General Question

pleiades's avatar

Tips when you feel anxiety coming on?

Asked by pleiades (6576points) December 13th, 2013

As asked! Thanks :)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Controlled breathing.

Sit in a comfortable supportive chair, with your feet on the floor, arms on arm rests.

Slowly inhale, over the course of 4 or 5 seconds.

Hold your breath for 4 or 5 seconds.

Slowly exhale, over the course of 4 or 5 seconds.

Hold your breath for 4 or 5 seconds.

Repeat, and continue for ten minutes.

Katniss's avatar

Grab cigarette. Light. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhhhh

Seriously, I try to focus my mind on something else. I also try to talk myself out of it. It works if I try hard enough.

josie's avatar


Cupcake's avatar

Mantra. Repeat some derivation of the following:
– I am OK
– This will be OK
– Things will get better
– I am safe
– I am loved
– I can do this

rojo's avatar

@josie GA. I find it a form of meditation. I get into whatever the physical activity is and lose myself in it, allowing it to push the anxiety to the background.

drdoombot's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo‘s suggestion to try controlled breathing, though slightly different:

-Try to breath with your abdomen, not your chest. This is a more natural way of breathing (just look at a baby or even a dog napping and you’ll see)
-Breath in through your nose for two seconds, expanding your abdomen
-Breath out through your mouth for four seconds, slowing allowing your abdomen to shrink

Repeat for as long as you need to slow your heartbeat (and your racing thoughts!).

My suggestion is to practice this technique when you’re not anxious, somewhere between 1–3 times a day for 5–10 minutes. One day, when you need to calm down, this relaxed breathing will come naturally because you’ve had practice with it.

wildpotato's avatar

If I am at home, I use my Tibetan singing bowl. It always calms me down because you can’t make it sing right if you are not relaxed.

If I am away from home I sing a tune in my head as a sort of self-conditioned trigger to relax. I used this one (specifically, the bit from 2:34–3:30) since I was 13. More recently I’ve also been using Junip.

I also use deep breathing, in the 4–7-8 pattern.

talljasperman's avatar

I drink some name brand cola and take a warm shower, and have a pizza delivered.

Emmy1234's avatar

This doesn’t always work with all situations but I bought relaxation apps for my iphone to calm me and they help. When I used to do day therapy we listened to them and thats what I use.

pleiades's avatar

I’d love to exercise but sometimes I feel anxious when driving in traffic. No time to exercise on the freeway!

Smitha's avatar

I go with @zenvelo. Deep breathing is always the best tool, it can be difficult at first and not very relaxing. Practicing it makes it easier and effective.

augustlan's avatar

Deep breathing, mental distraction (I solve hard-ish math problems in my head), physical distraction (won’t work in the car, but sometimes something as simple as getting up and getting a glass of water can break the cycle), calming self-talk, and/or take a Xanax.

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