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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
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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
January 10th, 2017 4:54pm
I find it hard to distract when the really bad panic comes but you can find ways to make it maybe a bit ore manageable sometimes. I try EFT Tapping when i'm in a panic, sometimes that can help, if it's an anxiety/panic based set of tapping (you can look on youtube). Or listening to meditations while doing something with my hands like scribbling or drawing or colouring. If you're able to move there are a lot of anxiety related yoga and grounding videos on youtube as well for free. Those can be helpful. or if it's just so unbearable nothing works, watch Friends on netflix and wait it out.
January 12th, 2017 4:21pm
Taking a walk, going to the gym, meditating, remembering happy moments, helping someone, working, drawing / painting, scrolling through instagram, calling a friend, logging in to to online therapy website, looking at your surroundings, watching a movie.
January 18th, 2017 4:21am
When anxiety begins to feel overwhelming, diverting from the source of the anxiety for a while can sometimes help you to start feeling better. Activities such as walking (or another form of exercise), meditation, mindfulness, or even playing with a pet can help oneself feel more relaxed.
January 25th, 2017 3:30am
Whenever I feel anxiety, I use a little trick that was taught to me by my own therapist. What I do that helps me is take any object and hold it in my hands. I then say aloud to myself 3 things about its appearance, the way it feels, the smell. and if it makes any sounds, using as many of the senses as possible. I do this repeatedly and come to notice that it really keeps me in the present and takes my mind off of the situation.
February 1st, 2017 2:20am
music, mindfulness, love, those things made mi anxiety a little bit easyer when it came....also going for a walk or surprising myself by doing that that scared me so much and suddenly look back ans say: i did it!
February 1st, 2017 2:55am
some great distractions are simpler to find than you think! just think about what makes you happy if it is friends, music, art writing or whatever get yourself busy with that, just get in the moment and soon enough most of the nervous energy will be released into whatever you are doing.
February 9th, 2017 6:28pm
Some good ways to deal with/distract from anxiety healthily would be meditation, reading, jogging, walking, mindful thinking, drawing or any other fun hobbies that relax you and are most importantly enjoyable!
February 12th, 2017 6:13am
One tactic I've heard of working really well is grounding. You look around, and list off five colors you see. Then, four things you hear. Then, three shapes you see. Two textures around you. And one thing you can smell. It gives you something to look for, and something to distract your mind with.
February 24th, 2017 2:46am
It's different for everyone, but you could always try new things and see what works for you. Some things I have found helpful personally, is to think of something I like, and just breathe.
March 2nd, 2017 10:19pm
I heard from a friend who has a friend who has anxiety, and he told her when you have anxiety attacks/moments, the best thing to do is do something "normal". Example: tie your shoe, do a jumping jack? I'm not sure if this method works, but he said it helps the brain just even out and do something normal and go back to being calm? Again, not sure if that actually helps people but you never know. Wish you luck!
March 10th, 2017 3:30am
I try to walk outside if I can. I know it's sometimes really hard to get out of your room when anxiety is really bad, but I found using my five senses makes my anxiety much better than just try to fight against it. I walk outside, feel the wind, listen to the sound around me, smell the air, and see things going on around me. I think just moving my legs to walk is also good distraction.
March 16th, 2017 1:53pm
Find things with all five of your senses, Sight,smell,touch,hearing,taste. Breathe deeply and have someone talk to you about anything else in the entire world, My boyfriend talks to me about construction and the news and unicorns. Engage in the conversation. Speak to the person. Try to disengage from your mind.
March 24th, 2017 5:13am
I find that deep breathing is a great distraction from anxiety. About 15 good slow, deep breaths from the diaphragm can do wonders for an anxiety attack. It can be hard at first to relax and focus on your breathing, and to get those lungs full and then completely emptied, but it gets easier with each breath. I find that a lot of people take breathing for granted. It's very calming, yet energizing. It would be a good thing to try it first before an anxiety attack, so you'll know just what to do during an anxiety attack.
March 24th, 2017 4:51pm
Try talking to someone, maybe even on this app. Meditating is good, and the most important thing is breathing. Take deep breaths, or do something you enjoy- maybe go for a run or listen to music.
March 25th, 2017 3:05am
One thing that helps me is to have someone around me talk about inanities so that I can just focus on the sound of one voice, or just try to slowly take note of my surroundings
March 31st, 2017 6:08am
Busy hands make the best distractions. Start a silly story, pick up a pen and draw (even if you're bad at it), wear a ring so you can twist it around on your finger when you are stuck with nothing else to occupy you.
