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Forums / Anxiety / SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY

Topic: SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY

  1. AGrace
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AGrace avatar
    1052 posts
    10 September 2014

    Hi Everyone,

    Here are some ideas for helping you manage symptoms of anxiety. Feel free to add to the list, or let us know what works for you...

    Mindfulness – Grounding exercises: noticing your environment, bodily sensations, and breath

    Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Creating a Tension and Release effect with all the muscles in the body

    Opposite Actions – By listening to calming music, taking a walk, talking, enjoying sunshine

    Safe Place Mental Imagery – Visualising a place where you can go in your mind to feel safe

    Calming Affirmations – To help recognise that the moment of panic will pass

    Exercise – A valuable way to exhaust excess adrenalin built up in the body

     

    [Moderator's note: this thread is for sharing what has worked for you to manage your anxiety. If you need support to manage your anxiety and would like to discuss this with the community, please start a new thread.

    See also:

    Anxiety management strategies

    Worry worry worry

    ]

    70 people found this helpful
  2. Hopefull.
    Hopefull. avatar
    41 posts
    11 September 2014 in reply to AGrace

    Stop worry by questioning the worried thought:

    • What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
    • Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
    • What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen?
    • If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
    • Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
    • What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
    56 people found this helpful
  3. BenD
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    BenD avatar
    160 posts
    15 September 2014 in reply to Hopefull.

    Remembering quick and honest phrases:

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

    39 people found this helpful
  4. AGrace
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AGrace avatar
    1052 posts
    16 September 2014 in reply to BenD

    Hi BenD and Blackbox,

    Thanks so much for adding to the list. These are some great ideas. Oh, and I'm a bit of a fan of Dr Suess:)

    BenD - if you have some more little quotes, you may even like to add to the "Inspirational Quotes" thread. We can take so much from just a few simple words. I like to start my day off with an inspiring quote each morning:)

    AGrace

    4 people found this helpful
  5. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    7398 posts
    16 September 2014 in reply to AGrace

    Dear AGrace

    I quite agree with the points you have raised and find walking particularly useful and - for me anyway - having a distraction (such as reading novels). Whilst in the midst of a period of high anxiety I'm not sure I'm capable of reasoning my way out of it so distraction, either physical or mental has been my best path.

    For me all these are short term measures to lessen the impact of symptoms at the time and do not take the place of long term meds/treatment but supplement them.

    Regards

    Croix

    7 people found this helpful
  6. Optimist_Prime
    Optimist_Prime avatar
    5 posts
    17 September 2014

    Thank you for this :) I just saw it. Very helpful!

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Looking forward to managing this better
    Looking forward to managing this better avatar
    2 posts
    6 October 2014

    When you're going through those days (and sometimes weeks) of consistent anxiety, save the "big" life decisions for days & weeks when the anxiety has settled. While you are going through it, make it a focus to just function hour by hour as much as possible. One of the hardest things about living with this monster, is knowing that the "real world" doesn't stop & wait until it's over: work, kids, bills, phonecalls etc are all still demanding you to be the "real" you, so one of my key coping mechanisms is to do the above (focusing on hour by hour) as well as keeping myself away from as many potential stressful situations as possible. Even if those "stressful" situations wouldn't seem stressful to anyone else, they are to you - Learn to respect what your mind is telling you, and not feel guilty for how you think it should be xox ...... And I agree with the "distraction" advice too, mine is doing anything creative with my hands, whilst watching favourite dvd's :)

    37 people found this helpful
  8. scorch
    scorch avatar
    156 posts
    8 October 2014

    When I start to get overwhelmed in a social environment I like to go somewhere alone for a little while and just focus on a single thing around me.  Like, if I'm at a party and can't handle all the people I'll go around the side of the house and put my focus on a plant in the garden, or an animal, or anything - study it in minute detail instead of obsessing over my anxious thoughts.  It helps to calm the storm in my head and I can go back to being around people after 15 minutes or so.

