Log in
Anxiety and Depression Support
27,482 members27,332 posts

Tips on how to manage anxiety.

I've seen a lot of posts on this site and my thought is why not share some tips that have helped me deal with anxiety and depression. I'd also like other members to share what works for them. This site is safe forum for members to share what they are going through. However, I haven't seen much in the way of what others do to either support themselves or others. So, I'm starting this thread. Please share!

1. When anxiety strikes, I used to be the first person to identify with the feeling. In other words, let it rule my emotions and behavior. It is extremely difficult to manage however, I'd like to add it is possible over time to do so. My techniques: yoga, distraction, rain technique (recognize, allow, investigate and n? you can find this on the internet as it is not "my" technique but created by someone else), active breathing.

2. I go straight to a distraction- book reading or listening to music.

3. Coloring books- sounds silly, but the idea of coloring is really hypnotizing. It releases endorphins.

4. Self-compassion meditation- there are tons of sites on this. Kristen Neff to name one.

If this helps anyone in any way, please say so. I'd like to know and I'd like to know what you do as a member to ease your anxiety.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

my anxiety almost ruined my relationship with my boyfriend and I’m trying really hard to work on my anxiety, this was very helpful. Thank you!

1 like
Reply

if your boyfriend or the relationship was worth it, it never would have ended. keep the faith and I'm glad that I could help.

1 like
Reply

oh no I worded that odd.. basically my mental health is starting to affect his mental health, we’re still together and working on our relationship

1 like
Reply

guess I misunderstood. relationship counseling could work.

Reply

I've done a couple of those things, what has been helping me is a lot of Praying, and telling myself I'm not guaranteed tomorrow and taking one day at a time, this has been keeping me from worrying about later cause I might not be here anyway, life can flip like a switch? Find a distraction, I have a Big One right now, a relative who matched my DNA is trying to locate his Mom or Dad, I'm a first cousin. His mom gave him to friends of his mom's Uncle with no paper work.

So I've been busy helping him with that. I'm sure there's something you can do? Volunteer work?

1 like
Reply

i have volunteered before. right now I am concentrating on getting my personal finances and life together. when that happens, I will volunteer.

1 like
Reply

What a good idea for a post. I've been knitting because it keeps my mind focussed on something other than my thoughts. I also find walking up a mountain close to my home is helpful. Climbing the mountain makes my chest burn which is kind of reassuring because when I'm having an anxiety attack it feels the same but I feel like up the mountain, it's burning for a good reason.

1 like
Reply

All awesome tips.. deep breathing and counting to 10 works very well.. do it two to three times and by the last time you should be ok enough to get through your day.. Had to do that at work once because I was ready to call it quits and walk out for good.. little things can make a huge difference

1 like
Reply

This is odd, but I've found that really looking someone in the eye helps my social anxiety. I think it helps me focus on the human connection instead of thinking about myself, being embarrassed, etc. It's also helped to squeeze my toes, hard - it's as if the anxiety travels to my feet and takes the pressure off the rest of my body.

Thoughts that help me are, 1) If this person is going to like me, they'll like me for who I am. That's what matters most and is out of my control. 2) We're all just passing through, and most of the battles we fight don't mean much in the long run.

1 like
Reply

I have panic disorder and OCD and I have lots of tools that I use. They don’t always work but that never stops me from trying. I try to practice radical acceptance of what is. If I’m feeling anxious, I try really hard to just accept it and not try to fight it. I like to turn on the radio and dance especially when it’s the last thing I feel like doing. I read a little list of coping statements that remind me that I’ve been here (in an anxious/panic state) before and that this will pass and that yes, this is how it felt last time. I use oil pastels and draw. Or I hug my dog. Or I cook. The recipes feel soothing because they are so black and white. Simple instructions. I can do that. Sometimes I try to just listen to my thoughts and not react. Sometimes I have to plunge my hands in ice water if the panic attack is too intense. Sometimes I play a video game (TV and reading aren’t distracting enough). A lot of times I pray. Over and over and over I tell myself: Anxiety is lying to you. You’re not sick. This is a lie no matter how it’s making you feel.

