13 Ways To De-stress When You're Anxious

13 Ways To De-stress When You're Anxious

How to calm your mind and body in times of stress.

Mental illnesses are often overlooked and misunderstood, yet they heavily affect millions of people across the globe. Anxiety is one of the most prevalent of these illnesses – 40 million Americans, or about 18 percent of the population, suffer from this disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Even if one does not have anxiety disorder, the American Psychological Association reported that about 80 percent of Americans said they have at least one experience of extreme stress each year.

As someone who has anxiety, I have always struggled with finding ways to calm down. When having panic attacks or moments of heavy anxiety, I can never think of anything else except the topic that is giving me stress. After the more extreme episodes, I'm still shaken by anxious thoughts and cannot de-stress and make my mind go elsewhere. Then, I started searching because I know that my anxiety won't go away but I know I can try and soothe my mind. Below are ways to de-stress when you're anxious or need to be calm; some I use myself and some work well for others.


ASMR, an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, refers to the tingling someone can receive from listening to stimulating audio or visual feeds. It can feel like a shiver up your spine or static in your ears and minds and does a great way of making you calm. ASMR is even known to help people go to sleep at night if you listen to it. YouTube is full of "ASMRtists" who have various types of videos from whispering to tapping to role plays (for example: hair salon or doctor's office role play).

2. Nature walks

Sometimes submerging yourself in nature and all it has to offer is the best (and free) way to relax and be able to breathe easily. Go to a location that has always interested you and let the views, sounds, and atmosphere encompass you.

3. Breathing methods

Anxiety directly taps into physiological actions and not only can it make your mind a jumbled mess, but also cause breathing problems, nausea, and other pains. If you can control your breathing, it might be the first step to feeling better physically.

4. Pet a cat (or any animal)

In 2011, the Mental Health Foundation reported that over 85 percent of cat owners find that their cats have a positive impact and also make their everyday lives better. A cat's purr is known to help de-stress and make one drift away from their anxiety. If you have a pet, go find them and have fun. If not, go to a shelter or find a friend that has one. Animals are the best.

5. Buy something that makes you happy

Buy anything that makes your anxiety lessen. Whether it be a plant or something that directly taps into the state of your mental health or items that you just want. It's found that distracting yourself in things that make you happy will gradually decrease stress levels.

6. Starting DIYing

Focusing on projects or different types of crafting can distract you from your anxiety. Not only are you calming your mind but also getting awesome decor, too!

7. Express your emotions

By writing, drawing, doodling, singing, or expressing yourself in any other way, you can relieve any stress. It helps you stray away from anxiousness and gives one a medium to show how they're feeling at the moment, and possibly how to act on it in the future.

8. Take a bath, not a shower

Showers are places where most people do heavy thinking. This often can stir up stressful thoughts and make it an overall negative atmosphere. If you take a bath, you can relax, enjoy the bubbles/bath bombs, and be surrounded by comfort.

9. Give your nose a treat

Comforting smells can relax the mind and body. If you have any essential oils, incense, or candles at home, you can light one and distract your stress with a wonderful smell. If not, I recommend going to a candle store, or somewhere like Lush, that has an amazing aroma (and think about buying something with a scent you love).

10. Find a new hobby

Doing something new requires extra focus! And that's just the treatment for stress – by keeping your mind on learning the new hobby, you drift away from any negative thoughts.

11. Search for Spotify playlists

Look into some relaxing music that can soothe your soul. Playlists on Spotify like "chill.out.brain" can have a great effect in helping you with any anxious thoughts. You can always think of music that helps you and curate your own playlist, too!

12. Get a massage

Sometimes doing the actions listed above isn't enough to destress. In that case, get a massage! By pampering your body it can directly affect any negative thoughts you may have. Massages can remove any of the bad feelings in your back/body and lead to full relaxation or sleep.

13. Talk to Someone

In all seriousness, self "remedies" might help, but they almost might not. Talking to someone whether it be a relative, friend, or professional can help you get on the right track to better your mind and body. Remember, this is not your fault and you have people that love you no matter what. It's okay to be nervous, but don't be afraid to seek help
Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.


Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Ways To Stay Sane During The Final Weeks Of The Semester

Let's be honest, this time is literally the worst.


Finals week for any college student is probably one of the most stressful times of the year. No matter how organized you are or how good you are at managing your time, finals week always manages to mess all of that up. Coffee, tea and any kind of food will become your best friend ever! It's not only important to focus on getting good grades, it is just as important, and even more important, to take care of yourself. This time can make you feel down and hopeless, but I am here to give you some tips and ideas to help you stay focused and healthy during these final weeks of the semester. The holidays are so close you can almost reach out and touch them!!!

1. Grab a cup of tea

Although it can be very tempting to grab a cup of coffee, grab some tea instead. Not only is it delicious, but it's also better for you. Tea is a great way to keep that belly full and mind calm. When you are at the library or a cute little coffee shop, tea is the perfect pairing for homework or studying. So, next time you go to Starbucks or Pete's or where ever you get your coffee, grab some tea and get to work!!

2. Go for a walk

Instead of taking the bus, try walking! Although it can be hard to get yourself to walk to class instead of taking the bus when it is cold and gross outside, it is very rewarding. Sometimes we need to get up and walk around to help clear our minds. Also, it's a great way to stay in shape. If you've been studying for a while, get up and walk around during your breaks. So next time you decide to take the bus to class, DON'T! Grab a pair of gloves and a nice hat and get on your way.

3. Make yourself a workout routine

I know that it's hard to get to the gym during the winter, especially during finals week. It can be difficult to make time to workout, but if you're studying for a while and you need a break, do a quick workout (you don't even have to leave your room)! You also don't have to go to the gym in order to get a good workout in. Do some planks or some squats and you're good to go. It helps to clear you head and get your mind off of homework. Put on those sneakers and go!

4. Treat yourself

It's just as important to take care of yourself as it is to get good grades. There are so many ways to relax, whether it be taking a shower, lighting a candle or even taking a nap. Put on some music, put on a face mask, do your nails, whatever it takes to help you relax. Take the time out of your day to take care of yourself and relax. It doesn't have to be long, but take some time and just enjoy the relaxation.

5. Stay off your phone

Our phones play such a large part in our everyday lives and have become part of who we are. When trying to study, our phones can be a distraction and can cause us to not fully focus on what we are doing. We need to give these next final weeks the attention they deserve, so put that phone away. Try leaving your phone behind your computer so you can't see it, leave it in your backpack or, if you're feeling really ballsy, leave it at home! I know that sounds terrible but it works. So next time you go to study, put your phone somewhere you can't see it and get to work!!

Related Content

Facebook Comments