Consider this the James & Jax cheat sheet for getting rid of anxiety. That’s what I’m going to do! The reason I created this page is because I experience occasional days where I cannot shake the anxiety and need a reminder of the things that have worked for me in the past. I’ve had anxiety my entire life, so I’ve come up with a bunch of tactics for overcoming it. The problem is remembering those tactics when I’m in the throes of anxiety! Thus, this handy dandy blog page.

If you have any tactics that have worked for you, please leave a comment & I will add them to the list!

When you’re in the thick of it:

  • Distract yourself. Here is a list of ways you can do this.
  • Go get some exercise, even if it’s only a 10-minute walk.
  • Get thee to a swing! Find a playground and squish your butt onto a swing. Put your head back and look up at the sky as you swing. It is impossible to feel anything other than joy in this.
  • Spritz some Rescue Remedy (aka, “yoga in a bottle”) right into your mouth!
  • Use some lavender oil (or hand lotion).
  • Drink a cup of lemon tea (really, drink any herbal tea). My favorite is Yogi Calming tea. It really works.
  • Take a bubble bath. Better yet, bring a book into the bubble bath. Still better, bring a few chunks of dark chocolate (to eat, silly).
  • If the anxiety is really bad, it’s OK to use TV to zone out until it passes. Just beware of shows/movies that may make it worse (ahem, I’m talking to you A Baby Story).
  • Meditate or try a body scan (see below). Don’t forget this mantra: “I can choose peace instead of this.”
  • Look at pictures of your cute baby. Think of him singing “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
  • Practice mindful breathing. Try the 4-7-8 breath.
  • Do not use the words “always” and “never.” They aren’t true.
  • Remember, this will pass. An anxiety attack is temporary. You can do anything for an hour!
  • It’s OK to schedule a therapy appointment if needed.
  • List in detail all the sounds you hear around you.
  • Talk to your #PPDchat friends (or any supportive group or person).
  • Say something really kind to yourself, as you would to someone else going through this.
  • Do not catastrophize.
  • Read this.
  • Use distraction. Keep your brain busy.
  • Doodle or color. If you prefer to doodle on your iPad, check out the Paper 53 app.
  • Turn on music. Better yet, dance (even though you may not want to).
  • Read the tips offered on the Anxiety Pyramid at http://www.conqueranxiety.com/Anxiety_Pyramid.pdf

These are tips contributed by Helen Crawford (one of my #PPDchat friends; her website is http://helenfergusoncrawford.com/home.html):

  • Sit outside for 5 to 10 minutes and close your eyes and listen to your world.
  • Find a poem or quote that empowers you and read it every morning until you do not need it any more.
  • carry a small camera around and make an image diary to remind yourself of the beautiful things you see each day.
  • Watch the sky. Watch the clouds move. Remember you are part of that.
  • Take three things OFF your to do list everyday.
  • Sleep.
  • Yoga corpse pose for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Feel what you feel without judging. (This takes work.) Like, I feel the physical symptoms of anxiety, and keep doing things.
  • Doodle/diary. Coloring books. Great when you feel anxious. Diverts thoughts to your hand and an activity.
  • Earplugs. People suffering from depression have a sensitivity to normal loud sound.

Things you should do all the time:

  • Stick with decaf coffee. It’s OK to splurge once in a while on the good stuff, but try to stick with decaf when possible. Half caff is ok once in a while, too.
  • Take 1000 mg of fish oil (omega 3) daily. Aim for a ratio of 7:1 (EPA:DHA) or close to it. (Warning: If you are taking antidepressants, please check with your health care provider before taking this or any other supplement, as it may be contraindicated.)
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Sleep when you can. But not too much!
  • Eat lots of nuts, fruits, vegetables, unprocessed foods; don’t eat lots of processed foods or sugar.
  • Sunlight! Get some! In fact, get lots of it! (Wear sunblock in the summer.)
  • Set a new goal. Be specific.
  • Practice positive thinking, whatever that means for you.
  • Try meditation. If guided meditation feels better for you, search for a “body scan” on YouTube.
  • Banish the quest for perfectionism. Anything less than perfect is NOT a failure. Review I’m Doing It Right bloghop posts! Allow good enough to be good enough!
  • Care less about what others think (of you).
  • Stop “shoulding” all over yourself.
  • Give thanks more. Try the Gratitude! app if you have a smartphone.
  • Always remember this: You usually underestimate yourself & others. Give yourself & others more credit.
  • Be kind to yourself.

If you’re reading this page for someone you love, please also see this post: What to Say to Someone Having Anxiety.

 

23 Comments

  1. Great page. When I’m actually having an anxiety attach, I call a friend or my husband. Just to say it out loud – a quick conversation is usually enough to allow it to pass.
    MamaRobinJ recently posted..Thoughts from the RoadTrip

  2. This is a good list. I need to bookmark it

  3. Don’t make me give up my coffee!!!! NO! I NEED it! But other than that, I appreciate the ideas.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety right now. PTSD leftover from the early part of this pregnancy. These tips really help. Something else that’s helping me is listening to my self-hypnosis CDs. Sounds kind of corny, but it really seems to be making a difference.

