If you suffer from anxiety you know how debilitating it can be. Shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, racing thoughts, dissociation, and insomnia, while not life threatening, are scary and have long term consequences on your health. I’ve dealt with anxiety my entire life and, while I haven’t managed to cure myself of it, I have learned some ways that help me manage it so I can get on with things. I hope that this list of anxiety tips and tricks I have found to be helpful are useful for you.
I am a reluctant exerciser at best. It’s never been something I enjoy. Over the last two years though, I have learned that it the most effective way for me to deal with acute anxiety and so I have been pushing myself to run, go to the gym, and exercise at home. Exercise helps generally by making it easier to sleep and improving my mood, but it also is incredibly effective at stopping a full blown anxiety attack in its tracks. I know there’s a lot of science behind that, but for me it comes down to replacing one physical sensation with another. Instead of feeling panic (my catch all description for all the symptoms I listed in the first paragraph) you feel physically exerted. This is absolutely my number one anxiety tip.
Writing it down
Hi! I’m Poutine and I’m a catastrophizer. For example, when I’m lying in bed at night unable to sleep I’ll start thinking about how I’m not going to be able to go to work the next day, which means that I will get fired, which means that I will not be able to pay my rent, which means that I will become homeless, which means that I will die.
I’ve found that writing down my thoughts before going to bed really helps in allowing me to sleep. I think of it as a mind dump. I write down all the terrible things that I think will happen and then write down all the reasons why they won’t. It helps to clear the mind and ready it for sleep.
Mammalian Diving Response
This is a weird one. I learned about it fairly recently and was skeptical but I tried it and it helped. When we dive into water a couple things happen:
- heart rate slows; and,
- blood vessels narrow and blood flow is reduced to the limbs so that the heart and brain get more oxygen.
What that basically means is that your system is shocked into relaxing. Sounds weird right? You can do this at home by filling a bowl with cold water and immersing your face in it for 15-30 seconds. It helped me!
Weighted Anxiety Blanket
My last tip is to use a weighted blanket. Mine was kindly gifted to me by Rocabi and I adore it. I don’t know about you, but I have always liked to have weight on me when I’m sleeping. Maybe it’s because I live in a cold climate, but I love snuggling under a heavy pile of blankets. Weighted blankets simulate the sensation of being held while you sleep and help you to sleep more deeply and for longer. They also help your body produce increased serotonin which has a calming effect. Rocabi weighted blankets come with soft, snuggly duvet covers that are machine washable and attach to the blanket with snaps so that there is no bunching. I use mine when I’m relaxing on the couch as well as on my bed. If you have problems with anxiety I think a weighted blanket is a good investment.
So there you have it, my top tips for managing anxiety. I hope you found this list of anxiety tips and tricks helpful. If you have any tips that I’ve missed please do share them in the comments!
This post is not sponsored, however, the weighted blanket was provided to me by Rocabi for review. This post contains affiliate links. When you shop via the links above I may make commission on a sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Poutine and Prada! As always, all opinions are my own.