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bluejay's avatar

What do you do to calm anxious feelings?

Asked by bluejay (1009 points ) August 11th, 2012

I’m feeling more anxious than I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m usually good at hiding it and suppressing it so no one can see it, but I’m not sure how well my old tricks will hold up, so I’m asking you fluther users for what you do to calm anxiety, or hide it, and maybe one of your tips can help me out.

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11 Answers

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I just sort of bounce my leg up and down. It’s pretty discrete because people will just think your restless.

gailcalled's avatar

I do yoga with the meditative breathing or just the breathing,

When I am in the doctor’s waiting room, instead of pretending to read a magazine, I concentrate on my breathing…from the diaphragm. I can tell from my b/p reading that it works.

I also use the breathing when I am in the dentist’s chair.

bluejay's avatar

@gailcalled haha I’ve learned to count while at the dentists! Your advise is great! I focus on my breathing a lot, but I’ve never done yoga.

gailcalled's avatar

@bluejay: I can’t take credit for suggesting those techniques and it is hardly original advice.

Yoga with the breathing is a classic technique for mind/body wellness.

You can find various degrees of yoga stretches, from easy floor ones to these… on the net.

Most humans cannot do those: ============================^^^^^

bluejay's avatar

I know it’s not original advise, but I hadn’t thought of it, so therefore it is great advise.
I’ll try doing some yoga, but certainly not “these” ones.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I try to find somewhere quiet and dark where I can be alone. Usually this is my car. I have a blanket and a pillow and an eye mask in the trunk, and I will lay myself down and close my eyes and nap. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but if I can calm myself enough to sleep, then I will be perfectly fine in twenty to thirty minutes when my alarm goes off.

However, I’m in college and I have both a flexible schedule and am pretty much constantly sleepy. I’ve also shut myself in a quiet dark room, put my back against a wall, and I just breathe the upset away.

Shippy's avatar

I know how you feel I suffer terribly with anxiety. I find watching YouTube videos with relaxation themes very helpful. There are some meditations also with great music and it really does help me a lot. I also have a friend I chat to on Yahoo, I guess you could use a real life friend? and I talk it through which also does help. Sometimes I go for walk, or I might burn lavender oils at home, different things work for me at different times. I know it is really difficult to deal with anxiety but you can get to a space where you feel more comfortable. I hope some of the suggestions help you. Failing all these you could ask your doctor to prescribe you something on the short term or long term depending.

tom_g's avatar

Some great advice above. Exercise, simple breathing techniques (which require full, proper exhalation to avoid hyperventilation), and meditation. The only thing I would recommend is to try to turn towards the anxiety rather than suppressing it. Of course, you’ll have to try this practice when you are in a safe environment. But suppression at best is simply postponement.
You might want to check out MBSR (and Jon Kabat-Zinn).

marinelife's avatar

I use Calms Forte, a completely herbal anti-anxiety aid.

gailcalled's avatar

Re @tom-g; I learned what I know from an 8-week course on Mind/Body Wellness, given by one of Kabat-Zin’s gurulets.

I used his (then) tapes for years, until I had them memorized. Now you can get the info on CDs. Info, including some printable info sheets, here

I also found his first book, Full Catastrophe Living to have been vital to the way I changed my thinking.

mattbrowne's avatar

First rule out it’s a medical disorder. If it’s not, then there are a lot of useful self-help books. A classic is Dale Carnegie though mostly based on anecdotal evidence. Check out this overview

http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/stop-worry.html

I like this part:

“What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem? Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst, if necessary. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst, which you have already mentally agreed to accept.”

A scientific approach is offered by numerous positive psychology books.

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