10 Quick tricks to soothing your anxiety.

10 Quick Tricks To Soothe Anxiety

Anxiety can strike at a moment's notice; know how to calm it.

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Many of us know the tell tale signs of anxiety. Pounding heart, trouble breathing, and just a general discomfort. While it can be difficult to pull yourself out of those anxious feelings, there are many simple things you can do to at least ease them. While many of these tricks may seem small and unhelpful, I have found that sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference.

1. Take a warm shower or bath.

A warm shower or bath will not only relax your muscles, but also your mind. Immersing yourself in warm water or allowing it to run over you mimics physical contact which can help to qualm anxiety. This is also a time to put down any electronics and allow yourself to be mindful of your thoughts. This awareness of both body and mind can have a calming effect.

2. Create something.

Whether it is a piece of writing, a work of art, or an interpretive dance, creating something will take your mind off of your anxiety as well as give you a sense of accomplishment. This will boost your spirit and act as a distraction from whatever is occupying your mind.

3. Try some deep breathing.

Deep and focused breathing (especially if your anxiety causes you to not breathe normally) will refocus your brain. By placing all your attention on the act of mindful breathing, you will be creating a rhythm that should eventually return your body to its natural state of calm. Another form of deep breathing would be meditation or mindfulness sessions which can be done both in times of anxiety and whenever you feel like it.

4. Listen to music.

Listening to music is a form of therapy for many people. Despite the common misconception that the music has to be relaxing, any type of music that you enjoy will do. This can change your mindset from a place of unease to one of familiarity and comfort. Often times, music can help you to relax and remind you that other people may have had similar thoughts to what you are experiencing.

5. Talk to a friend.

This is by far the best option if you have a friend who is available that you trust. While you do not want to become reliant on said person by any means, if you are at a point where your anxiety is so bad that you cannot deal with it on your own, confiding in someone close to you can be the best form of therapy. Whether it is over text, a phone call, or in person, sometimes just knowing that there is someone else there for you will put your body and mind at ease.

6. Play with an animal.

Literally any animal. While I prefer dogs or cats, if snakes make you happy, then find a snake to play with. Animals often can sense feelings of discomfort and will act as a safe companion in times of distress. The act of petting an animal can take your mind off of the anxiety and, well, who doesn't like playing with animals?

7. Go for a walk (preferably outside).

Especially if you are in a hot, stuffy room, go get some air. An environment of that sort can simulate a feeling of being trapped or suffocated which is anxiety-provoking for many people. By taking a breather in the fresh air, you will eventually calm down. Taking a walk (or sometimes going for a run) allows you to zone out in nature and be mindful of your surroundings. Putting yourself in touch with the natural world can restore a peace in you that will ease your anxiety.

8. Organize literally anything.

This is something that helped me a lot. I would put away laundry, do the dishes, alphabetize my books, clean my bathroom, etc. While this is not a good long term habit to develop as the need to organize could become compulsive, for sporadic bouts of anxiety, I have found it to be very useful. It forces your mind to focus on something besides the fact that you are anxious, and, in the process, you usually wind up with a more organized room.

9. Read a book.

Reading is not for everyone, so this will not work for everyone. But if you are a bookworm and reading a book takes you to a completely different place, then try this when you get anxious. Take a book that you know you will be really interested in and begin to read it, even if you have read it before, read it again. By immersing yourself into the plot of whatever novel you choose, you will be taking the focus off of your life and placing it onto the life of the characters instead.

10. Do some math.

I know this one sounds stupid and there are plenty of people who despise math, but just try it next time you are anxious. Random math problems, depending on how advanced your math skills are, they could be simple middle-school-level problems or calculus equations. Either way, the act of computing numbers and forcing a different part of your brain to function will eventually trick you out of your anxiety. The harder the problem and the more focus it takes the better as it will make you think hard about math and not so much about your anxious feelings.

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9 Metaphors That Describe Anxiety To Non-Anxious People

Anxiety is difficult to explain, and even more difficult to understand.
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Everyone experiences anxiety in one form or another. However, there is a large difference between having an anxiety disorder and feeling anxious every now and then. For instance, it is pretty common and typical for someone to be anxious before they take an exam, but becoming so anxious that they don't eat and decide to not show up to the exam at all could be a sign that that person has a disorder. Anxiety disorders themselves range from being mild to severe, and it can also depend on what triggers a person experiences and how often. In short, anxiety is a broad term that ultimately depends on the individual.

It can be difficult to describe anxiety to someone who has never truly experienced it like the people who have disorders do. Social media is full of attempted explanations, but there are still those people who tell us to "get over it," "don't think about it so much," and "there's no reason to be anxious." One of the biggest misunderstandings about having anxiety is that most of the time we know that there isn't any real reason to be anxious, and that our minds are overreacting. The thing is, though, it just feels impossible for us to turn it off and think logically in that moment. There's not a whole lot we can do.

Since that can still be confusing, I've compiled a list of metaphors and analogies that might make a little more sense to those who have never truly experienced anxiety before.

1. Anxiety is when you leave the house and feel like you have forgotten something but can't remember what it is, and worrying about it all the time.

2. Anxiety is the mini heart attack you receive when you're walking down the stairs and miss a step, but your heart never calms down and the butterflies remain in the pit of your stomach.

3. Anxiety is when you are watching a scary movie and you know something is about to pop out and scare you, but it never does, so you just keep waiting for it to happen.

