Ways to calm an anxious mind

Discussion in 'Self Care and Healthy Lifestyles' started by Briezy, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Briezy

    Briezy Well-Known Member

    I have had really terrible anxiety and many times the typical coping skills that we all use for depression do not always help especially when you are having a panic attack or the anxiety is really high. I know that a couple people have found some of my techniques helpful so I though I would right out a list of some of my favorites.

    Butterfly Hug:
    This is one that will make the rational and irrational side of your brain talk to each other. It is also a good distractor.

    Cross your arms over your chest and take turns tapping one hand on your shoulder then the next shoulder. Do this with your eyes closed while just focusing on the tapping.

    Square Breathing:
    This one is great to just calm your breathing and to focus on something you can control.

    Imagine a square in your head. Take a deep breath in for 3 slow counts then hold it for 3 slow counts then exhale taking up 3 whole counts the hold again for 3 slow counts. Continue on in this pattern while tracing the sides of the square with each change of breathing or holding.

    I like this one when I feel really out of control. It reminds me of where I am and what is happening around me.

    Find in the room that you are in:
    5 things you can see
    4 things you can touch
    3 things you can hear
    2 things you can smell
    1 thing you can taste

    The Remote Control:
    I like this one if I am hyper-focusing on something, or if someone is doing something to cause me anguish. This one is not as easy to use so I do not use it very often but it helps when something is bothering me.

    Imagine that you have a remote control that can control anything you can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste. This remote controller is only yours and you are the only one that knows about it. When something is not okay in your world simply turn the volume down or change the channel. If you need to turn the tv off.

    Story Telling:
    This one is fun if you are creative. It is a great distractor especially if you have a little time to devote to it.

    Just like the title says you are going to tell a story, but you have two options of what story to tell.
    Option A) Tell the story of exactly what you are feeling in you body and what is happening in your head. Give each little voice a character and make up a story as to why it is happening. The crazier you make the story the better you will feel.
    Option B) Tell the story of your surroundings. This is one that follows similarly to grounding but is a little different. For this one I like to focus on one person that I can see. It should be a stranger but I am not going to tell you how to live your life. Take this stranger and write everything about them, what they are wearing, what they re doing, how they got there, where they are going next, what their family is like, do they have family. Everything you can think of.
    Option C) Tell the story of you. Do the exact same thing as option B but the person is you. Maybe you can spin this and do it as what you wish you could answer those questions with.

    The Container:
    This one is great if you have a lot on your plate and are worrying about things going on both in and out of your control.

    Imagine a container. it can be any size, shape color, weight, whatever you want. There is only one rule, your container must have a lid. Once you have this container I want you to take one minute and just write about it. mostly describing it. You can draw it if you want just something to make it so that you have a solid image of your container. Then I want you to open your container. Go through and put everything that is worrying you in that container. It can be little things from not having a good hair day to big things like your mental illness. Once you have everything in this container close the container and lock it. You can return to this container any time you want but know that things will never escape from the container they will only come out when you are ready to take care of them.

    Grounding through Drawing:
    This one is nice if you are artistic and feel out of control.

    Draw as detailed of a picture as you can about the place that you are in. Think about how you can represent the textures of the fabrics you are wearing or the couch has. Think about the color of the walls and the color of the light that is shining on you. Is it sunlight, or man made light, warm or cold light. Think about as much detail as you can.

    Another Drawing one:
    I don't have a name for this one but it is just something that I do. It helps me to justify what is going on in my head.

    Take out a pice of paper and draw exactly what it looks like in your mind. Is it a bunch of crazy roads? Are there little people in there? What do you think it looks like in there? I like to then take this one to counseling with me so I can talk it through with a professional and see what they say.

    If you have any others that you would like to share feel free to comment them. Let's make this an ongoing list to help people over come anxiety and all that it comes with. We are STRONG! Start to believe it boys and girls!
  2. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    I often hug myself when I'm feeling sad or lonely.

    Another thing I do is yogic breathing. You close your eyes, cover one nostril and breathe in through one and out through your mouth. Do this several times, then switch, it really has a great impact.

    Another thing I do that is more spiritual is "look for the dark". I cup my hands over my eyes to block out all light. Then I imagine myself in the dark. At this point, you can imagine anything, a deity or a presence, but for me it's looking for the "Dark Mother" who is in fact the Universe. I ask the Dark Mother to hug me, surround me, guide me and take care of me. This is also a very powerful technique for feeling instant comfort and calm.

    One thing we cannot every debate is the comfort of hugging a pet. :)
    Briezy likes this.