General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What skills, methods, or techniques do you use regularly to cope with stress and anxiety?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30619points) October 2nd, 2017


I’m looking for techniques I can use at work.

Actual techniques.

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26 Answers

NomoreY_A's avatar

A cup of hot coffee and a good cigar always do the trick for me.

rojo's avatar

Sometimes I get myself into nature to soak in what is real, sometimes I meditate, lately I find I am drinking more.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Playing an instrument is very useful for relieving stress. Obviously this wouldn’t be done at work, but might drop stress levels some so work is more tolerable.

Exercise can also help.

I have to take lorazepam when my anxiety ramps up. I used to take zanex, but that made me feel “high.” I don’t usually take a whole pill, just a half one or so. That makes me tired, but there is no euphoric feeling.

I try to listen to classical music, or talk radio on the way to work. Sometimes that can keep me mello until I get there.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any great advice that always works. Wish I did.

Good luck.

Peace n love.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Following because “Xanax and booze” is unsustainable and I’m also interested in options.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Comfort food. Also meat. Good food and good drink. I also call family.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Do you play an instrument? Keyboard for practice don’t make a sound.
For sounds get a ukulele and you can find an after work hours group in your town.

josie's avatar

Target practice

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I also take a shower/bath. You sit in the bathtub with the warm shower on, in the dark, wrapped up In a wet beach towel. with music on from your cell phone.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

My own vote is for high-intensity exercise that makes my heart pound, leaves me panting for air, and turns me into a sweaty mess. There’s no room for stress or anxiety in that mix.

But, you’ve asked about techniques for your workday, which narrows the exercise options to brisk walks during your breaks. If you can get outside in the fresh air for even 20 minutes and do an energetic mile, you might feel better and be more prepared to cope.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Jellies, @Hawaii_Jake asked for techniques to use at his job. Baths, showers, a musical instrument, etc. are wonderfully helpful in general, but not at Jake’s office.

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

Exercise sucks but it helps tremendously. I always feel better after a 30 min run.

Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is now being added to work places all over. Even the NFL uses this technique before their games.

Coffee. I love coffee and apparently caffeine releases dopamine.

Journaling has always helped me. I just write how I feeling, things I want to say out loud, I write everything. Afterwards I feel better.

Talking to others. If you don’t have anyone around, I am always free. You can message me and vent your heart out.

Although I don’t think it is scientifically proven, drives and singing along to music always help me!

Some of the greatest thinkers of our world, think Socrates and Buddha, went out to nature to clear their thoughts. Must of done something because they changed the world!

I would not recommend isolating, drinking, or xanax. Those are ok in certain circumstances but not a good habit to start when you are anxious.

janbb's avatar

Three deep breaths, slowly in and out sometimes help when I remember to do it.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Sorry can you order in at work?

cookieman's avatar

I’ve had two jobs (or a full time job and school) since I was eighteen. My number one work-safe stress reliever has always been to go take a nap. In my car usually, under a tree occasionally — but a nap of any length always helps me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Give your mind something else to think about. Can you take a vacation?
Come here. The spare bedroom is yours!

rockfan's avatar

Eating comfort food when anxious and depressed probably isn’t a very good thing lol.

I find that tensing up my entire body and then slowly releasing that energy over a minute or two really helps. I repeat the process about three times

Patty_Melt's avatar

Stress at work, understood, but there are things which can be done at home which help to face a day’s work, so I would submit that most above advice still be beneficial.
A good balance of exercise and sleep helps a great deal in facing a day at work.
You might give yourself a little secret you can visit at times of stress.
I once felt swamped at work, and in frustration I scribbled F%#@ this! I then stuck the scrap in my pocket. When I felt a need for outlet, I would feel the slip in my pocket, and know I had expressed myself.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

When I had a panic attack when I was working I hid in the bathroom for 5 minutes and drank tap water and sat down on the toilet until I calmed down.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Only a few things: exercise and anything that can distract your thinking and force you out of your mental circles. For acute attacks alternate nostril breathing helped me when stress was boiling over and I could not think straight.

rojo's avatar

Just so I don’t get zapped by the mods. My answer was serious. I used to go to a nearby arboretum at lunch and just sit there and get my shit together. Meditation does not take a bunch of equipment, space or time, it just takes having the ability to look inward for a few moments to refocus and renew what you know is important. I am also serious about the drinking but that is a personal problem choice and while it works for me, I would not recommend it for airline pilots, taxi drivers and such.

seawulf575's avatar

Compartmentalize. Box up all the troubles and stress. Open a box and look at what’s inside. If it is something you can do something about, then do it. If it isn’t, then evaluate what needs to happen to deal with it and start that in motion. If there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it, box it back up because worrying about it isn’t going to make it better. Move on to the next box. At the end of the day, you will have done what you can and realized that most of your problems are either gone or have a plan and you will have a lot less stress.

LostInParadise's avatar

Exercise and brisk walks have been mentioned, but a leisurely walk out in the sun can also help.

longgone's avatar

Scents work well. Pick five favorites and stash them in a drawer. I like lavender oil, wood, and strong “earthy” scents such as shoe polish.

I assume you know the ABCDE technique of disputation?

Jeruba's avatar

I used to have a plaque in my cubicle that just said “Breathe.” Sometimes I would turn and just look at it for a long moment. It helped to calm me and make me just wait that extra interval, especially before pressing “send.”

With respect to pressing “send,” I also had a trusted colleague who would perform a niceness check for me whenever I was in doubt about sending a message. Invariably the fact that I even asked meant that I knew I ought to change something. She saved my neck a lot of times, kept me from doing more harm than good, especially to myself.

The Serenity Prayer helps anywhere, anytime.

I would take a five-minute vacation in the bathroom and just be absent for that long.

And sometimes I would just make myself go outside and walk around the building or even just go look out the window that faced the hills. I lifted up mine eyes unto the hills…that always helped me restore some perspective.

One other thing. At that last job, a ten-year stint at one of those well-known “fast-paced” Silicon Valley companies, I swore an oath when I started that I would never use the word “important” in the workplace about anything having to do with work. In meetings, in e-mails, in memos and reports and consultations with my manager, I kept that promise for the full ten years, even though I never told anyone about it, and it was good for my mental health.

Retirement is even better.

Sorry, @longgone, but I would not welcome having someone at work broadcast any sort of scent into shared space. Like noise, it’s something you can’t shut out. That would multiply my stress.

Pandora's avatar

Deep breaths and nice long slow stretches like tai chi or yoga. There is something about gentle stretches that takes your mind off of everything else and has you only thinking about the moment you are in. I guess because rushing through stretches can physically harm your muscles if done wrong.

But these are the benefits .

longgone's avatar

@Jeruba Yes, broadcasting scents is not fair. Sniffing a bottle of massage oil shouldn’t bother anyone, though.

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