4. Anxiety is taking the phrase "step on a crack, you'll break your mom's back" way too literally, and having to focus on where you step each time you go for a walk.

5. Anxiety is not knowing whether or not someone is being rude or just sarcastic, so you constantly wonder how they feel about you.

6. Anxiety is the feeling that someone is following or watching you, even though no one is ever there.

7. Anxiety is diving deep underwater, then swimming back up to the surface, but the surface is farther away that it seemed so you suddenly feel as if you are about to drown.

8. Anxiety is feeling like every day tasks, such as taking a shower, might result in your harm, even though reality tries to convince you otherwise.

9. Anxiety is the fear of fear.

Again, some of these might not apply to everyone that has anxiety, because anxiety is so different for everyone. I know that there are probably a million different ways to describe anxiety based on what each individual person is anxious about, so this list is just a start. If you are reading this and have anxiety, I hope you find comfort in the fact that someone can relate to what you feel. If you are reading this and don't consider yourself an anxious person, I hope that this gives you a better understanding of what people experience when they say they have an anxiety disorder. Either way, remember that whatever it is you're anxious about, the storm will always pass. Stay strong.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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12 Simple Ways To Ease Your Anxiety

These are some super simple ways to handle your stress at home.

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Anxiety and stress are very common problems for many of us in today's society.

Over 70% of adults face some sort of anxiety or stress in their lives.

It can really be overwhelming and can seriously affect our mood for the rest of the day.

Pushing these feelings of anxiety and stress aside and letting them build up does nothing but cause more harm to our minds and bodies.

Sometimes, we just need a quick and easy way to help alleviate some of this stress to help us get through the day and to help us feel better.

Here are 12 ways to do just that:

1. Practice deep breathing

Mental stress and anxiety can cause your body to respond in physical ways. Since it affects your sympathetic nervous system, you might experience elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness. Breathing deeply and slowly can help slow your heart and ease your body back into a calm state. When I panic or feel overwhelmed, I breathe in slowly through my nose, think of one thing that makes me happy, slowly breathe out through my mouth, and repeat until I can feel my mind and body begin to calm.

2. Light a candle or start up your essential oil diffuser

My personal favorite scent to soothe my anxiety is lavender. However, you can also try chamomile, rose, orange, jasmine, sandalwood, or whatever else might help you.

3. Exercise

This is a big one, but can also be a very difficult one. Whenever you're feeling extremely anxious or overwhelmed, it might be hard enough for you to get yourself out of bed, let alone do any serious exercising. My best advice is to be proactive and try to pay attention to when you first start feeling your anxiety creep up on you. Just go ahead and get up and go for a walk, run, or whatever form of exercise you prefer!

4. Read a book

For me, there's nothing like curling up with a good book to help calm my nerves. Whenever I am knowingly going into a situation that will make me anxious, such as traveling, I always make sure to bring a book to read whenever I start to feel overwhelmed. Reading helps me to temporarily escape my anxieties and can be a big help in giving myself some much needed time to calm down.

5. Do yoga and practice meditation

Yoga is such a helpful activity for those with anxiety and stress! It kind of is just a combination of many different anxiety-relieving techniques (exercise, deep breathing, and mindfulness). There are many different apps, books, classes, and websites you can use as a guide and help to do yoga. You can find what positions, locations, and situation are best for you. Doing yoga gives you a great opportunity to think about and reflect on your feelings and worries.

6. Spend time with loved ones (yes, even your furbabies)

Sometimes, all we need is a little love and reassurance in our lives to alleviate some of our anxieties. Spending time with your family, friends, and pets can help us to see and remember the good things we have in our lives. So many times, those of us with anxiety tend to seclude ourselves and that makes it easy to forget the good we have.

7. Drink more water

Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause feelings of anxiety. It can make you feel jittery and can be a cause for elevated heart rate. Drinking more water not only helps you physically (like hydrating your skin and body), but it can also do wonders for your mental health. When your body is unhealthy and unhappy, that can be a big factor in feelings of depression and anxiety.

8. Take a short nap

If you begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious, sometimes it can do some good to just take a short 30-minute nap. Just give yourself some time to rest your mind and body and face the issue with a new focus and fresh thoughts.

9. Journal

Even though writing down your feelings, bad or good, can be helpful, when you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, try focusing on the positive! Write down a few things that made you happy today or a few things that you're grateful for. Don't let yourself be bogged down by the negative.

10. Clean

This might not work for everybody, but I know that sometimes when I'm feeling restless or anxious, cleaning and decluttering can help clear my mind. Basically, it's just good to find something to put your focus on when your anxious thoughts feel like too much. Try to pick a task and focus on that until you're finished. You'll likely find, in the end, that you feel much better than before you started.

11. Listen to happy and soothing music

Listening to music is a BIG help to some people with anxiety. However, you need to be mindful of what you're listening to. Don't put on the breakup playlist you made when you were 13. Find happy or soothing songs and make yourself a playlist of songs with themes of positivity.

12. Don't bottle up your feelings

This might just be the most important advice I can give you when it comes to handling your anxiety. The worst thing that you can do is to suppress your feelings and try to force yourself to forget about them. Hiding or bottling up your feelings might help temporarily, but that will just make you feel worse in the end. Talk to someone or try one of the other methods I mentioned to face your anxiety, but don't pretend like it doesn't exist.

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