    When I can't get away to be by myself I do something else.  It might not be that healthy as it's kind of obsessive (sometimes I don't even realise I'm doing it) but when my mind starts to get frantic I'll touch my thumbs to my fingertips in a progressive pattern. It gives my body an outlet for the anxiety and is pretty unobtrusive.  Keep my hands busy and my mind will hold off the panic attack for a little while.  It's a good indicator of when I need to get away, and the only person who has noticed it's significance is my husband... so if he sees me doing it, he knows to come and rescue me, or give me space - whatever is needed in that time.

    23 people found this helpful
  9. GT24
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    GT24 avatar
    1 posts
    12 November 2014 in reply to scorch
    Hi guys, I have tried lots of different strategies and have found everyone's tips really useful. I have found physical exercise really great to keep a handle on my anxiety generally but especially when I'm going through a particularly bad patch. It took my a while to realise, but talking to family and friends about my anxiety, rather than pretending everything is fine and putting on a brave face has really helped me. Sometimes kindness and support can come from unexpected places - don't be afraid to lean on those you trust every now and then!
    24 people found this helpful
  10. Nadselise
    Nadselise avatar
    11 posts
    6 February 2015

    Agrace

    I agree with all of those. I like to colour in, check out Mandala coloring pages. I also like to have a small list of to do items a day, to keep me focused.

    10 deep breaths, hold in for 3 out for 3.

    be kind to your brain

    10 people found this helpful
  11. Víctor
    Víctor avatar
    1 posts
    6 March 2015 in reply to serenitys-sin
    I know there's a one size fits all formula to help everyone, and sometimes it feels the "cheer up" message from everyone else feels void as it is not a magic wand that makes everything disappear. I know it's easier said than done, but talking helps a lot and reach out as much as you can, don't keep those feelings in to yourself. Look for support and let people know what you feel you need from them, sometimes they might not know what to say but the fact that they are listening could be more than enough. Journaling helps a lot in my case, put things down on paper even if just to yourself. Walks (by yourself and with someone else) can help. Try to get into a routine to do an activity even if it is just once a week. On the one side might feel like darkness, but there's creativity and well being on the other side of the coin.
    4 people found this helpful
  12. Rosie W
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Rosie W avatar
    6 posts
    12 April 2015

    I always have 2 things that I carry with me to assist my anxiety: bubble wrap and a panic script

    Bubble wrap is a great distraction and it gives you something to do and something else to focus on. It is also very satisfying to pop bubble wrap.

    The panic script is small that I can get out at any time and it forces me to slow my thinking and my breathing. It goes along the lines of 'I am feeling anxious. I am starting to panic. Panic attacks can't hurt me, they are just my fight/flight system being activated by a false alarm. I won't loose control, I am safe. There is no big bear going to eat me. These feelings are normal and will pass. I will be okay.' It helps me gain perspective when I am anxious (obviously this is tailored to a panic attack, but similar can work at other times). 

    Hope this was helpful

    29 people found this helpful
  13. foo fan
    foo fan avatar
    2 posts
    10 May 2015 in reply to serenitys-sin
    I deel the same way not many people understand whats going on when you just get up and leave a room in a hurry.  I find distraction the best method of dealing at the moment but i think it may be harmful in the long run as I'm  not dealing with the problem. Its at the point i have anxiety about my anxiety
    2 people found this helpful
  14. foo fan
    foo fan avatar
    2 posts
    10 May 2015 in reply to Víctor

    Hi Victor  it is comforting to know that we are not alone with this struggle i have a great partner wonderful kids and yet i suffer from this debilitating disorder why????

