7 Unconventional Ways to Handle Anxiety
You’ve heard the same tips over and over again – get more sleep, do more exercise, avoid caffeine.
Managing anxiety can feel exhausting, especially when using the same coping strategies daily.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know you want more choice in how you cope with anxiety. For over 14 years, we’ve helped our clients manage their mental health in unique ways that work for them.
After reading this article, you’ll know 7 ways to deal with anxiety you may not have thought of before.
7 Unique Ways to Manage Anxiety
There are more unique ways to manage your anxiety than the typical deep breathing and meditation techniques you often hear. From wacky visualizations to turning the lights out, here are 7 ways to manage your anxiety you may not have heard before.
1. Get Squeezed
A really good hug can signal a sense of safety to your brain, sending a signal to your nervous system that it’s okay to calm down.
If you live alone, you’re not out of luck – hugging a pillow can have a similar effect, and lying under a weighted blanket is another great option.
2. Use Dim Lighting
Sitting in a harshly lit room can feel jarring, and give an anxious mind yet another thing to be overwhelmed by.
Turn off the intense overhead lights, and instead, opt for something softer like a lamp.
Warm-toned lights can be especially calming.
3. Visualize Something Weird
Guided meditations or mindfulness activities can be super effective – but they may not be your thing.
Try coming up with your own creative way to visualize your anxieties disappearing – like mentally pulling your anxiety out of your head and watching it dissolve into the earth, where you never have to see it again.
Lifehack.org suggests a great “bus terminal” analogy: Imagine that each worse-case-scenario you’re imagining is a listed location at a bus terminal. If a bus comes by heading to a destination you do not want to go to, you can simply choose to not get on the bus. You can watch it drive away, knowing you’re safe exactly where you are.
4. Clean Up Your Space
If you’re feeling especially anxious, cleaning may be the last thing on your mind.
But there’s a reason so many people consider themselves to be “stress cleaners” – it can really put your mind at ease.
Cleaning up your space can give your racing mind a tangible task to work towards and offer you a sense of accomplishment once you’re finished.
Plus, it feels a lot less overwhelming to sit in a neat and tidy space than trying to navigate through loads of clutter.
5. Get a Pet
This tip won’t be for everyone, but getting a furry friend to care for can help you feel motivated to care for yourself, and bring a lot of joy and comfort to your life.
If you’re struggling to get out of the house every day, walking a dog can be a great way to help you get moving.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the end of the work day, curling up with a cat might be just what you need.
6. Do it Scared
Sometimes, you have to face your anxiety head-on.
If you’re feeling anxious about something specific, it can be tempting to wait until you’re no longer scared to do it.
But sometimes, it’s better to just do it scared.
If you’re nervous about something like a driving test or a presentation, remember that practice can really help. Even if you’re feeling really overwhelmed in the moment, if you’ve practiced enough, you’ll know on some level that you’re already more than capable of doing it.
7. Freeze it Out
Whether you want to take a freezing shower or opt for an ice pack on your chest, the cold can really help bust your anxiety.
When your body gets colder, your heart rate lowers, and a cold compress on the chest and back of the neck is thought to relieve anxiety by shifting your autonomic nervous system.
Next Steps to Manage Your Anxiety
After reading this article, you know 7 new ways to help deal with your anxiety.
Here at KMA Therapy, we’re here to help you get support – in whatever way you need it.
If you’re interested in learning more about therapy for anxiety, check out our Anxiety Therapy page.
If you’re not looking to book an appointment right now, check out these resources for more information:
- To learn more about caring for yourself, read: What are the Six Types of Self-Care?
- To learn more about anxiety therapy options, read: What are the 5 Best Types of Therapy for Anxiety?
- To get more information about your anxiety, read: What’s the Difference Between Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders?