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    People Are Revealing The Tips, Tricks, And Habits They Turn To When They're Feeling Overwhelmed

    Your shampoo bottles will appreciate it, too.

    Anxiety. It's valid — and it's natural. But sometimes, it can really suck. And sometimes, you just *know* that you're ~spiraling~, but you still can't stop the loop.

    So we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share what they do to help calm themselves down when that happens.

    Naturally, we are all individuals, and not all of these tips will work for everyone. However, we hope that you find something of value here that could come in handy the next time you're feeling apprehensive, anxious, or distressed.

    Here are some tricks, tips, and habits that may help when you're feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed:

    1. Try square breathing: Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds. Then pause for four seconds before starting again.

    A graphic design showing a pair of lungs in a square, with inhale, hold, exhale, and rest written on each side of the box

    2. Replace "what if" with "even if" or "what if it all works out?"

    3. Count specific things around you. For example, count how many red things you see while driving.

    4. Do something simple to focus your mind — like making your bed, cleaning out your bag, or doing your nails.

    5. Chew gum.

    6. Hold some ice to the back of your neck or in your hands. Then, close your eyes and count until the ice melts.

    7. Change up your scenery just by taking a walk.

    8. Write in a journal so that you can see the thoughts leaving your head and better think through things.

    Michelle holds open a page in her journal

    9. Slowly count from one to ten.

    10. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. First, focus on five things you can see around you, then four things you can feel. Next, name three things you can hear, and notice two things you can smell. Finally, focus on one thing you can taste (or think about a taste you enjoy).

    11. Keep a sentimental object (so it's tangible!) that you can use to feel safe and protected.

    12. Escape into a fictional story of your fantasy life.

    13. Remind yourself that time will help and make things feel easier.

    14. Take a nap to shut down your brain. And if you have a weighted blanket, use it for some pressure therapy.

    Hameda lays in bed with a weighted blanket pulled up to her chin

    15. Organize things, either by physically cleaning or even sorting files on your computer, to feel more in control.

    16. If you're obsessing, try asking yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?" And then ask, "Can I live with it?"

    17. Pop something sour into your mouth.

    18. Name every color you can think of. (Or, name every color you can see.)

    19. Reflect on your life priorities, and remind yourself of what will (still) really matter to you when you're 80 years old.

    20. Tap sequences out on your body's meridian points with your fingers, using a technique called EFT tapping.

    View this video on YouTube

    "EFT tapping. It’s a process of tapping different parts of your face, neck, and body while repeating a phrase such as, 'I can survive this.' It’s super weird when you aren’t used to it, but I’ve used it to stop panic attacks at work, and it’s been life changing."


    21. Do a quick puzzle game — IRL or on your phone — like Sudoku, Solitaire, or 2048.

    22. Deprive your senses if they're overwhelming you.

    23. Assign yourself a special song to listen to that will relax you every time you feel bad.

    24. Or, create a whole playlist for your anxiety, complete with songs that you associate with good memories (like a theme song or classic oldie).

    25. Color!

    A reviewer holds up the cover of Coloring Books for Adults: Relaxation, depicting flowers and insects, that they purchased off of Amazon

    26. Break time down and ask yourself, "Do you think you can handle this for 10 more seconds?"

    27. Speaking of tens, break your day into 10-minute chunks.

    28. Lean against something, focus your breathing, and sip some cold water.

    29. Listen to music and focus on the lyrics.

    30. Alternatively, listen to classical music — or any instrumental music — and focus on the melody.

    31. Watch cute or funny videos to make you smile on YouTube, Facebook, IG, or TikTok.

    View this video on YouTube

    "Watching funny YouTube videos or old Vines helps me a lot! They calm me down and make me laugh at the same time. I 100% recommend."


    32. Or just start rapping.

    33. Imagine the worst case scenario and how you would deal with it, so you can feel more confident knowing that you handle whatever happens.

    34. Relax your muscles, starting from your toes — all the way up to your head.

    35. Count down from 100 while breathing in and out.

    36. Wear a hair elastic around your wrist that you can fidget with or snap when you're feeling anxious.

    Two hair elastics worn on someone's wrist

    37. Clasp your hands together in front of you, then focus on your energy.

    38. Watch TV to comfort yourself with familiar people that you don't have to think about interacting with.

    39. Tell yourself to stop out loud, then ask, "Is this helpful? Why am I doing it?"

    40. Choose a category, and try to name one item for every letter of the alphabet.

    41. Read a book — or listen to an audiobook.

    Michelle lays in bed, holding a book with the caption, "Zero regrets about staying in tonight."

    42. Pet your pet!

    43. Speak to yourself out loud to help streamline your thoughts and problem solve.

    44. Name the things around you in different languages.

    45. Play a video game, like Stardew Valley!

    An RPC carries vegetables around their garden in Stardew Valley