11 Helpful Tips For When You’re Dealing With An Anxious Mind

Woman covers her face with her hand out of embarrassment
Twenty20 / @canathy

Found on Ask Reddit

1. Play catch

If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, play catch. You can throw absolutely anything, to a friend, up in the air, bounce a ball, just keep doing it. After a few minutes of this, you will be completely calm. It works every single time without fail. My therapist taught me this trick, and I really hope this doesn’t get buried so it can help someone else.

— jade_dragonfly13

2. Assume connection over disconnect

Assume connection over disconnect.

Before: wow, I’m being so awkward. They can totally notice. I stuttered. They must think less of me now. This person is so calm and cool, why can’t I be like that. I hope I’m putting on a good enough act. God, why can’t I just stop feeling this way.

Now: maybe this is awkward for us both, and that’s ok. This person and I probably have something in common, some shared life experience or perspective, and if not, we can learn from each other

It’s much easier assuming you’re similar already rather than focusing the attention on yourself and your flaws.

— pollygolly

3. Stay physically active

Staying physically active makes a world of difference. I started running after my depression started evolving into anxiety and panic attacks. You might not notice the first couple times, but once it becomes a part of your routine you’ll find you’re loads happier. I hope that helps!

— cellular-space-cadet

4. Imagine putting your thoughts in a box

Sometimes, I find myself in thought spirals about things that are worth worrying about—just not right now. In order to avoid suppressing the thoughts completely, I imagine myself putting them in a box and placing the box high up on a shelf. Then, I set a specific time that I will come back.

Every time my mind wanders, I picture the box on the shelf and remind myself it’s not time yet. Later, on my agreed upon time, I come back and deal with my bad thoughts.

— teenytinybaklava

5. Treat anxious thoughts like buses

The best method I learned was to treat anxious thoughts like buses going past a bus stop. Don’t stand in their way and try to stop them or you’ll only get run over. Stand at the stop, acknowledge them, and then just don’t get on. Don’t try and replace the bus with something better or it’ll only cause a crash. Just let the bus come, and let it go. Eventually a bus you’ll like (a good thought) will come along and you can get on that and focus on that. Just let the buses come and go.

— anto475

6. Stop drinking coffee

Cut out caffeine if you haven’t already. Many people aren’t aware that it can cause or worsen anxiety.

— FreshStart2018

7. Practice mindful meditation

Mindfulness meditation. Im working on this right now; taking 10 minutes a day to meditate teaches you how to clear you mind and focus thoughts. Huge help for depression and anxiety

— Zaalen

8. Put off things your anxiety makes you feel impelled to do

Sometimes, when I’m anxious, I feel driven to do or say things that I end up regretting. Now that I recognize that, I examine my impulses and just tell myself to wait a while and do those things when I don’t feel anxious.

For example: A few months ago, I had an anxiety attack after remembering something I had said to someone two years previously. Out of nowhere, I realized that what I had said sounded like the opposite of what I had meant, and that that person probably thought I was a huge jerk. But it had been two years, and it was someone I hardly ever saw in person! There was no way for me to apologize or explain myself without seeming weird! What could I do? I sat on my bed and sobbed for a while. Then I decided to send that person a message explaining myself and hoping they would forgive me.

Then I stopped. “This is an anxious impulse. I should wait.”

I put it on my personal calendar for the following month: “Decide whether or not to message so-and-so.” And so I waited, and the following month I realized that I didn’t care anymore.

— October_Dissonance

9. Try cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therepy. The short of it is to be aware of when you are having mal-adaptive thoughts, recognize those thoughts, and try to figure out why you’re having them. From there, you take a step back, and analyze the thoughts in a detached manor. As time goes on, this approach becomes second nature, and you start to feel your anxious thoughts less.

— Fynn_the_Finger

10. Delete social media

Deleting social media. It made everything in life more exasperating. It’s amazing just how much of my life it was affecting, going out because I’d bump into certain persons and what if those posts or tags they posted where about me? What if everyone in the world had searched my fb and where laughing at me?

I’ve honestly never felt so good since I got rid.

— koleicepole

11. Tell yourself you’re prepared for the worst

If you’re the type to ruminate and therefore can’t just let anxious thoughts go by without obsessing, it’s better to tell yourself you’re prepared for the disaster you’ve created instead of trying to let it go. And since you’re prepared, it won’t be as bad so you can get through it.

— _Green_Kyanite_ Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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