Seven Simple Ways to Stop Anxiety

June 24, 2014 Gabe Howard

Everyone has anxiety. It doesn't matter how emotionally or mentally healthy a person is; if you are alive, anxiety will eventually creep up on you and give you a smack upside the head. However, those of us who read anxiety blogs on mental health websites aren't having run-of-the-mill anxiety. For the most part, such readers are people with anxiety disorders.

Because of our anxiety disorders, we tend to look for monumental solutions. After all, if our anxiety issues are larger than the averages person's, then our solution must be larger as well. But is that true? Are we setting ourselves up to fail, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, or allowing our anxiety to trick us into overreacting? Before we call in the proverbial cavalry to relieve our anxiety, let’s take a look at seven simple ways to stop anxiety.

Seven Simple Ways to Stop Anxiety

  1. Count to one hundred.
  2. Take a break to be alone.
  3. Stop talking.
  4. Splash water on your face or take a bath/shower.
  5. Picture the person making you anxious wearing a rubber nose.
  6. Listen to music.
  7. Read something unrelated to things causing anxiety.

Breaking the Anxiety Cycle

The common element in all seven of these methods is distraction. If they work for you, it is most likely because they break the anxiety cycle. When our brains get going and the same thought ruminates in our heads, it is difficult to calm down. Utilizing a simple distraction technique forces the brain to do something else, hopefully helping relieve the anxiety.

Not every solution to stopping anxiety has to be complicated. Here are seven simple ways to stop anxiety.With a little thinking, you can come up with other “simple solutions” to stopping anxiety. There are many people living with anxiety disorders and we all have different methods to self-soothe. The Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog has discussed mindfulness and sex as possible anxiety treatments in the past, as well as many others.

I invite you to use the comments section below and share with us some simple ways you can think of to stop anxiety.

For more information about this topic, give this short video a watch.

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

APA Reference
Howard, G. (2014, June 24). Seven Simple Ways to Stop Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Gabe Howard

March, 16 2016 at 1:26 pm

I personally have found that deep breathing, really concentrating on each slow inhale and slow exhale, when I first notice the beginning of an anxiety episode helps me to not completely panic. When I can get to some place "safe" I am then able to look back and analyze what may have triggered it.

Elizabeth Hamilton
July, 22 2014 at 5:10 pm

Never be afraid or embarrassed of your panic attacks or anything else. You are a warm, compassionate, and caring person who has set out to win this campaign on mental illness. I would rather have 10 friends who understand like you than 100 who don't. The people who matter are right there with you. Enjoy your trip into the heights of mental illness while helping the rest of us.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
July, 23 2014 at 1:57 pm

Thank you so much Elizabeth! You really made my day. ((hugs)) Thank you for reading and commenting! ~Gabe

July, 22 2014 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for your blog! One thing that helps me to calm down is wearing ear plugs. It muffles the noise and chaos around me and I can actually hear myself breathing. Closing my eyes for a few minutes while wearing the ear plugs helps even more. Anxiety and all of its arms really can be paralyzing, I'm glad that I am not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
July, 22 2014 at 2:18 pm

Thank you, Nancy for your kind words, for reading, and for commenting! ~Gabe :)

Jennifer Trbovich
June, 28 2014 at 10:24 am

I find all of these helpful but at different times. Sometimes being alone is just what I need but sometimes being alone gives my anxious thoughts more room to make me squirm!! Thanks for you post!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 11:07 am

Thank you, Jennifer. It would be great if these things worked all the time. And, I agree with you, sometimes being alone makes me very anxious. All things in moderation I suppose! Thank you for reading and commenting. :) ~Gabe

vanessa williams
June, 28 2014 at 4:08 am

Gabe n Co,
I'm in Absolute shock by the patronisation of this Whole thread!!
Shame on All who have commeted with clearly No Real understanding of the disorder in Full ...Especailly when diagnosed with almost always a secondary...This country needs to stop this sort of Awful advice and attitude of 'Stiff upper lip lad' which is so institusionally led at present...Not Patient/client/service user led!!!
The best 'Tool' to manage anxiety is to treat it with Love, Understandinge and Patience!...! .Alongsidw with some professional Therapy... Not to go on n get busy with something else hence avoiding the issue altogether...and not *Talking* !!!...NoT Distract 'Mary Beth Palm'....'freakish' Really was the last straw!!!
It pains me to see this sort of down right ignorant and unawarness 'stigma of 'Anxiety'...???.....As that sort of advice got us sorting all the mess psychologically that still not been dealt with from the 40's!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

vanessa williams
June, 28 2014 at 4:14 am

...did I not include the bit where ....'with a little thinking!!!' Implies to me a Very dispectful commet that people with anxiety don't think!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 11:04 am

Hello Vanessa - The phrase "with a little thinking" was not meant to imply that people with anxiety don't think. It was meant to encourage folks to give a little thought to this subject, if they haven't already. Again, no disrespect was intended and I apologize if you felt I was disrespectful. Thank you, Gabe.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 11:01 am

Hello Vanessa - I am truly sorry that you feel this way and I want to assure you that no disrespect is intended. I have suffered from anxiety, paranoia, delusions, and panic attacks since I was a teenager. My mother described me as an anxious child. This article is not intended to replace medicine, therapy, or medical advice. They are suggestions for reducing anxiety that may, or may not, work for the reader.
As someone living with bipolar and anxiety I can tell you that I understand, first hand, the amount of stigma that exists in the world. Thank you very much for reading and for commenting. ~Gabe

Stella Barnum
June, 27 2014 at 6:42 pm

I have tried all seven of these techniques and I have yet been able to relieve my anxiety. I am still working on some things that work for me. The one thing I know I can do but hurts over time is crocheting. That takes a lot of concentration so it is a wonderful distraction, but I have developed carpel Tunnel in my wrists so I can only do it for a short time.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 10:54 am

Thank you for sharing, Stella. There are many activities that can certainly help and crocheting is an excellent example. Several folks have shared that playing an instrument, painting, building, and other art projects are very helpful. Thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

Mary Beth Palm
June, 27 2014 at 3:54 pm

Gabe, as I very accomplished anxiety freaker outer I'd like to say kudos to you for this list. I so identify with thinking a solution has to be very sophisticated- usually that I can't catch on to. Your simple solutions are very doable. DISTRACT is it exactly! Thanks. Mb

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 10:51 am

Thank you, Mary Beth, for reading and for your comments. It is very much appreciated. ~Gabe

June, 27 2014 at 3:23 pm

Im guessing these seven suggestions are for everyday anxiety... none of these would relieve anxiety for me

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 29 2014 at 10:50 am

Hello jbrogan - Yes, severe anxiety, anxiety and panic attacks, and extreme paranoia (as examples) are probably not going to be relieved by any "simple" solution. For me, when I feel anxiety start to creep up, these little tricks can help stop anxiety in its tracks. Even then, it isn't a guarantee. Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where counting to 100 would always work? Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it very much! ~Gabe

Alex Thompson
June, 26 2014 at 1:54 am

I listen music to avoid anxiousness and it even helps to distract me from my thoughts which generates anxiousness in my mind. It is one of the best tip to avoid anxiousness.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
June, 27 2014 at 2:23 pm

I do agree that I need to listen to more music! :) Thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

Mark Noo
June, 25 2014 at 4:15 pm

I do not watch the local news. There is too much death and doom.
I also will look for some non-anxiety inducing TV show or something to read.

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