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what are some good and healthy distractions from my anxiety when it gets really bad?

305 Answers
Last Updated: 06/26/2020 at 12:10pm
what are some good and healthy distractions from my anxiety when it gets really bad?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

JaNaè Taylor, PhD, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I work to provide culturally tailored services to my clients through support, advocacy, and reflection.

Top Rated Answers
September 3rd, 2017 8:15am
Here is a list of healthy distractions and self-care techniques I am actively building: -- Only you will know which techniques will work for you! Good luck in your research and let us know if you find something that helps you!
February 23rd, 2018 10:10am
Deep breaths and focusing on something other than your feelings and thoughts really helps. For example if you are getting anxious about a date or something like that, you can focus your thoughts on the sounds surrounding you instead of your feelings.
March 15th, 2018 12:41am
Lots of people find music a good distraction, finding a good uplifiting song to play through earphones. Anxiety is a troublesome and very isolating feeling if you feel like your going through it on your own. But remember your NEVER alone. You will always have someone here to talk to if things feel like theyre getting too much for you. Also, things like writing, crafting, drawing, even having a nice hot bubble bath helps. Hope you find this reply helpful, remember we are always here if you need us. Take care and good luck xx
April 7th, 2018 6:48pm
Some good distractions from anxiety include going for a walk outside, talking with a friend, or doing other activities that keep your mind and body busy.
April 14th, 2018 7:46am
Talk to someone you know that will understand you. Cry as long as you want. Listen to musics, sleep or eat :)
April 17th, 2018 6:44pm
The counting system is one good method, if you try and find an item to use then whenever you find it then you count it (e.g. when I get anxious on a bus I count lamposts or green cars). Another is to listen to music that you can focus your mind on and relaxes you. In addition to this gradual body relaxation is another technique that I use where you start from the bottom of your body and tense each muscle for 5 seconds and release. This shows your body when you are tense and gradually you can use this to relax your body manually. Another tip I learned that is usually for grounding but works okay for this is using the sences. 5 things you can see 4 things you can hear 3 things you can feel 2 things you can smell 1 thing you can taste. This allows you to reaffirm the environment and bring you back to where you are. Hope this helps!
April 18th, 2018 10:24pm
I like to play games on my tablet, watch a comedy, talk to a friend or do some sewing. Work also helps me. Anything which moves the focus away from myself and my symptoms onto something which requires my intellect, thinking and action.
April 20th, 2018 8:51am
There are a heap of healthy distractions that people with Anxiety use to cope with their anxiety, especially when it all becomes too much. Distractions that will help you, are usually the ones that are things you like doing or even hobbies. Some of the ones i think are the most helpful include: Mindfulness; which includes breathing exercises like deep breathing, focusing on what is around us, focusing on good memories. Listening to music, especially calm relaxing Having a nice warm bath or shower to relax tension Colouring pictures or drawing Watching a favourite tv show or movie, I especially love funny humorous videos on YouTube - but it is different for each person. Cuddling pets, going for a walk Yoga, reading Blowing bubbles - i remember being told this by a therapist a while ago and it is so relaxing blowing bubbles and popping them! even doing some cooking could be a thing to try This is only a short list, feel free to contact me if you would like some more :)
April 23rd, 2018 4:54pm
When anxiety takes over, it is important to turn to healthy distractions instead of destructive ones. Some good methods for this include; writing out your feelings, music, going outside, singing, playing with animals, cleaning, having a hot shower, self pampering
April 26th, 2018 1:16pm
Take up a hobby! Sometimes when anxiety does get the best of you, the best thing to do is take several deep breaths and then find a hobby which you can enjoy to busy your mind.
May 31st, 2018 7:29am
You can indulge in any hobby that calms you down. For instance, painting/ going out for a stroll/ cooking / mindful meditation/ reading/ exercising etc. Hope this helps. Feel free to drop me a message and I will be more than happy to help you! :)
June 24th, 2018 5:36pm
I find walking, taking a bath, playing an instrument and sometimes just talking to somebody who will listen helps. Sometimes though if it worsens or persists I talk with my social worker about it and see if I need to have an increase in anxiety medication to help
July 6th, 2018 10:52am
