17 Offbeat Ways People Relieve Their Anxiety
A lively discussion popped up on Reddit when someone posed the question,”What’s your best anxiety relieving technique?” to the site’s “Ask Women” subreddit. Reddit users quickly began submitting the tactics they use to self-soothe, and we loved hearing about the unconventional ways they practice self-care.
We decided to compile some of our favorite out-of-the-box responses to see if any resonate with you, too. Take a look:
1. “Coloring books for adults are seriously amazing.”
2. “Audiobooks. [They give] my mind something to focus on instead of the repetitive thoughts I get when I’m anxious.”
3. “Knitting. Usually my anxiety is triggered away from home, so I bring a small knitting project with me everywhere I go. I consider it on-the-go self-care.”
4. “I clean. Seriously clean.”
7. “If I find that I’m freaking out over something, I have to distract myself. Optional ideas are to try to name all of the U.S. presidents or recite the prime numbers backwards from 100, or to count things like light posts or street signs or the number of vowels in a paragraph.”
8. “The act of taking my hair down and then braiding it always soothes me. So does someone else braiding or brushing my hair.”
9. “Cooking. I can really lose myself in cooking; it’s great.”
11. “Making lists. I start with the huge stuff I want to accomplish, then list all the little individual steps I need to take. It gives me a starting point for getting big stuff done, and checking little things off feels so good.”
13. “Wiggling! When I feel anxiety in my chest [and] it’s really bad, I’ll put on a song and literally dance it out. I pretend that I’m physically pulling the anxiety out of my chest, pull it or shake it out of my fingertips and slam it on the ground. This method has gotten me out of a lot of panic attacks.”
14. “Totally counterintuitive, but [listening to] death metal… I listen to other genres of metal all the time, but don’t really enjoy death metal unless I am anxious.”
15. “Building a blanket fort.”
16. “Playing “Candy Crush” on the toilet (with the music). Seriously.”
17. “I sit down and sequentially tap each finger of my right hand to my thumb to a 6/8 beat, and I match my breathing to every time my index finger touches my thumb… And Taylor Swift has dragged me out of more than a few panic attacks.”
Do you have an out of the box technique for relieving anxiety? Tell us about it in the comments.
*Some responses have been shortened and edited.