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

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How to Properly Manage Your Anger

As someone who has struggled with anger in the past, I have discovered ways to cope with my issue.


Throughout my entire life, I've always struggled to cope with anger. I vividly remember getting into altercations with peers during my preschool days over issues containing little-to-no relevance. I'd pick fights with others as I was unable to control myself in uncomfortable situations.

Moments still arise to this day when I fail to bring myself back down to Earth. I sometimes berate loved ones for unknown reasons or lash out while driving in a fit of road rage.

As time has progressed, I've made a valiant effort to improve my anger management skills. I've discovered that getting flustered over the unforeseen obstacles that accompany everyday life is pointless.

Like everyone else growing up, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to create meaningful relationships with individuals. In order to do this, I had to refine myself. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed. I stayed positive throughout this process. I knew that my patience would pay dividends.

And it did.

Once I developed a tight-knit circle of friends, I finally found that sense of comfort I had been craving for so long. I no longer felt the urge to throw tantrums. I was at peace.

If you also struggle with anger problems, you know that it's impossible to permanently suppress these demons. There's always relapses, temporary slip-ups triggered by some event outside of one's control. I've experienced this myself, and I am able to confidently label it as one of the most discouraging feelings in the world.

You feel as though all the progress you've made has suddenly vanished. Turn the record over, back to square one, right?


The key to overcoming these obstacles is to maintain a positive attitude. It's not the end of the world; shit happens. All you can do is embrace adversity and use it as a motive for future improvement.

I went through a period of anger-related relapses during middle school. This was a tough time for me, a period defined by rapid physical, mental, and emotional change. I was a 14-year-old boy who had friends, but something still wasn't right.

Then, high school arrived.

High school was a life-altering experience that I would not trade for the world. High school is where I discovered my true self.

I discovered how much I enjoy writing. I discovered how much I enjoy music.

I discovered how much I enjoy girls. I discovered how much I enjoy beer.

I discovered how much I enjoy being happy.

For me, a successful life isn't derived from wealth or fame. A successful life is obtained via fulfillment. One must feel fulfilled with his or herself in order to be successful. I inherently believe that every person has ambitions. While these ambitions vary widely, they are important to their respective owners and should be valued greatly.

I have established ambitious, yet achievable goals for myself. I hope to attend law school following college graduation. I also hope to one day write a book. I want to be a role model for other individuals.

If I hope to fulfill these aspirations, I must remain determined.

By discovering what I enjoy doing and what I aim to do in the future, I have found solace in my own skin. I refuse to be fazed by what I cannot control. I am an imperfect human being. Failure is simply a component of the process.

But I promise to bounce back from failure. I will overcome hardship in pursuit of my dreams and inevitably prevail. Some of us can't help being born with anger problems, but we can help with controlling our flaws.

Rise up, my friends. Today you have been reborn. Instead of getting mad at the rest of the world, go out and own it.

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