We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the most mind-blowing thing a therapist has ever told them.
Here are some of the words of wisdom readers seeking therapy for help with anxiety shared. (And remember, these tips aren't replacements for going to therapy for yourself — they're just pieces of advice that some people found helpful, and you might too.)
1. Give yourself permission to leave situations and take a breather.
2. When anxiety starts setting in, write down full names.
3. If anxiety keeps you up at night, get out of bed so you don't come to associate those feelings with a space meant for sleep.
4. Don't try to fight irrational anxious feelings — acknowledge them and know that it's okay to feel that way.
5. Or, if it works better for you, debate with your anxiety and come up with logical arguments against your fears.
6. Instead of inhaling and exhaling deeply during anxiety attacks, try breathing to the rhythm of nursery rhymes.
7. Ground yourself by making obvious observations about the world around you.
8. Or use the 3-3-6 technique, where you breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, the let it out for 6 seconds.
9. Make to-do lists to make the overwhelming feel more manageable.
10. Walk yourself through all the worst-case scenarios that make you anxious.
11. Give yourself a set amount of time to be as anxious and worried as you want — then force yourself to stop and move on.
12. Challenge yourself to do the things your anxiety tells you not to.
13. If you get anxious about being watched or judged, take time to observe how often other people actually pay attention to what you're doing.
14. Try to think of your anxiety like an (admittedly overdramatic) ally that helps keep you alive.
15. Give as much time to best-case scenarios as you do to worst-case scenarios.
16. Remind yourself that a panic attack won't kill you.
17. Find your own version of the old "picture everyone in their underwear" trick that makes you laugh.
18. Try the TIPPs technique.
19. Reframe your anxiety by telling yourself that whatever is making you anxious is actually something to be excited about.
20. Worry about things one hour at a time.
21. Start an "anxiety drawing" you add to little by little every time you feel anxious.
22. Put together an anxiety box for when you need help coping.
Anna Borges is a health writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Anna Borges at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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