How to Deal With Bad News and Anxiety

From Upset to Calm in 5 Steps

(with FREE Worksheet!)

Last week we got bad news.

  • Find below practical evidence-based strategies to deal with any bad news causing you stress, upset and anxiety…

It could be an evacuation, as in the current forest fire nearby (May 2023) Below is a picture of the smoke-filled skies over our home – before we, like many others, were ordered to evacuate.

upset to calm- how to become resilient-bad news-dealing with bad news and anxiety-how to calm down fast

It was originally that our drug plan was cut off.  No warning. Now, everyone would get upset by the potential financial implications and by having been lied to for years by the administrators.

So yes, I was very upset. So was my husband.

It is normal to get upset at bad news. We are human.

And we can learn how to recover fast and get back to calmness.

This is called resilient.

Here are the steps you can take to calm down and over time to become more resilient

You may need practice to get better at it. See below how to talk with us about your options to learn this.

Adrenaline started flowing. Negative thoughts flooded me: “Omg, this is terrible. We will have to sell the house when we get seriously ill! We will never be able to afford traveling ever again! We are ruined! This is not fair! We don’t deserve this! This shouldn’t have happened!”

Do you know what I mean?

Then reason kicked in. Pre-frontal cortex of my brain.

And here is what I did and what you can do, too, to reduce anxiety fast and deal with bad news in a healthier way…

First Aid:

1. Deep Breathing

  • I took 5 slow, deep breaths like I always recommend to my clients.
  • I felt calmer already.

2. Gratitude

Then I started to think how grateful I am

  • grateful to live in Canada, where at least hospital and doctor visits are paid.
  • How grateful I am to be safe and not threatened by bombs falling on my head.
  • How fortunate we are to have enough food, water and shelter.
  • How bright sunshine is in the sky today.
  • How lucky I am to be able to help so many people feel better fast.
  • And how, in 10 years or so, when I look back, I’ll probably just laugh about it…

I felt better already.

So here is my advice:

anxiety and bad news worksheet

Step 1: Beat the Hormone Rush

  • When you get bad news and feel the rush of worries and panic, take 5 deep, slow breaths.
  • Wait about 1 min until the body broke down the adrenaline. If anxiety seems to overwhelm you, take 1 or 2 caps GABA (a natural supplement). It naturally calms your mind.

Step 2: Reframe your Mental Picture

  • Admit that you are worried and think about – or better write down – at least 5 things you are grateful today. Journal about it, if you like.

Step 3: Weigh Outcomes

  • Then make a list:    Left side: Worst case scenario – Right side: Best case scenario.
  • After you finished, look at your worst case scenario.
  • Is it so bad that you won’t survive it? Probably not.
  • Are you strong enough to deal with it yourself?
  • If the answer is no, reach out for the appropriate help:  Talk to a friend, your spouse, a counselor, your doctor or other confidant.
  • Then look at the best case scenario: How likely really is it, now that you are calmer?
  • How would you feel if the best case scenario is exactly what happens?
  • And then weigh the chances.
  • What outcome is realistic?

Step 4: Make a Plan

  • And if you don’t know, lay out an action plan to find out what you need to do next.
  • Write it on your to-do-list or schedule it on your calendar.
  • Get it out of your head.
  • How are you feeling after these exercises?
  • Better?
  • I think so. I did.

Step 5: Do Something Else and Move Your Body.

  • So then it’s time to go for a walk or to the gym to clear out your head.
  • I like to do a TaiChi set.
  • Others like yoga, QiGong, dance to music, play an instrument, play with the kids  (real, outdoor play, no video games!!), walk the dog

anxiety and bad news worksheet

Talk with us if you need support dealing with bad news… We care.

About DocChristine Coaching

Dr. Christine is the founder of DocChristine Coaching. As a Certified Holistic Brain and Mental Health Trainer and Professional, a Licensed Neuroencoding Specialist, a "Mental Health Thriver", she is an expert in designing Strategies to Help People to Feel Better and Get Healthier by Optimizing their Brain and Mental Health.

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