Reply

Hi StarryNight, Sounds like you have a good hold on your anxiety and that you do things to help soothe yourself. I disagree with the anxiety is lying to you. You're not SICK if you have anxiety. Anxiety is real. What is provoking the anxiety might not be real. For example, fear is usually the false foundation for anxiety. So, sometimes exploring what it is that you are afraid of might alleviate some anxiety. Doesn't mean that your anxiety goes away but, I can tell you from experience that it has helped me tremendously.

Lying to you in what way? Is it that you have fear and don't want to believe the fear. That I totally understand. It is possible to experience anxiety and not over identify with it or the fear that comes with it. I have a suggestion and obviously you can take it or leave it: telling yourself over and over again sounds like and seems like you are fighting the anxiety and label of being sick. What if you flipped it and said- this is anxiety, this is how I feel, I accept and love myself for who I am. Over-identifying with feelings of anxiety provokes more anxiety. Here's my approach (like I said take it or leave it)- "Right now I feel anxious. This must be challenging for you. You must be going through a hard time right now. What would help you in this moment? It's called self-soothing and it's not my created concept. I know nothing about OCD. So, I won't comment on that. If you are practicing radical acceptance, than how are you stating that you are fighting the anxiety and that it is a lie?

1 like
Reply

Hi NotSoSunny,

Thank you for your suggestions and your reply. 😊. I apologize because my last post was not very clear. My anxiety and OCD thoughts generally go down one of two avenues: the first makes me feel like things are very safe or very unsafe. For example: the hours between midnight and 4:00 am are unsafe. Any type of chicken or seafood? Unsafe. Going outside without a safety pin pinned somewhere on my body? Unsafe. Holding a towel too close to my face? Unsafe. Church? Unsafe. Then we have the safe things: food I can peel (like oranges and bananas), water bottles, special surgical grade soaps, my bed, 4:00am - 6:00am. The safe things soothe me. Make me feel less anxious. The second avenue my anxiety may take me down is one of health anxiety. Any bodily sensation, I catastrophize. I smell something but can’t find the source? I’m about to have a seizure. My stomach makes a gurgling noise? I’m about to have diarrhea. My throat is dry? Throat cancer. I can feel my heartbeat in my head? Stroke. I am terrified of getting any kind of illness. I am that crazy person that wears gloves to pump gas, won’t touch a door or elevator button. If someone I know (who doesn’t even live in the same town as me) posts on Facebook about not feeling well? Panic attack because maybe I will catch it. So, logically I know that I won’t catch it. That fear and thinking maybe I will? Those thoughts that tell me it’s possible? Those are the lies anxiety tells me. The feeling like I’m safe because I have a safety pin on my shirt? That’s a lie too. I’m no more safe because I wear a safety pin but anxiety makes me think I am. So, when I have a thought that maybe I might have a seizure or whatever, I try to just accept that is not true. I try to accept that it’s just a product of my anxious mind and not necessarily the truth. I’m curious to hear more of your thoughts. I would so love to look at this differently!

Reply

Starry- I hope you are seeing a professional doctor. I am not versed in your particular circumstance. I guess I've grown in my own idiosyncrasies and I swear I'm not saying this applies to you. But, I laugh a lot at my own phobias because that is what helps me. years ago, I went through a very difficult time where I was afraid to go outside. Thankfully, I no longer feel that anymore. I also talk OUT LOUD to myself on purpose. It's a way of making myself feel more grounded. Did you always feel this way? Is this adult onset of OCD and anxiety? You aren't alone. There are many people that experience what you experience. I can't make you look at something differently. In fact, I'm not that gifted. Except for maybe when I write. I don't eat much seafood either. That's a long story that I choose not to share and doesn't have anything to do with a phobia. So, how do you live your life then? How do you work while going through all of this? Is there anything that comforts you?

Reply

Me too, I need to get a part time job, I'm living on SSI and retirement savings. Having anxiety has been difficult on top of everything else. Trying to just live one day at a time, it's All I can handle.

Reply

You may also like...