What Helps Curb My Anxiety
***Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert on anything, including anxiety. These are simply things that have worked for me, but that doesn’t mean they will work for everybody else. You know your body best, so use good judgment before taking or not taking my advice. I am not liable for any harm that may be caused by following my advice.
Living with anxiety can sometimes feel like the biggest inconvenience in the world. Different things work for different people, so I’m hoping that sharing a list of what helps me might also help someone else. Or at least inspire them to find a place to look for solutions.
None of these cure my anxiety, but these do help curb them for a short period of time. Usually that’s as long as I need for my scattered mind to regain composure and be all right again. Having anxiety seriously sucks, and I’m so sorry if that’s something you know all too well. Stay strong, and praying whoever reads this finds the peace they’re looking for.
Ice Water Plunge: apparently people have been using cold water therapy for thousands of years, but I just found out about this recently. Plunging your body into cold water around 59°F has many health benefits, including reducing anxiety. What I do is plunge my face in ice water a couple times and the shocking feeling of COLD water helps offset my anxiety.
Listening to Music: certain songs do wonders for calming my mind down. Soothing songs that have calming lyrics feel SO nice to play when you’re mind’s going crazy. Everybody has different songs that help ground them, so try to find some that work for you. Just be careful in choosing songs to listen to during anxiety peaks, because some songs can do more damage than help.
***boo at Spotify for not having the River by Garth Brooks, would’ve added that if I could because it’s such a pretty & calming song
Making Lists: something that goes hand and hand with anxiety is a feeling of control. When I have things going on that are beyond my control (hello coronavirus) my anxiety can shoot through the roof. One simple way to trick your brain into thinking you have everything under control is to distract it with something that you do have control over. For me, I do that by making lists. Try making a list of things you’ve accomplished that day, no matter how small or large. Things like making your bed, drinking a full glass of water, texting back a friend, washing the dishes, etc. Really any type of list can work, though. Get creative and think of different ones! Great distraction method.
Find Loopholes Around Anxiety: here’s what that means- instead of doing things that you normally do which trigger anxiety, find a NEW way to do those same things without your anxiety going off.
EXAMPLE: you get super anxious whenever you get a text notification from a certain person. Just seeing their name on your screen spirals your anxiety. Let’s pretend their name is Jaqueline. What you can do instead is change their name in your contacts to something else, like Jess. You’ll still know who’s texting you when you get a message from “Jess” but you won’t see their real name on your phone, hopefully keeping your anxiety from going off like it normally would when you’d see the name Jaqueline on your screen (hope that makes sense lol)
Weird trick to try, but it’s done so much for me. The changing contact names is just one loophole around what sets off anxiety. You can apply this and try it with other things that normally get you anxious- just requires a little bit of creativity!
A Good Chat with Someone Who Knows You Well: anxiety can make you overthink the simplest situations, so sometimes you just really need clarity from another perspective. Talking it out with someone can help you break down what’s really bothering you or just give you a chance to verbalize your thoughts, which can help calm your mind.
Drinking Water and Eating Something: Some people get cranky when they’re hungry, or they can get anxious. Remember to eat when you’re hungry! Also- most people I know don’t drink enough water and I’m no exception. Sometimes your mind thinks crazy thoughts when you’re dehydrated. Drink that H20, kids.
Sleeping it Off: when all else fails, getting a good night’s sleep can really help you leave yesterday’s anxieties and worries in the past. There’s nothing like a fresh start to a new day that can make you realize whatever was making you anxious yesterday doesn’t need to overwhelm you today.
Avoiding Caffeine: I don’t know about you guys, but nothing makes my anxiety worse than having the coffee jitters. On days that I wake up anxious or moments when I’m feeling the anxiety kick in, I avoid coffee and caffeine at all costs. It just spirals everything out of control and makes it that much more difficult to manage. I love coffee so this is hard, but I love having peace of mind even more!
Taking a Social Media Break: Social media can be a lot of fun. It also can attribute to doomscrolling, comparison, uncalled for self-criticizing, and so much more that’s not-so-fun. On weeks when I feel overwhelmed with outside information, or whenever I find myself feeling worse after using social media, I delete the apps off my phone completely. It’s what I’ve found works best for me. I redownload them when I’m in a better headspace and delete them again whenever I find myself feeling bad again. This has truly made one of the biggest direct difference on my anxiety that I’ve noticed.
Getting out in Nature: Nature has such a peaceful energy that I instantly feel absorbing in when I take a hike, take a neighborhood stroll, go for a run or really do anything else outdoors. I live in the suburbs which can feel really stifling at times, so getting out in nature does me so much good. It feels so good to just aimlessly wander around and focus on nothing else besides taking in the beauty of God’s creation. Nothing helps my scattered mind calm down more sometimes.
Okay, those are my tips, but remember everyone is different so what works for me may not work for you. Remember that life is hard, and we’re all just doing our best. Cut yourself some slack, and remember that even the worst days only last 24 hours! In case anybody need it, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is included below:
Call 1-800-273-8255 (available 24/7)
Also if you have anxiety about talking to someone on the phone, there is a national anxiety hotline you can text.
Just text CONNECT to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.