Five Ways to Relieve Anxiety You’ve Never Thought Of

March 4, 2015 Gabe Howard

Tired of the hearing the same boring suggestions to reduce anxiety? Keep reading to learn five ways to relieve anxiety you’ve (probably) never thought of.

It seems like every time anxiety strikes in the presence of others, helpful folks offer the same advice. Take a walk, get some fresh air, or count to 10 are quickly raised as solutions, with the person offering the advice thinking this is the first time we've ever heard that suggestion. Speaking from my own experience, I do the same things over and over. If your methods to relieve anxiety aren't boring you and are working, then there is no need to switch it up. But if you are looking for other ways to relieve anxiety, I offer five ways to relieve anxiety you've (probably) never thought of.


Five Unusual Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Suck on Ice Cubes to Relieve Anxiety

Americans have what psychologists like to call an oral fixation. Many people eat to relieve anxiety. We've discussed in this blog before why that isn't necessarily the healthiest idea. Drinking water is healthy and ice cubes are just frozen water. The physical sensations are undeniable and if mindfulness is your thing you can focus on those sensations and even expand to running ice cubes across your lips, or even legs and arms.

Say the Alphabet -- Backwards to Relieve Anxiety

We all have the alphabet memorized – even if we have to sing the song to get it right. Some might say we know it so well we know it backward and forward. Turns out, reciting the ABCs backward is quite difficult. Next time anxiety crops up, step outside and start reciting the alphabet, out loud, backward. Focusing on starting with Z and ending with A will take your mind off darn near anything.

Using Your Hands to Relieve Anxiety

Play with Play-Doh to Relieve Anxiety

Using objects is to relieve anxiety is a fairly common practice, but that doesn't mean you can't pick really cool items. Play-Doh is absolutely awesome. I love the squishy feeling between my fingers and the smell reminds me of simpler times. It is even easy to carry a small can with you. You can place it in a purse, laptop bag, or even the glove compartment of your car.

Along the same lines, you can play with sand. There is a newer product out called kinetic sand that has a unique feel to it. Frankly, it is fun to play with, regardless of your anxiety levels – but if you can have fun and relieve anxiety, that is a great bonus.

Teach Yourself to Juggle to Relieve Anxiety

Teaching yourself to juggle is no simple task. Learning to do it well is much, much harder. Start small with two balls and perhaps add a third after a lot of practice. I recommend using tennis balls so you don’t risk damaging anything. Hopefully, your anxiety disorder can be controlled enough that you don’t become a circus performer level juggler.

Play the Bongos or Other Hand Drums to Relieve Anxiety

First, my apologies to drummers everywhere. Playing an instrument to relieve anxiety is not unusual at all. This suggestion is only unusual if you aren't a percussionist. Striking the drums feels good and attempting to keep time on a bongo involves a lot of concentration. Give it a try. It really is a lot of fun and making music with your bare hands has a certain primal characteristic that connects us to the world.

There are as many different ways to relieve anxiety as there are people – some usual and many unusual. Feel free to use the comments section below to share ways you relieve anxiety that are uncommon, unusual, or even downright weird!

You can find Gabe on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and his website.

APA Reference
Howard, G. (2015, March 4). Five Ways to Relieve Anxiety You’ve Never Thought Of, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Gabe Howard

February, 26 2018 at 12:32 pm

ICE CUBES WORK, i put one on my wrist, neck and lips , helps me all the time and DIY massaging your feet

April, 7 2015 at 10:14 am

if I do ANYTHING with counting it drives me crazy. if I miscount, I have to start all over. I cant see play dough working either sorry ive tried the stress ball similar nooooo help.
my anxiety is sooooooooooooooo bad I cant get out of bed most of the time
in califi was on temazapam/30 mg/2/day and 2/day 5mg clonazepam. im in NY Niagara falls now and cant get ANYTHING HERE
its horrible... the REAL me is a social, VERY social person. I was in management when I worked, I have been handicapped for 8 years now, which is another reason I have very limited places to expend my energy
I am veryyyyyyyyyyy creative and just cant get out of bed. I write poems, 3 pages in like 5-10 minutes. I know the lord is helping me
I just don't know what to do - cant find a dr here that will give me what I need and what worked for me in calif.
I have NEVER had a problem or abuse issue with fact my husband monitors me because I have a narrow throat and choke easily
anyway. ... any suggestions?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 7 2015 at 6:37 pm

Hi Helyn,
Finding the right medical care can be a slow process. Are there resources in your area such as NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) or other groups set up to help connect people with resources? Also, have you tried seeing a therapist? While a therapist/counselor can't prescribe medication, he/she can work with you to alleviate anxiety as well as recommend trusted doctors and sometimes even help you get an appointment.

March, 7 2015 at 6:34 pm

A water bottle filled with glitter, shake it up and watch it settle
Blowing bubbles
Alternate running cold and hot water over your hands

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
March, 10 2015 at 10:36 am

Mary -
I love it! I love to blow bubbles and I am 38 years old! It is fun, isn't it? :)

heather McMillan
March, 6 2015 at 3:12 pm

Could u recommend a fairly instant way to relieve intense stressful times. I'm not taking any anti depressants because I just don't life their side effects but I wish someone cud find a remedy to get thru a few stressful hours.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
March, 9 2015 at 8:42 am

I can't offer any single "magic cure" to reduce anxiety -- but this blog has many suggestions. I encourage you to keep reading and try the methods discussed. Anxiety is a difficult disorder to manage -- but it is manageable. Thank you for reading and commenting. :) ~Gabe

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Andrew Buck
May, 23 2018 at 10:16 pm

I use masturbation. Oh yes, I said it, masturbation is amazing and YES it works!!!!

Beth Rose
March, 6 2015 at 11:20 am

i'm 14 years old and in year 9 I started feeling anxiety about 2 and a half years ago, and it's just progressively worse and I don't know what I can do to get rid of it, I also suffer from panic attacks , do I go to the doctor?? Thank you for your time.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
March, 9 2015 at 8:41 am

Hello Beth -
Anxiety and panic is a burden and is a medical in nature. I encourage you to work with your parents or guardian to consult a medical professional. Medication, therapy, and practice should allow you to manage your symptoms. Thank you for reading and commenting! :) ~Gabe

Leave a reply