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Topic: SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY

  1. Stargirl23
    Stargirl23 avatar
    6 posts
    6 March 2017

    I try to avoid watching the news and not be on social media all the time (because it can all be a bit too much and can also be triggering)

    I do self care- face mask, paint my nails, makeup etc.

    I read a lot, and a variety too. Self help is great particularly for mental wellbeing but also distracting myself with others types- memoir, fiction.

    I do art- draw, paint, doodle, basically create! I love watercolours, it is a very calming medium.

    I use a planner. My memory is terrible and to be organised I have to write things down and keep track of appointments, important things. It seems to help.

    14 people found this helpful
  2. cakeboss
    cakeboss avatar
    91 posts
    11 May 2017 in reply to Trishy67

    I find getting out of bed better when you wake early.I sit with the curtains shut and put my relaxation tape on which a counciler gave me.I was told to put my tape on when the anxiety is at its worse which is mornings for some odd reason.After the relaxation tape i then get in the shower and take my time and try to relax.I find sitting down worse so i try to do anything that i can distract myself from the anxiety.some days are worse i know and its impossible to get going.It sucks but i know i have to wait for the anxiety attack to settle and it does .Im having counciling to stop myself thinking way ahead of myself at things that may not have happened but i think that they are going to .Im working with a counciler to overcome this

    7 people found this helpful
  3. Tiffany1
    Tiffany1 avatar
    26 posts
    6 July 2017 in reply to AGrace

    Everyone has hit on most of the main coping mechanisms I've come across, which is pretty cool. Good to know I'm on the right track.

    I've seen my psychologist and tried to keep using CBT stuff by going through some further reading. Someone here has already suggested Sarah Edelman's stuff, her Change Your Thinking book really did help change my thinking, it's easy to slip back into old patterns, but you just gotta be aware, you can't pick up new thought patterns just like that.

    Overcoming Low Self Esteem by Melanie Fennell - it's a similar deal with this book.

    And I've purchased The Anger Workbook by Les Carter and The Assertiveness Workbook by Randy J Paterson. I'll be able to give an opinion when they come in the mail, very excited for these.

    I have a few people I can call if my anxiety becomes too much. Know who is helpful for you to speak to about your mental health or if you are feeling particularly stressed.

    Hobbies - people mention art here, but after art school I was constantly stressed out whenever I tried to be creative, thanks higher education. I also realised I had no other hobbies, it's ok to only have one hobby, but it's also ok to find more. I still can't draw without the voices coming back, but I've got hobbies I look forward to doing when I have down time from work.

    Animals - I find them very soothing, so I spend time with my dog when I can. I have picked up occasional horse riding, which is the best thing ever. I will take a lap around the pet shop sometimes, or ask to pat people's dogs as they walk by.

    If a bad spell of it hits me, I try surfing the bad thoughts. Watch and accept that there are bad thoughts, can you think of positive alternatives? Yes, great. If not, merely observe the bad thoughts because they are passing through your brain. Thought surfing is also a very cool phrase in my opinion.

    That's all I can think of for now, I look forward to more tips and tricks from everyone.

    6 people found this helpful
  4. Guest_523
    Guest_523 avatar
    70 posts
    13 July 2017 in reply to Tiffany1
    Great post! When I get manic and so on it is hard for me to get off of that train however I do not always want take a sedative I make a huge effort to relax myself. Herb tea, getting lost in a movie. Sometimes though even if I walk 10 kilometers, cut firewood for hours after and cut the lawn, I still struggle with sleep. I do try and be positive. Thanks for your post it is awesome!
    5 people found this helpful
  5. Chelle88
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chelle88 avatar
    4 posts
    16 October 2017

    Great list!

    The ways in which I cope with anxiety are walk within nature, deep breathing and lavender oil. Sounds silly but the smell of lavender oil is so calming. Try putting some on a tissue or hanky and having it handy when feeling anxious it really helps!

    4 people found this helpful
  6. Mrscoasty
    Mrscoasty avatar
    2 posts
    5 November 2017 in reply to MickeyM
    My distraction thought is trying to say the alphabet backwards. Counting back from 100 in 3’s sounds like a good one too.
    5 people found this helpful
  7. gremlinrx7
    gremlinrx7 avatar
    11 posts
    13 November 2017

    Thank you for this thread. I’m new to this anxiety crap and this has helped me enormously. It made me get out my notepad and write down all the tips that seem helpful and also got me to write down my anxiety story for myself.

    I’ve already tried some of the tips here and felt a little calmer.i don’t have any tips to share myself yet but thank you thank you for this thread!

