3 Instantly Calming CBT Techniques For Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has taken a bit of a bad rap recently with meta-analytical research showing it seems to be getting increasingly less effective in the treatment of depression.

And neuroscience is showing that strong emotions often precede thoughts, so changing thoughts may do little for extreme conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addictions.

So in this video I seek to give you a sense of the true values and limitations of CBT, and I share 3 CBT techniques for anxiety.

If you are struggling with anxiety, my Overcome Fear and Anxiety session will help you relax, breathe, and soothe anxiety:

If you found this video helpful then please leave comment and hit the ‘like’ button – and don’t forget to subscribe for future videos.

All references can be found here:

0:00 Introduction: Aurelius was wrong on this
2:14 The shaky theory of changing thoughts to change feelings
3:40 3 simple CBT techniques for anxiety
3:53 CBT Technique 1: Focus on how the feelings will change
5:48 CBT Technique 2: Chew it over, and act normal
8:25 CBT Technique 3: Catch the underlying assumption and chase down logical conclusions
10:08 Summary

Practitioners: sign up for my weekly Clear Thinking newsletter here:


++About Mark Tyrrell++

Psychology is my passion. I’ve been a psychotherapist trainer since 1998, specializing in brief, solution focused approaches. I now teach practitioners all over the world via our online courses.

More about me here:

++Social channels++

Facebook (practitioners):

Facebook (self help):




  1. This damn pandemic has given me horrible horrible anxiety and depression. I’m in such a dark place I’m not myself and it’s scary

  2. …wander how to use these technics when the pressure inside the body, mind, state overwhelm you instantly, suddenly , and with so much intensity, that first help possible is only deep ,slow breathing, and as fast as possible going outdoors …:-/

  3. As a cognitive behavioral therapist this is awesome and you make a great point strong emotional feelings come first usually in activating events, before cognitions and beliefs are set

  4. Not true nothing helps me because everything else not sure what you are talking about yes we do you want to do anything else better in life please pray for you self and watch this video 🙏❤️

  5. I know from experience that if I don't engage my catastrophy it will get worse (first of all), and then better – and then it will be routine.

    (Until the next Catastrophy comes along)

  6. If I can recognise I'm catastrophic when I'm catastrophic I'm "halfway" towards doing something about it.

  7. This was confusing so I went to the article Mark references and it clearly states how there was a pre-existing thought BEFORE the emotional outburst. The article even gives several examples of the sudden emotional outburst but contradicts itself because there always was a pre-existing thought. The outburst is sudden and it seems there was no thinking going on – so yes not in the "front" but most certainly in the "back".  
    Something is supporting the fear in the amygdala and there has to be existing thoughts / beliefs for the reaction.
    As a side note – Great ideas on calming down anxiety. I enjoy Mark’s content and appreciate the loads of information on his website.

  8. But…aren't feelings really…thoughts? I've been told over and over that feelings are really thoughts which is why thoughts are supposed to change feelings (the position you disagree with).

  9. Hmmm, this is interesting! I am always chewing gum but one of the first things I do when I’m anxious is spit my gum out. I guess I need to keep chewing it.

  10. Mental Exercise: The instant cure for anxiety is to understand the fact that there are infinite amount of possible outcomes in this universe and our brain only thinks of a handful . A bad outcome can become the means of a good outcome in the future. Just like that a good outcome can become the means of a bad outcome. For example, you lost your job (bad thing). But then you got a new job which is better ( bad thing led to a good outcome.) It's an endless cycle. So just go with the flow and don't think about it . 😄 Goodluck.

  11. I love your explanations about anxiety. To calm or diminish my anxiety in my childhood, and later on I run to food, eating. I ended up with a strong relationship with food, food addiction So your example with a chewing gum doesn't agree wellnwith me. Could you suggest any other example how to deter anxiety. Thanks!. I like your videos, great help for me.

  12. Mm, very good and practical. Personally though, I feel there’s interplay between the mental and emotional levels: they influence each other in both directions. Emotions can arise as a result of thoughts, certainly – but also as instinctive responses.

  13. This is hard for even anxious person to listen to. I know you mean it to be helpful especially number 5. Very scary

  14. I wish the pain I've been in for 18 months would just leave or get a diagnosis . This started my anxiety journey….😪

  15. I disagree with the idea that feelings precede thoughts. What we feel is a response to our thoughts & beliefs. If we're walking into a job interview, how we feel about that will directly follow from our thoughts & beliefs. We may believe that we're going to struggle to respond to interview questions well and that will make us feel nervous. Or we may believe that we are completely prepared and feel excited to show what we have to offer. The event itself is fairly neutral. It's our beliefs and thoughts about the event which determine our emotional response.

  16. I have intrusive thoughts about my ex/bestfriend nearly all day everyday. either its a memory, her voice, or thinking about her coming round the corner for example or just anything really, waking up and shes already on my mind like the thought of her name. I don't pay attention to the thoughts as I know it can just make them worse and more frequent. I see a therapist and I meditate everyday once in the morning and once at night. I've also been on antidepressants for a month now for my anxiety/depression. I don't do any compulsions to make these thoughts appear or dissappear i just let the thoughts be. Any idea what this is. Is it related to my anxiety or depression? Has anyone taken antidepressants and its helped their intrusive/racing thoughts? I know it can take from 6 to 8 weeks for the meds to kick In

  17. I didn't get much what he wanted to say. He could have simplifed. It is obvious that man had never had anxiety nor depression so it is only talk for him. And when a person is so alone (literally), that brings depression and sadness. The lack od people around him, the lack of good people, for truly good people are rare as the rarest animal species. Bad people, non emotional etc never have depression. Good, sensitive people have anxiety and depression because this world is majorly consisted of bad people and all the injustice so sensitive people have difficulty coping in this kind of world.

  18. I know how painful it is to have anxiety. I tried to meditate, breathing in and out, trying to calm my mind. and try to find something that keeps you from thinking about your worries especially listening to the sounds of the atmosphere It will help the brain focus on the sound. So I try to remember what kind of sound I like and which one helps me. Until I started making videos like this myself in hopes of helping others. Please open your mind and listen.

  19. What a simple and wonderful way of explaining how to overcome anxiety. Loved all that you said.

  20. Thanks for valuable information. When I felt anxiety really badly at dentist for the first time, I didn't know how to deal with it. I only thought about what Im going to do after I am done with dentist…my plans to do gardening at home. That saved me by changing my thoughts.
    I feel it again when I go to dentist but sometimes cant change it successfully. This time Im not going to let it happen…for sure !!

  21. Lots of theory i am afraid. I focused very much on the words in the text and found it is so theoretical. I find there are 3 types of experts; those who are academics and only practiced theory. secondly those who have experienced issues and in many aspects are still experiencing issues but embark on a NVQ in CBT training and become experts having walked the talked and come out of the other side, but they haven't really. And finally the third group; practical, logical thinking people with emotional intelligence who have lots of common sense and take a pragmatic view to mental health issues. We all have at some time in our lives suffered mental health issues, but that does not make is crazy. In my experience far too many experts big up people's problems in order to make a living from their situation. CBT is brilliant but it needs pragmatic, common sense language not theory. I listened carefully to everything this man said and every sentence had no meaning it was full of text book examples. I am sure he genuinely wants to help but its not rocket science isn't mental health its life issues.

  22. It is always helpful and have worked wonders. My channel also opens doors for psychological enthusiast's

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.