     

    1 person found this helpful
  15. MickeyM
    MickeyM avatar
    77 posts
    14 May 2015 in reply to Rosie W

    Hi, a tip I heard about to help capture a wondering mind is to count backwards from 100 by 3's. It worked really well...until I got really good at it! Now I try other mental maths or something like replaying a favorite movie in my mind, or even trying to memorize something, especially before I go to sleep when my anxiety kicks up a notch. I find that I need to give myself something mentally challenging to think about until it passes.

    good luck

    7 people found this helpful
  16. Kaksta
    Kaksta avatar
    4 posts
    20 May 2015 in reply to AGrace

    I'm new to this journey, was only diagnosed in November last year and I only recently have started to comprehend the battle I have on my hands.

    Anyway, I've been told by many people to try meditation, but I just haven't found that I've had the time (or inclination) to get to a class. This week I discovered an app that runs you through guided meditation. It goes for only 7 mins and have used it twice already when I just couldn't calm down. Both times it has had an immediate effect.

    There are several different apps, I chose the one that was free :)

    6 people found this helpful
  17. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    9 June 2015
    Reach Out have released a new app called "Breathe" which is designed to help you control the onset of physical anxiety and stress symptoms. Although it's aimed at younger people, the principles are universal and it's worth having a look as it's free to download.
    9 people found this helpful
  18. Liz90
    Liz90 avatar
    3 posts
    15 June 2015 in reply to Croix
    Very handy tips,
    however being HIT OVER THE HEAD with sudden severe anxiety and panic attacks I find that the best way to help subside the attack is to just do what comes to mind. Hell, I've even done extra loads of washing just to keep busy. I'm sitting here on the computer instead of sitting in front of the tv crying. I found that a quick jolt of pushups and sit ups got rid of the anxiety for quite a while.
    Physical activity, as scary as it may seem to get out of your bubble is the best way to go.
    3 people found this helpful
  19. Stick, Stuck... Stook? hahahaha
    Stick, Stuck... Stook? hahahaha avatar
    1 posts
    17 June 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Is this app available on Android?

    I can't seem to find it. :(

  20. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1552 posts
    17 June 2015 in reply to Stick, Stuck... Stook? hahahaha
    Hi there, it doesn't look like they have an Android version at the moment. But they do have another app called WorryTime for Android.
    2 people found this helpful
  21. juliagoolia4
    juliagoolia4 avatar
    2 posts
    18 June 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Hi All,

    This is my first post. I have suffered from anxiety and depression most of my lif, but getting ontop and understanding myself now so its better than it has been for a long time. :)

    When my anxiety is bad and preventing me from sleeping when I find that listening to my iPod to a meditation CD helps.

    My favorite and most effective CDs are:

    Quiet Mind ( I found this at my local library)

    Letting go of anxiety (CD by australian psychologist Sarah Edelman) 

     

    These are fantastic and I loved them so much I purchased them both on itunes. If anyone is in the newcastle region they are both available at the local library. Really good to stop the nagging thoughts when trying to sleep.

    Hope this can help some of you

    xoxo julia

     

    10 people found this helpful
  22. Technogurl
    Technogurl avatar
    13 posts
    21 June 2015 in reply to AGrace

    Hi there

    I've realised that I am a lot in my head all the time.

    One of the main things I have found useful is to realise that the past is over and I can do it differently from now on. Also, just because I think a thought, does not necessarily mean it is true. That is where the questioning that Hopeful posts is helpful as this is what Byron Katie teaches.

    I have found another effective method for managing and even eliminating anxiety, but not sure if I am allowed to post it in the forum.

    It is great when you find something that works for you!

    Keep up the good work everyone!

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Dodge2000
    Dodge2000 avatar
    1 posts
    6 July 2015

    I have done these to get rid of my anxiety symptoms.