April 6th, 2017 11:57am
Firstly, if you are feeling anxious focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths through the nose and out of the mouth. Do this until you are calm, focusing on nothing but your breathing. If your mind wanders, that's normal, just slowly bring your mind back to your breathing. When you're not feeling anxious in the moment, but need a distraction, here's a list of a few that have really helped me: Depending on where you are, there are many things you can do. If you are at home, I would recommend a bath with some epsom salts that contain lavender. Lavender is known to relax muscles and it will help release the tension not only in your body but also in your mind as you relax in warm water, perhaps listening to your favourite music as well! Sometimes if you're feeling very overwhelmed, it helps to just cry. Crying it out is the healthiest alternative, and after the sniffly nose goes away, you usually feel much, much better, as if a burden has been lifted from your chest.
April 14th, 2017 1:06am
I think it depends on what kind of anxiety it is, but for the anxiety I get sometimes, I've learnt to make a plan. Especially if its an event, or activity going wrong that's stressing me out and making me anxious, I will take the time and drive that energy into making a plan on what I can either do next to help the problem, or what I can do next time to drive myself away from being in the same anxiety-inducing situation. For example, I almost didn't get enough 'credits' I would need to get into university. Prior to the end of the school year I was freaking out, but I decided to make a plan of alternate solutions to the problem. I followed through and ended up getting enough credits, but I still had a plan for if I hadn't. It's definitely something you could work with a family member, friend, or listener, to create a plan to help avoid running into specific situations that might make you anxious. Not avoiding scary situations entirely, but finding a way to positively tackle them!
April 15th, 2017 4:58pm
Good and healthy distractions is to get inspiration from the skies, because that's how I cope with mine. I tend to see how there are just so many beautiful spectacles happening above us but we tend to overlook because we're too busy being anxious over a miniscule matter.
April 20th, 2017 5:21pm
Listening to music, daydreaming, watching a movie, talking to friends, playing video games, taking a cold shower are all things that have helped me ease my anxiety or not feel anxious for some time. Perhaps you could try some of them if you haven't already and see what works for you.
April 22nd, 2017 9:28pm
Some helpful ways to combat anxiety include: -Journaling -Getting out into nature/going for a hike -Caring for a pet -Talking to a loved on or friend -Meditating Anxiety is difficult to deal with and can sometimes feel unbearable. If the issue persists, it may be useful to seek professional help or guidance.
May 5th, 2017 3:25am
Whenever I feel anxious, I like to be physically active, I either go to the gym, take a hike or run around a park. It helps me feel stronger both mentally and physically as well as release healthy endorphins.
May 7th, 2017 7:26am
I always found music helped me in times when my anxiety got intense, use songs that remind you of happy times and make you feel strong, mine was fight song and when I listened to it the anxiety melted away. 😍 But be aware distraction is avoidance and ultimately you want to face your anxiety head on to be free of it so try not to become dependant on the distractions. Shell x
May 12th, 2017 5:02am
I understand you want something to distract you. I have anxiety and completely get wanting to do something to take your mind off of it. Try to find something that relaxes you. Whether that is a specific person( a close friend or relative) or maybe a hobby you like ( reading or drawing, etc) if you can not find anything To help then I would recommend talking to your doctor or a therapist about it
May 13th, 2017 4:00pm
Exercise, is an awesome outlet to let off anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. Just find a playlist that pumps you up, and give all your focus and energy into working out!
May 21st, 2017 6:43pm
I think taking the time to focus on yourself and staying positive. For example, take the time to do something you enjoy such as getting pampered, working out or even meeting with supportive friends or family.
May 31st, 2017 5:29pm
Well learning some positive coping skills for when you're anxious is key, for example when I'm having a very bad anxiety attack I'll do 4 square breathing (4 seconds breathing in, 4 seconds holding it, 4 seconds breathing out, 4 seconds holding it, repeat that 4 times). Another thing that might help is called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. It's where you count out 5 things that you can see, 4 things that you can feel or touch, 3 things that you can hear, 2 things that you can smell, and 1 thing that you can touch. Those are just examples, but there is an abundance of resources here on 7Cups, and even more, if you search around Google. It's just a matter of finding out what works best for you.
June 8th, 2017 3:41pm
Exercise is a great one. Also coloring and/or drawing can be good, if you're into that. Listening to soothing music or nature sounds like rain simulators can be nice, especially if the noises around you contribute to the anxiety you experience. And of course, talking to someone about what you're experiencing and/or writing it all down somewhere (like in a journal or somewhere) can feel really good, just to get it all out somewhere so it isn't just all in your head.
June 15th, 2017 2:47pm
When my anxiety gets bad, I like to go on a walk or watch a nice TV show. Sometimes I also do a bit of working out or cook/draw/read/listen to music, anything that keeps me busy but in a non-overwhelming way!
June 16th, 2017 5:54am
Partake in a hobby you like! Read a book! Organize something like your room! Treat yourself with a nice snack! take a walk outside to immerse yourself in nature! Meditate! Practice breathing exercises! Do yoga! The possibilities are endless! Find what works for you :)