Find friends who are calm rather than anxious or pessimistic.

17. Prepare for morning the night before.

18. Arrive at your class, work, or appointment 10-15 minutes early.

19. Become more flexible and realize that some things are not worth doing perfectly.

20. Cheer for rather than compete with others.

21. Get away from the stressful situation occasionally and get a change of scenery.

22. Get involved with other people in worthwhile endeavors.

23. Realize that most decisions are not “right” nor “wrong” but just lead to different experiences which have advantages and disadvantages.

24. Visualize yourself performing successfully before you actually perform.

25. Smile, even if you do not feel like it.

26. Use good thought control by reminding yourself of these statements:
a.) Five years from now, who will care.

b.) I can do what I can do and that is all.

c.) I’m not going to let my body get involved in this.

d.) I’ll compare myself with myself rather than others.

e.) I can learn from the experience regardless of how I perform.

f.) I’m not going to waste my energy on that issue.

g.) Getting upset will not help me deal with the situation.

h.) Things are usually not as bad as I anticipate them to be.
27. Obtain professional help, and possible medication, if your anxiety persists and does not seem related to any changing circumstances or stressful situations in your life.

28. Recognize that this list can make you more anxious if you try to implement all suggestions at once. Pick those items which are most relevant to you and only focus on one or two at a time.
Need Additional Help?

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Counseling and Wellness Services offer free individual counseling for these and related issues for veterinary students (WSU Veterinary Students ONLY). For more information or to schedule an appointment call or e-mail:


Donna J. Scott, PhD 
ADBF 1035

NOTE:  The information contained in these self help documents is not to be used as a substitute for professional care.  Neither the authors, Washington State University nor the College of Veterinary Medicine assume liability for injury incurred by following the information presented in these self-help documents
Last Edited: Nov 06, 2013 3:48 PM   

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