    * Eat healthy food and drinks and avoid the following: Caffeine, carbonated drinks, fried food, too much sugar, too much sodium

    *Regular cardio and weight lifting exercises at least 3x a week

    *Regular visit to my GP, Chiropractor and Physiotherapist

    *Take Natures Way Rest and Restore nightly multivitamin - it calms nervous system and very good sleep

    *Regular mild stretching upon waking up in the morning

    *Try to sleep longer i.e. at least 7 hours

    *Very important: PRACTICE SLOW BREATHING thorughout the day i.e. 3 seconds INHALE 3 seconds EXHALE

    *Stay dehydrated

    *Have a POSITIVE MINDSET and CONTROL ANGER

     

    With the above I can say GOODBYE to my anxiety. I hope the above will help others.  

     

    24 people found this helpful
  24. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    51 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to Dodge2000

    Dodge2000 - I love this list!

    I think it makes a lot of sense to care for your body in the physiological and psychological way.  One can't go without the other - which is why medication alone doesn't always help... or counselling alone can't be effective long term.

    I'm working through a list of strategies which work for me, but also ensuring that there's balance.

  25. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    51 posts
    6 July 2015
    Yoga is fantastic for anxiety.  I thought I would trial a yoga class for the first time a few weeks ago. Not just a half attempt at home, but a real yoga class. Wow it was intense.  Physically I struggled, but pushed myself past what I thought I could do.  Emotionally/psychologically I worked through a lot of negative self talk ("I'm too fat for yoga, my belly is too big/no one wants to see that") And then worrying that people were judging my body etc.  I eventually said to myself "who cares if they are?!" , allowed myself to have a good time and focussed on getting to the next pose.  I went through a lot of baggage in that class. I managed to do most poses though! That felt so great.  I was on a high for the rest of the day - I can see what they mean by natural highs now!
    7 people found this helpful
  26. Cotton
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Cotton avatar
    3 posts
    11 August 2015 in reply to AGrace

    I have a simple tool I call EAT. Emotion, Acceptance, Time.

    I feel the emotion, acknowledge/accept and then remind myself that as time passes so will the emotion.

    In terms of anxiety in the middle of the night, rather than worrying about being tired, I say to myself that waking up is normal. I use NOT- Tired. Normal, Ordinary and (again) Time. Here's the thinking

    Being anxious is a normal thing. Being anxious is ordinary. As Time passes, so will the anxiety

    9 people found this helpful
  27. HelenM
    HelenM avatar
    312 posts
    22 September 2015

    I don't know if my post is trite and if it is please excuse it. I wonder if when a person gets symptoms and goes to the Dr,  is it feeding the fear. My fear is becoming severely depressed again. I avoid any information to do with this. My gp doesn't think it will happen again. But I'm afraid my mental health isn't robust enough if a big event happens in my life. 

    I really feel for everyone who has this debilitating illness.  Helen x

    5 people found this helpful
  28. HelenM
    HelenM avatar
    312 posts
    22 September 2015

    Just another suggestion. This helps me but might seem silly to some.  I look at life, at people, at centuries and I know that so very many people suffer as we do.  But in different ways. Physical pain.  Loneliness. Refugees. Marital abuse, the list is endless. We are a vast community, suffering together. In a strange way we are one. All of us here are sharing in one and others pain. I can and do care for everyone on here. Also I care for anyone suffering. It wasn't sent to us. We have the misfortune to live with it. 

    I love people and animals and try to show compassion to those I meet each day. Despite my suffering I know inside that I offer a great deal to world. I always wanted to do that, but I 'd thought I' d be able to do it happily. And now I'm going to get a cup of tea and have a good cry. 

    Take care  Helen x

    9 people found this helpful
  29. Mr Potatohead
    Mr Potatohead avatar
    9 posts
    11 October 2015 in reply to AGrace
    I find the progressive muscle relaxation combined with mindfulness. We recorded our CBT guy doing it and I carry it on my phone so it's there when I need. Just takes about 20 minutes. 
    2 people found this helpful
  30. Zoostar84
    Zoostar84 avatar
    40 posts
    20 October 2015
    Something I have done for a very long time is heat up a wheat pack and put it on my forhead whilst watching TV or lying in bed before going to sleep
    4 people found this helpful

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