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    36 Simple Ways To Quiet Your Anxiety

    These ideas might help you find some peace the next time your mind and heart start racing.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their tips for how they make their own anxiety feel smaller and more manageable. Here's some of what they had to say.

    1. Blow some bubbles.

    Rachel Pasch / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: rachelpasch

    I carry a small bottle of liquid bubble soap in my purse with me. If I start having a panic attack in public, I find a private place (bathroom stall, outside the back door, etc.) and blow bubbles. It helps me slow down my breathing, forces me to take deep breaths, and gives me something to focus on.


    2. Make a to-do list.

    3. Go for a walk.

    4. Refocus your attention.

    Sasajo / Getty Images

    Something that helps me overcome anxiety attacks, especially in public places where I can't find a private place to calm down, is to play this game in my head. The game involves breaking down the sensations, smells, and sounds around me while practicing breathing exercises. For example, in a classroom I will isolate (one at a time) the sound of pencils dragging across paper, the air conditioner humming, the footsteps of a classmate, and the rustling of someone searching through their backpack. I will pay attention to the coolness of my desk, and note the fragrance of the perfume I am wearing. Isolating each aspect of my surroundings one by one is soothing, allowing me to take my mind off of a stressful situation and focus on the tiny details in my life.

    —Danielle Gonzalez, via Facebook

    5. Tidy up.

    6. Acknowledge your feelings.

    Lofilolo / Getty Images

    Before things start to escalate, I'll say to myself, "You are feeling anxious." Just acknowledging that this is a feeling that I feel just like happiness or sadness, brings me back to reality.

    —Robin Winterson Metzler, via Facebook

    7. Pet a furry friend.

    8. Remind yourself that you've been here before.

    De Santis Paolo / Getty Images

    When I feel myself getting really anxious, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and tell myself that I've felt this way before and survived it. If I got through it that time, I know I can get through it again. It's a comforting thought :)

    Michelle Regna

    9. Channel your breathing.

    10. Tell yourself that you're safe.

    11. Solve a puzzle.

    12. Be kind to yourself.

    13. Use an app.


    I *highly* recommend the app called "Self-help Anxiety Management" or "SAM." This is a great free app for both Android and iPhone users for tracking, understanding, and overcoming anxiety. The easy-to-use program will help you examine the sources of your anxiety, and give you tips and exercises to overcome those anxieties. There are also discreet activities and games in-app that can pull you out of an anxiety attack during times when you can't find a quiet place to relax.

    —Danielle Gonzalez, via Facebook

    You may also want to check out these apps, which can all help you calm down.

    14. Treat your anxiety like it’s separate from you.

    Andris / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: avatar_lv

    I treat my anxiety as if it's a separate being. In my head I do my best to calm it down and reassure it — if I'm alone I'll even occasionally talk to it aloud if I'm feeling scared enough — and somehow this helps me calm myself down at the same time.

    —Rhiannon Grainger, via Facebook

    15. Doodle in a notebook.

    16. Take care of your physical needs.

    Mandy Jansen / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: drh

    Don't focus on what's freaking you out. Take care of your physical needs first. Haven't showered/shaved? Do it. Dishes? Done. Laundry? Folded and put away. Small real-world accomplishments help bring me out of my head and back to reality. It's also really uplifting to feel clean and sexy once in a while. Feel free to pamper yourself when cleaning. Bath bomb away. Homemade spa days are the greatest.

    —Holly Drummond, via Facebook

    17. Schedule your worry.

    18. Lie on your stomach, or give yourself a hug.

    Keirsten Marie / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: starsalive

    If I'm home, I Iie down flat on my front side. I don't know why, but it soothes me having my chest/torso compressed. If I'm not at home and can't lie down, I just sit down and sort of crouch over and hug myself.

    —Jamie Miller, via Facebook

    19. Focus on your safe space.

    Le Souk / Via

    I've had a therapist help me create a "safe place." It's a place you think of that's real or imaginary where you feel safe and content. Once you have this place established you mentally place yourself there whenever you're feeling overwhelmed. I also use my bed as a safe place. It's where I go at the end of the day and pretend that everything that's making me anxious can't reach me there.


    Here are some tips for how to make your bed the coziest place on Earth, if it helps.