    3 people found this helpful
  8. fringelily
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    fringelily avatar
    27 posts
    27 November 2017

    1. Don't watch the news - I just find it too distressing and anxiety inducing.

    2. Stay off Facebook

    3. Get outside and go for a walk. I always feel better afterwards, even if it's an immense struggle to actually get out of the door in the first place.

    I sat on a bench yesterday next to the river. Just watched the reeds blowing in the wind, and the clouds. I was feeling really jittery in the morning yesterday, but I did feel calmer after going outside.

    6 people found this helpful
  9. KateER
    KateER avatar
    3 posts
    8 December 2017

    My anxiety has been at an all time high of late and I've found that these assist in the process of calming down. I'm still working on finding an answer to quick relief without medication, but I do recommend the following:

    • Brainwaves app - this app can be found on the app store under 'Brainwave 35 Bilingual Programs'. There's over a dozen different programs, including anxiety reduction, morning meditation and deep relaxation. My advice is to stick your earphones in, put the brainwaves part up to 100% and the sound you choose to about 50% and focus on your breathing. The brainwaves really do help.
    • Eat ice cubes - I do this especially when my anxiety turns into nausea. I'm not sure why it helps; could be because I'm hydrating myself or the coldness distracts me.
    • Lavender oil - I've got a headache blend with lavender, rosemary and peppermint and I usually dab a little bit on my nose so I can smell it for a while.
    • Writing down how you're feeling - I've only started this during the past week and keeping a journal isn't something I ever did, but my god it helps. I feel like it helps to expel all of your thoughts and feelings so they're out in the open and not bottled up inside. I tend to just write down whatever comes to mind. It can be sporadic thoughts or follow a certain train.
    • Headspace app - a bloody god send. I'm only on the free one at the moment due to financial difficulties, but they have this daily 3 minute meditation which really helps setting myself up for the day.
    • Muscle Tension - I tend to tense certain muscle groups and relax them. I think this may help because you're releasing that pent up tension or stress through muscle contractions, but either way, it's effective. Just don't squeeze too hard because I pulled a glute this morning.
    • Exercise and diet - I love strength and weights training and whenever I'm feeling a little extra anxious, I lift a little heavier. Trust me, it's hard to focus on your anxiety when you're lifting 40kgs. I don't do much cardio, but I know it produces amazing endorphins and (especially during running) you're forced to breath deep. I've limited a lot of food that causes a feeling of nausea or uneasiness for me, such as gluten, refined sugar, fried or fatty foods and some dairy. I tend to eat a lot of whole foods with high nutritional content.
    • Breath deep - easier said than done, but I recommend the Calm app which guides you through deep breathing.

    Good luck!

    12 people found this helpful
  10. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5957 posts
    14 December 2017 in reply to Rango
    Hi everyone, this is a thread for sharing your self-help tips for managing anxiety. If you would like some support from the community on how to manage your anxiety, then please start a new thread so we can keep this thread focused on solutions.
    4 people found this helpful
  11. Jason71
    Jason71 avatar
    1 posts
    21 January 2018 in reply to AGrace
    How does safe place mental imagery work?
    2 people found this helpful
  12. GreenTea&Honey
    GreenTea&Honey avatar
    22 posts
    23 January 2018

    Hey! This thread is awesome :)

    For me, exercise is a really proactive way of coping with my anxiety. There's something about it that focuses my mind away from the anxiety and calms me. Keeping a regular exercise routine really helps me even when I'm coping well because I know I'm proactively helping myself, and also because I know there will remain something untouched by my anxiety when I'm not dealing well. It helps me remember that not everything is affected by my anxiety, that there are other important things outside of it that I can still have control over - like keeping my body healthy.

    A hobby of something that makes you feel good. And I don't necessarily mean something physical this time, but something that makes you feel good about your mind. Something that, again, reminds me that my anxiety isn't the only thing of note about my brain. For me, this is writing stories. I have always loved stories (in every form - books, tv, movies, comic books, everything) and their ability to absorb me, and now creating something that I love, that engages a different part of my mind, and that I feel proud of is profoundly beneficial. It reminds me that my mind - our minds - are a beautiful thing.

    Animals were my first love and they are an immediately calming presence when my anxiety flares. I'm lucky because I have three pets, but obviously not everyone does. Maybe spend time with a friend and their pet, visit an animal shelter, even cute funny videos may help. Find what works for you :)

    I haven't tried it yet, but I really like the suggestion of going backwards through the alphabet and counting back from 100 in 3s. I imagine it could be really helpful in the middle of a panic attack.

    Best wishes!

    4 people found this helpful
  13. YB
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    YB avatar
    1 posts
    7 March 2018

    What I've been telling myself lately,

    Giving yourself the permission to withdraw from the space that is causing the anxiety. To a certain extent, I believe anxiety stems from us being to attached to things and invested in situations, which tricks us into confusion and steer us away from the good things we originally intended to achieve.