Meditating, working out, doing things you love, listening to music, etc can really charge you up. Do things that make you feel confident or spend time with someone who makes you feel better
July 8th, 2018 7:35am
Drawing, singing, dancing. Being busy is extremely helpful. We don’t need time to think. We can go out, talk, run...everything in order not to think.
July 11th, 2018 3:26am
This is an excellent question! Distraction is one of the best and quickest ways to battle in-the-moment anxiety. My personal favorite detraction method is the ABC list. Essentially what you want to do is pick a topic that you can name alphabetically. Ex. Names. Go through and name all the A names you can, then B, and C, etc.
August 19th, 2018 11:18pm
You can watch a tv-show that really engages you, read something, listen to a podcast, play a game, go for a walk with some music on, write maybe even cook something! Doodling, cleaning, take a nice and relaxing shower. If you're at school or work you can focus on the room around you, describe the room to yourself (what colours are the chairs, how many plants, how many windows, big, small and so on). You can also paint your nails, look up on youtube how to do origami, spend some time with a beloved pet, organize your closet, call/chat with a friend or family member about nothing. I hope this helped some!
December 26th, 2018 3:31pm
Finding distractions from anxiety could be really hard. Especially that different things work for each person. Some use some resources, stuff to help them with working on their breathing. Some draw, write, walk, or talk to a friend. Sometimes even a shower could work. Some grounding technique works too. It helps you focusing on the surrounding and what's around you rather than some of your worries. Grounding your feelings and thoughts usually help. You can try to find proves that you needn't worry and that it will be fine, reminding yourself of the good things you have done, and what you were good at before shall help too.
December 17th, 2014 12:43pm
It's always great to distract yourself with things you love doing. If their is music that always puts you in a calming and good mood listen to that. If watching your favourite film helps, watch it. If reading helps distract you, pick up that book and read.
December 20th, 2014 4:44pm
Meditation is really good. If you cant focus for long periods of time, try running. Both of these help get your mind off of things.
December 26th, 2014 2:51am
I find that music is very good and singing and dancing to it helps. I also love to do suduko and crossword puzzles when I have high anxiety.
December 30th, 2014 5:57pm
When I have anxiety, I focus on my breathing. I also have a list of inspirational and motivating quotes that help me out.
May 9th, 2015 8:00pm
Some physical activity is nice. Go for a jog in the area or the local gym. Video games is also a great way to distract your anxiety.
May 28th, 2015 5:19am
Well that depends on YOU! I found YOGA to be amazing. It teaches mind, body control and teaches you to be in tune with each one. It can be done by ANYONE. I am short and chubby, far from the perfect shape. I do it well enough. I suggest NOT hot yoga, you will create enough heat as it is. I also find things that keeps your hands moving and your mind not too busy. For instance, knitting. There are many studies that suggest you get in a relaxed state and stay there without even knowing it. Personally I like to read. Not I make sure I choose things that are NOT DEEP THINKING. The idea is to let the mind flow, not put it through more hurt! SO anything you enjoy, do it and do it well!
June 7th, 2015 7:51am
For me reading is really great, and also walking! Going out helps you think clearly, and reduce anxiety! Also your favorite sport! If you play any instrument, or sing, that's probably help a lot too!
September 15th, 2015 10:19pm
Any physical exercise! It's healthy, and it's also very good for your mind. It also takes some focus, of course. Regular exercise is very good, not only for your body but also for your mental health.
October 27th, 2015 3:14pm
Personally I find music and art and baking to be great distractions as you have to use all your focus and in the end you get a beautiful product.
December 29th, 2015 2:29pm
Taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, watching a funny movie or TV show, reading a book or magazine, talking to a friend on the phone
July 18th, 2016 3:14pm
For me, reading was always the best getaway. I'd read for as long as I could, losing myself in the world between the pages. I always encourage people to take up reading. Books can be your best friends. Besides, music is always an option. never underestimate the healing power of music.
September 11th, 2016 11:32pm
Reading a book or listening to music often helps soothe the mind. Maybe text or call a friend if needed
September 13th, 2016 4:07pm
I've found that writing is a good outlet for me when I'm feeling anxious, or just having a conversation with somebody that I know and like. Art can also be a great distraction, or music. The worst thing to do is bottle it up, so any way that you're releasing your anxiety is good!