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Thread: What do you do to calm yourself down when you're anxious?

  1. #11
    You have a choice! Array 21%'s Avatar
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    May 2009


    Distractions tend to make my problems worse. I usually pace around, drink iced water and make a plan on how to deal with the cause of my anxiety. I'm such a J.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #12
    Member Array Lexus's Avatar
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    Nov 2011


    My anxiety doesn't arrive until I have nothing else to distract myself with, therefore it usually shows itself when I lay in bed. It takes an hour for me to fall asleep usually and turn the brain off where that time is spent just, picking up random thoughts anywhere.

    I tend to take on a great deal of stress in my life and overlook it and I know this well about myself, so when I am anxious consider that foremost. My anxiety usually starts to focus on health based issues; heart rate, breathing, etc. Until I freak myself out. I grew up with frequent panic attacks, now being an adult I know my anxiety as a child was due to my ability to observe EVERYTHING and analyze it to death, simply because I enjoy knowing things. That and a lot of other things.

    It's funny, I'll go into near death situations happily, because I seek the adrenaline rush..but freak myself out at bed time, when my thoughts absorb me. Therefore, walking or bike riding doesn't help me like it should most anxious types. I still have to sit, eventually, I'll have to think without anything to distract me. I've learned my anxiety is an illusion. When I worry about things I have no immediate influence on; fixed income, car accidents, death of a family member, something disturbing I saw, obligations next day, having to wake early for work, etc - my brain worries because it thinks if it obsesses over everything, it can control it.

    The best way for me to deal with my anxiety is to think about what is really bothering me, that my life is stressful and I take on too much at once and also, I either need to not "meander' in thought at bedtime and get over myself, or "let everything go"..and it works. To a degree. Anxiety is like any other feeling or symptom be it happiness, hunger, sadness, tired,'s a sign that something is affecting you, it's secondary..therefore I see it like a mystery to be solved. Whatever is bothering you can be resolved and if not, maybe a doctor is best lol.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Array Vizzy's Avatar
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    Jul 2011


    Haven't really thought about this before.
    Whether it's a job interview, driving test or speech, I don't know if I actually deal with the anxiousness itself. I'd keep thinking about/anticipating/focusing my attention on the task at hand.

    In order to feel calm about an interview, I would review my notes and rehearse to feel prepared enough. That's how I combat anxiousness. Distractions, words of affirmation or scented baths won't do anything.
    Reserved RCUEI

  4. #14
    meinmeinmein! Array mmhmm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    i have to call somebody up.
    then just talk and talk and talk.
    to just get it out of my system.

    or take a xanax.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  5. #15


    Eat, sleep, physical activity, talk, listen to music.

  6. #16
    Junior Member Array ArghJo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012


    Deep breathing
    I distract myself I guess :s and it makes it worse.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx


    confront the anxiety causing issue by feeling the anxiety and analyzing the causes(and my relation to the problem). i really dislike the idea of suppressing it by distracting myself, i think it will just bury it deeper and it coming up whether i want it or not at some point
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  8. #18
    Superwoman Array Red Herring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    5w4 sp/sx


    Long answer:
    It depends on what is causing the anxiety.

    If I am really exited about something, positive or negative, it helps to externalize the emotion by sharing it with somebody or blogging or journaling about it (in that order). Studies also show that swearing helps reduce stress and pain (as long as you don't overuse it and become accustomed to it, then the effectv wears off)

    If I just had a fight the best thing is to withdraw, go for a walk and calm down, flush the stress hormones out of the system and become calm and rational again before I continue the conversation. In that context, reading or watching tv won't help, but walking or doing a productive manual task like washing the dishes (a classic for me!) helps a lot. Talking to somebody else might also be an option.

    If it is anxiety before a test or interview or a difficult job, I seldom get that but usually focus completely on being in good shape (making sure I slept well and had a good breakfast for once) and review notes until the last minute so I can feel like I did all I could to be prepared.

    If it is a more general, abstract anxiety or angst - my main fear is being incompetent and therefor dying poor and lonely under a bridge - I can either a) use distraction through reading or watching something that will occupy my mind, especially browsing a bookshelf, touching the books and scamming the dustjackets does wonders for me!!! or do the opposite and b) face the fear head on by doing something productive that will reduce the risk of dying poor and lonely under a bridge (like writing bills, doing my taxes, researching professional alternatives and new customers, etc), that way I feel more in control of things. Talking does not help here, at least not much.

    Short answer:
    Taking a walk, distraction through reading or talking about it and anaylizing it to death
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  9. #19


    In no particular order: Spending time with people, getting outside, exercising, prayer, creative visualisation, playing guitar.

  10. #20
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    7 sx/so


    physical activities or music, or just being outside more for a change of view

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