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10 Things to do When You Feel Anxious

One of the things I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember is Anxiety. It took some time, but I finally am in a place where I can recognize my anxiety. In addition, I have things I know I can do to help myself stop feeling anxious. Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this stuff; however, with everything going on in the world more people than usual are most likely feeling anxious. I know how hard anxiety can be, because it feels like you have no control of anything. I used to get panic attacks that would last a long time. The first time I had a panic attack it lasted on and off for almost 24 hours. Now if I feel a panic attack coming on I know some tricks to calm myself down. I hope this list of 10 things to do when you feel anxious helps you as much as it helps me.

10 Things to do When You Feel Anxious

1. Breathing

I’m sure this one sounds simple, but sometimes it’s not. When I am having a panic attack I feel like I cannot breathe. Obviously, I am breathing. However, in my mind I’m not breathing at all. One thing that really helps is breathing in for six-seconds, holding it for three-seconds, and breathing out for eight to nine-seconds. I will repeat this process until I calm down.

2. Grounding

I use the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. I say out loud five things I can see, four things I can feel, three things I can hear, two things I can smell, and one thing I can taste. Usually, I use thing technique after I do the breathing technique.

3. Calming Sounds

I love the sound of rain and thunderstorms. Personally, I use the free version of the calm app for calming sounds. Other things you can use to hear calming sounds are YouTube and sound machines. This helps me the most at night when my mind is going about a million miles an hour.

4. Talk it Out

Sometimes I really need to talk to my husband, my friends, or my mom. If I don’t my mind will run wild, and it’ll be much harder for me in the long run. It helps me to realize my thoughts are just that. They’re not what is actually happening.

5. Read

Reading might be specific to just me. You can substitute this with watch TV, binge watch Netflix, etc. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and it usually help me calm down from an anxiety attack.

6. Caffeine Free Tea

Personally, I prefer tea with caffeine. Realistically though if you’re trying to calm down a caffeine free tea is the way to do it.

7. Self Care

On my worst days I try to give myself a self care night. I’ll run myself a bubble bath, light some candles, make some tea, and put on a face mask. I’ll either read in the bath or watch something on Netflix. Giving myself some time just to relax is so important. It helps all my stress and anxiety melt away.

8. Nap

This one isn’t always possible, but a good nap really helps. Before I had kids I would take naps after a bad panic attack.

9. Happify App

Recently, I have been using the Happify app to help me change the way my brain thinks about things. I tend to think negatively first. Thinking like that just feeds into my anxiety. I am still just trying this app out, but each day it forces me to think only positively.

10. Therapy

Let be real, sometimes there is only so much you can do. Sometimes you need a professional to help you. There is nothing wrong or shameful about going to see a therapist. Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you need to see somebody than you should go. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

 

I just want to remind you that I’m not a licensed professional. I’m just someone who lives with anxiety trying to help. If you are suffering from anxiety I hope you find something that helps you from these 10 things to do when you feel anxious. This world is crazy right now for everyone, and none of us are alone in it.

You can check out my latest blog post here. You may also like my post on dealing with grief as a parent.

What do you do to help yourself when you are feeling anxious?

 

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6 Comments

  • Lynn

    Great tips! I know that self care and breathing are probably the top two for me personally when I start to feel anxious!

    • Samantha

      Those are definitely my top 2. After that I try to distract myself with a book or show. Not the healthiest coping mechanism, but not the unhealthiest either.

  • Maria

    These are such great anxiety tips. Breathing really is key. When you get that under control, you’ve won half the battle. And yes for therapists! When I was working on completing my licensure hours, it was a requirement that we have personal therapy. It’s so important for mental health.

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