    Writing your thoughts down on paper, I find it pretty useful especially if anxiety is distracting you from getting work done. I just have a piece of paper beside my desktop, label it "rubbish in my head" and just dump whatever irrelevant thoughts in point form.

    Observe your own pattern of thoughts. Once I've become conscious of what I'm thinking of, I find it a lot easier to identify the traps and loopholes. From there, I can slowly work towards that one day where I can see them clearly and make the conscious effort to walk around them.

    4 people found this helpful
  14. Ruby44
    Ruby44 avatar
    6 posts
    12 March 2018

    Yoga has really helped me, some days I feel like a completely different person after yoga! Even on the worst days I leave the class feeling calm and strong. I try to get out for a break from work for a walk which is nice to physically get away from the chaos.

    Reducing sugar and caffeine has really helped. I notice now when I have a caffeine or a lot of sugar how much it affects me now (I feel on edge and sometimes get headaches). It can be hard since the things everyone suggests to cut down (sugar, caffeine, alcohol) are the things that you often reach for when feeling stressed or tired!

    Meditating morning and night has been good too.

    The hardest thing I find is getting through the work day I find so if anyone has tips for easy things to do throughout the day that would be great :)

    3 people found this helpful
  15. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    5777 posts
    12 March 2018 in reply to Ruby44

    Think that I posted this in the mindfulness section, but a deep breathing exercise is helpful.

    10 deep breathes in through the nose and out the mouth. Do it very slowly. Breathing in good air and expelling bad air slowly. If your mind drifts, thats OK. Just bring your focus back to your breath. Feel it entering your body.

    6 people found this helpful
  16. Ebbet21
    Ebbet21 avatar
    2 posts
    6 April 2018

    plan simple and I encourage anyone who suffers panic attacks or some form of anxiety to try

    panic attack is a thought , it will not HURT you. Think that and next time you get one stand there and take it, enjoy it. More you run away and scared of them the more they follow you and yes go and put yourself in those situations that trigger panic attacks and I guarantee they will lessen and even diapers. The worst thing to do is run away

    anxiety mine is at it highest first thing and only going into work.

    Solution - exercise first thing in the morning it really does wonders, I find the more I face my fears the less anxiety I get.

    If you do want to go down the med route I fully encourage seeing a natural path and get your bloods done and adrenals as things may be out of whack.

    anxiety and panic attack in my opinion should be addressed without medication. As your just masking it. Abit of courage and will power goes a long way.

    3 people found this helpful
  17. Chloe_M
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Chloe_M avatar
    836 posts
    10 April 2018

    Hi guys,

    I have this app called "Calm"- the full version costs $54.99, but the 'lite' version is free. It has loads of mindfulness meditation courses that go for 10 minutes a session. I also downloaded ReachOut Breathe and ReachOut WorryTime. They are also free.

    Hope this helped someone

    Chloe

    3 people found this helpful
  18. Dez86
    Dez86 avatar
    2 posts
    14 April 2018 in reply to Ruby44
    Have you tried kava tablets from a chemist or health food store? I find they work well.
    1 person found this helpful
  19. Dez86
    Dez86 avatar
    2 posts
    14 April 2018 in reply to Ebbet21
    Do you mind me asking if the naturopath gave you something after looking through your bloods and adrenal results?
    1 person found this helpful
  20. NicolaC
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    NicolaC avatar
    4 posts
    10 May 2018

    Love seeing all the coping mechanisms, many which I have tried or currently do. The thing that has helped me the most which many people surrounding me find very interesting, is that whenever I feel anxious or am experiencing a panic attack, the only thing that calms me is chewing gum. Once i start chewing my symptoms subside... I have many theories on why this is, I'd love to hear yours.

    I also have seen one woman having to suck a baby milk bottle to get her symptoms to subside.

    Interesting what really helps us all!

    1 person found this helpful
  21. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    demonblaster avatar
    7561 posts
    26 June 2018
    Hey all just tagging for now ☺
  22. adobes
    adobes avatar
    1 posts
    5 July 2018 in reply to Stargirl23

    I have recently become unwell and now suffer anxiety.

    I started drawing with my son then colouring in the characters. My son loves it he picks out the characters for me to draw. I never knew it could be so relaxing.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    demonblaster avatar
    7561 posts
    9 July 2018 in reply to Jason71

    Hi Jason a belated welcome and to several other new posters here ☺

    I don't know if you found out so if not I'll repeat your question. Interesting.

    "How does safe place mental imagery work?"

    I've heard various versions of breathing. Recently this one I like.

    3's easy.