    • Molly, that’s not corny at all! Whatever works is great! Thanks for posting it so that maybe others will try self-hypnosis, too!

  5. This…..was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  6. This is a great list! Thank you, I’m bookmarking this.

  7. Thanks for all the great info here. I will be back to read some more soon.

  8. Nice Post, Thanks for that awesome posting.

  9. I love what you are teaching readers here on axiety treatment. Any daily exercise possible can really calm anxiety, especially cardio fitness or yoga. A woman owes it to herself and her family to be healthy and happy without any guilt for taking time to exercise.

    Dennae

  10. Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

  11. Today I remembered an old trick that I often use when I’m stressed or suffering from the cold chills of anxiety. It only takes a minute. If you have time to do this in the shower, it’s the best, but it can be done on dry land as well: Stand with eyes closed and arms wrapped around yourself in a big self-loving hug. Let the water flow over your head. Take a huge, deep, sighing breath. If you don’t have time or access to a shower, imagine fragrant flower petals in your favorite color floating down around you and caressing your head. On each is written: I am loveable. I am worthy.

  12. Thank you for this post! Some ideas I never thought of.

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  14. Well no doubt you are right when you say that we must remember the things that help us feel better, then I want to share 5 tips that currently apply to me feel much better, in fact sometimes achieved eh rid of anxiety altogether.

    1. Regulate your intake of stimulants. Caffeine and sugar top this list, but it also includes excessive time spent watching the news or in front of your computer screen.

    2. Regular exercise is essential and one of your best defenses. Get out for a walk, run or ride a bike three to five times a week, or anything to get your blood moving and heart rate up.

    3. Slow, deep breathing can provide useful anxiety relief within minutes. With both feet grounded on the floor, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply into your abdomen for two minutes. You will notice your pulse slow and your mind quiet.

    4. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, as championed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others, is well-researched for its effectiveness in reducing anxiety.

    5.Counseling is often a key way to get at the root cause. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of many therapeutic approaches that a licensed therapist can use to identify and resolve triggers for anxiety.
    Gian Carlo | Como Controlar La Ansiedad recently posted..como manejar la ansiedad sin medicamentos

  15. There’s lots of baby activity gear out there, and baby swings are one of the most popular baby items you can find. Baby swings are a great way for babies and parents to take a break, but they aren’t a necessity like car seats and cribs are. For some, the decision to buy a baby swing is easy, but for parents on a budget or with little space in the home, the choice isn’t as easy. If you’re stuck between whether to buy extra baby gear, like a baby swing, or not, read on to learn the top 5 reasons to buy baby swings, and maybe the decision will become easier.*

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  16. Your website is better and available all time The content are realy uniqe the comments are very useful
    The comments are interested me. I hope the this type of comment we get next day
    1. Regulate your intake of stimulants. Caffeine and sugar top this list, but it also includes excessive time spent watching the news or in front of your computer screen

  17. Hi Jamie – love the go with decaf remark! really, people drink so much caffeine it makes them jittery! I’ve been off caffeine for a long time, but sometimes it sneaks back in and I lose sleep!
    Kathy Morelli recently posted..Board Member for the March of Dimes Northern Division New Jersey Board of Directors

  18. Excellent tips! I’m not sure if distraction being at the top of the list was on purpose, but it definitely was my number one way to start to get rid of my symptoms. The more distractions the better, once you can distract yourself enough to break that cycle of anxiety, normal life can begin to creep back in and and you can begin down the road to recovery. I know first hand how terrible anxiety can be and I suffered from panic attacks as well and wouldn’t wish any of that on my worst enemy. I hope that you and everyone here that suffers from anxiety finds a solution that works for them so that you can get back to enjoying life!
    Jessica recently posted..Linden Method Reviews – Anxiety Cure?

  19. I think this is a great list of ideas to help reduce anxiety. Some of my favourites are:
    - practicing deep breathing or mindful breathing;
    - getting exercise, like taking a walk (preferably on a regular basis);
    - distracting activities (e.g., reading, drawing, counting backwards by 7s from 1000 when you are having trouble sleeping);
    - writing your worries in a journal so they don’t have to be keep ruminating about them;
    - talking and/or spending time with someone you love (e.g., a friend, partner, pet, etc).

    I also am an advocate of creating a worry jar, especially for children. This is a place where you put your worries and seal the jar to contain them. Then you schedule worry time which is 10-15 minutes where you can look at your worries before putting them away again until the next worry time. I wrote a post about this technique on my blog.
    Dr. Stephanie recently posted..The Teenage Brain: Understanding Adolescents and Their Risky Behaviours

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