Anxiety: Do's and Don'ts

A list of what to do and what not to do to control anxiety. Pay attention to your feelings and don't isolate yourself are one of the main issues.A list of what to do and what not to do to control anxiety.


  • Notice how it is affecting you and pay attention to how you would rather be feeling.
  • Remember to breathe.
  • Focus on something interesting and engaging: a hobby, a project, a conversation with a friend, an activity.
  • Play with a pet. Arrange flowers. Play a sport. Watch a movie.
  • Stay active in your life. Continue going to work and/or school. Take care of children. Keep your house clean. Take care of your personal hygiene.
  • Surround yourself with people who care about you. Spend time with your spouse, children, parents, colleagues, friends, neighbors.
  • Engage in conversation that is interesting and meaningful.
  • At other times, engage in trivial talk!
  • Try to limit discussion about the anxiety to less than 5% of your conversation.
  • Pay attention to whether what you are doing or thinking is what you want to be doing or thinking and whether or not it fits for you.


  • Don't isolate yourself. Anxiety will try to get you to think you should be alone. Don't listen to it.
  • Don't spend time thinking about how you feel. Anxiety will take over.
  • Don't talk about anxiety more than 5% of the time and then only about your successes over it.
  • Don't let anxiety get you to second-guess yourself.
  • Don't let anxiety get you to imagine what others are thinking.
  • Don't fall prey to anxiety's ploy to engage in repetitive behaviors.
  • Don't let it put images of disaster in your head

next: Anxiety: The Other Disorder
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~ all anxiety disorders articles

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2007, February 18). Anxiety: Do's and Don'ts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: July 3, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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