    Breathe. In 3 times & Out 3 times

    On exhale say to yourself RELAX. This has been proven to help. I've physically felt my shoulders relaxing amidst other reasons no doubt.

    The keys are;

    • FOCUS; only on breathing. Keep redirecting your thoughts. It soon becomes automatic.
    • SLOWLY; this has a calming effect and gets the oxygen in.

    Later you might like to feel the air enter your lungs and sense the stress leaving your body on exhale.

  24. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    11 July 2018

    Hello everyone

    Thank you all for your wonderful ideas for reducing anxiety. Reading through this thread there are so many different ways people are managing their anxiety while continuing to live their lives.

    I'd like to use this opportunity to bring the thread to the top of the post on a regular basis to make it easier to find when people do a google search for managing anxiety.

    What have you found works for you to manage anxiety?

    My own experience is -

    • number one helper is slow, controlled, focussed breathing. In fact, it is about the only thing that stops my racing heart. One explanation for this is because when you breathe deeply into your diaphragm, you actually trigger a mechanism to counteract the adrenaline racing through your body.
    • number two helper is to identify the cause of the anxiety. Generally it's because i've been triggered. It use to take me ages to identify, but my most recent psychologist has given me the tools to do this more quickly. It's as easy as listening to the instaneous changes to your body. That is immediately you are triggered there are physiological changes. When you recognise this change, immediately identify what your thoughts are at that time. Inevitably my thoughts are negative - I've done something wrong, how could I be so stupid, why did I do that, how could I have possibly done that, that person hates me. The challenge is to make sense of these thoughts. Where did they come from, why do i think that. To - these thoughts are not right, not helpful, no evidence to support them.

    I think I've made it sound easy. It's not, it takes a lot of work, self reflection, building of self esteem, selfworth and self confidence. All this takes time!

    What are your tips?

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

    1 person found this helpful
  25. TheatreGal
    TheatreGal avatar
    10 posts
    16 July 2018 in reply to AGrace

    So many great ideas in this thread!

    My latest distraction tool when at home alone and feeling the anxiety rising for no immediately apparent reason (as it sometimes can!) is jigsaw puzzling! Very good for focusing the mind... now where does this piece go?

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Morgan241191
    Morgan241191 avatar
    9 posts
    31 July 2018

    Great posts!

    Some of the ways in which I cope with stress and anxiety are:

    1. Listening to music

    2. Talking with a friend that is going through similar things

    3. Watching TV or YouTube

    4. Reading a book

    5. Waking up early and having a hearty breakfast

    1 person found this helpful
  27. AquaDiamond
    AquaDiamond avatar
    7 posts
    12 August 2018 in reply to AGrace

    Hello All,

    I wanted to share a couple books/ apps/ tools with you all that I swore by when first experienced anxiety 10 years ago.

    They are by an author called Barry Mcdonagh. He is an inspiration and has dealt with anxiety himself.

    10 years ago he released a book called

    *Panic Away*

    including cds that you could listen to. I found it such a help back then.

    I have just discovered and working through a book he has recently released called

    *Dare*

    containing access to a free app containing further techniques and mindfulness tools to assist with the techniques mentioned in the book.

    I relate and understand his technique very much and the way he helps you overcome individual sensations is unreal.

    HIGHLY recommend both books

    In addition to the book *Dare* there is a work book you can purchase to work through the journey.

    Recap

    Author: Barry Mcdonagh

    Panic Away

    Dare

    Dare Workbook

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Chloe_M
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Chloe_M avatar
    836 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to AquaDiamond

    Hey Aqua

    Thanks for posting those suggestions. I am sure they will help lots of people :)

    Also, welcome to the forums! From what I can tell you are new here :) glad to have you around

    If you have any other personal tips feel free to share them! What works for you could benefit someone else reading this thread.

    Also, if you have a thread maybe you could post the link/thread name so I can check it out

    x Chloe

    1 person found this helpful
  29. AquaDiamond
    AquaDiamond avatar
    7 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to Chloe_M

    Hi Chloe

    Thankyou for your reply.

    I hope these resources help others.

    My thread is 'I'm new....Anxiety setbacks under welcome and orientation.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. KiiKii
    KiiKii avatar
    4 posts
    13 August 2018 in reply to Stargirl23

    I agree with minimising social media. I deleted the facebook app from my phone (I still have messenger) so I'm not checking it all the time. I just check it for a few 5 minute blocks at night. Feels a lot better and I'm not stressing about missing out. It also means I don't check facebook before bed anymore, so I wind down a bit more before sleep.

    I also like using an organiser. I have an app called Wunderlist. I syncs with my computer, I use it for work (I often have a lot of little tasks at work), you can set due dates etc. I feel calmer when things are organised that way :)

    2 people found this helpful

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