    20. Drink a glass of water.

    Rikard Stadler / Getty Images

    I drink water to calm myself down from anxiety. It forces me to regulate my breathing if I'm hyperventilating. Just after one sip I immediately feel a little better.


    21. Go for a run.

    22. Try guided meditation.

    Ultra F / Getty Images

    There's a guided meditation Youtube channel that helped me a lot.

    —Carol Borges, via Facebook

    Here are some other guided meditations to help you get started.

    23. Find a scent that soothes you.

    Maya23k / Getty Images

    I love using my lavender pillow. I pop it into the microwave before bed and I feel calm and safe.

    —Kate Suazo, via Facebook

    24. Read a wonderful book.

    Patrick Gage Kelley / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: patrickgage

    Reading! I've been an anxious person for 15 years and this is what has been most useful to me. It helps me to focus on something other than what I'm anxious about. With books I can submerge myself into a different world, even just briefly, to help relax my overwhelmed train of thought. When I come back up from a book, I feel centered and refreshed.

    —Kerri Sullivan, via Facebook

    25. Listen to music you love.

    26. Get outside in nature.

    Zack Clothier / Getty Images

    Going for long walks, especially at night; the night air is so refreshing, the sounds of nature drown out everything around me, and the exercise is good and helps me get to sleep at night. Also remember to just go outside. Fresh air can help loosen those barbed wire knots keeping you locked within yourself.

    —Holly Drummond, via Facebook

    27. Call a friend.

    28. Use Pinterest.

    I use Pinterest to calm my anxiety. I have a private board where I pin quotes that inspire me, that make me feel safe, and that make me feel grateful. [...] I'll either go look at my board at what I've already pinned, or look for new pins. [...] It soothes me to know that these pins are being shared and other people are reading these pins and being inspired and comforted by them, and that makes me feel less alone in dealing with anxiety.

    —Elena Montalbano, via Facebook

    We created a Gratitude and Calm Pinterest board, if you'd like some suggestions.

    29. Get some exercise.

    30. Do some math.

    31. Learn to knit.

    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed / Via

    I have panic disorder pretty bad, and I find that the repetitive action of knitting is very soothing during a panic attack. It keeps my hands busy, which releases some of the physical tension. And constantly counting and switching stitches kind of numbs my brain; it forces me to focus on something external instead of focusing on my panic and all the physical symptoms that come along with it. Saying the stitches out loud as I do them is almost like a mantra: "knit, knit, purl, knit, knit, purl." I'm not even that good at it, but you don't have to be good for it to help. Seriously, try it!


    Here is an essay called Knitting Myself Back Together that talks about knitting and anxiety, if you want to read more.

    32. Find a therapist.

    Jimmy Flink / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: jimmyroq

    I used to suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorder. I still have general anxiety disorder but I don't even notice it most of the time. The reason why I have made huge strides from where I used to be is all thanks to therapy. Finding the right therapist can take awhile but once you do, it is the best thing in the world.

    Therapy helps you change your perspective from negative to positive. You also figure out why you have these problems, which helps you get to the root of them in order to fix them. I went from not being able to leave my room without feeling fear to randomly going on roadtrips with my friends and not having any panic attacks or major fear.

    Of course I still have "what if" thoughts and experience some fear/worry, but I use it as fuel to prove to myself that I can do it. It doesn't happen overnight, but its been about eight months since I started and the difference is night and day. I'm so glad that I made the choice to go because I could not live my life the way I used to be.


    33. Get crafty.

    34. Talk to your doctor about medication. / Via

    I tried managing my anxiety on my own, but one of my doctors suggested I talk to my [primary care physician] about anti-anxiety meds. I've been on Zoloft for three years and it's really helped me a lot.


    35. Play with Silly Putty or Play-Doh.

    36. Have an orgasm.

    Antonio Machado / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: antoniomachado

    Orgasms. Seriously. All of my muscles loosen, and my mind and body relax. For once.

    —Chelsea Barrett, via Facebook

    To see even more wonderful tips and ideas, read the comments on the original post.

    Also see what commenters had to say on these two Facebook posts: here and here.

    For more information about anxiety and depression, including how to find help, visit the websites for the American Psychological Association, and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

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