10 Ways to Cope With Anxiety

As a person with anxiety, I know that it can be hard to do even the simplest of things some days. A lot of people associate anxiety with being nervous, but it is much more than that. Anxiety can be debilitating to the point where it can be hard to get out of bed. Some people have panic attacks daily due to the severity of their anxiety. However, I have found some coping mechanisms that make it easier. Here is a list of 10 things one can do to manage their anxiety symptoms.


1. Listen to nostalgic music

Listening to music is a common technique to soothe anxiety because it distracts from stressors as well as has a calming effect. Nostalgic music specifically, such as music from one’s childhood or music that is associated with a happy memory, helps relieve anxiety. Listening to something that used to bring you joy is likely to bring you joy again.

2. Play a simple mobile game

While playing phone games may seem like something that is only appealing to kids, it is actually a great way to cope with anxiety. Next time you feel your anxiety building up, or a panic attack coming on, open up Candy Crush or Fruit Ninja. You may be surprised about how much it helps take your mind off of what is causing your anxiety.

3. Workout

Yes, exercising is something that is commonly recommended to help with anxiety and it doesn’t work for everyone, but it really does help most people. Doing a difficult exercise forces your mind to focus just on the physical movement, and not on the stress inside of one’s head. It releases endorphins that greatly help, as well. Additionally, working out should be fun! If you don’t enjoy the workout you are doing, try something else! Personally, I really like doing dance workouts. They don’t feel like exercise, they just feel like I’m dancing and having fun! If you’re interested you can find tons of dance workout videos on Youtube to try!

4. Do breathing exercises

A common breathing technique that helps my anxiety is 4×4 breathing. Count to 4 while you take a breath in, then count to four as you let the breath out. This slow and controlled breathing serves as a way to concentrate one’s focus, as well as slow one’s pulse, which creates calmness and decreases anxiety. 

5. Write in a journal

Another great way to decrease anxiety is journaling. Writing your thoughts in a journal gives your thoughts a place to rest, so they aren’t racing through your brain anymore. Sometimes putting your thoughts into writing is all it takes to make the overthinking stop. Journaling also helps you to process and analyze your thoughts, so something that is causing anxiety may not cause as much once you are able to analyze it through the journaling process.

6. Reduce your intake of coffee and other caffeinated products

As you may already know, drinking caffeine, especially coffee, can spike anxiety. The caffeine in coffee enters the system quickly, which causes an increased pulse, thus increasing anxiety. It also leaves the system abruptly, which can leave you feeling lackluster. If giving up caffeine isn’t in the cards for you, try green or black tea instead. The caffeine in tea isn’t as strong and it enters and leaves your system gradually, rather than quickly and abruptly, therefore it doesn’t have such a bad effect on one’s anxiety.

7. Take a bath

A warm, luxurious bath can do wonders for anxiety. The warm water eases tense muscles, which releases tension in the body as well as the mind. Take it a step further and light a candle or throw in a bath bomb to make it a full-on self-care experience.

8. List things you’re grateful for

Sometimes anxiety can put a spotlight on all of the bad things going on and make you lose sight of the good things in your life. To cope with this, it’s helpful to list what you are grateful for. The list can be in your head, or you can create a physical list. If you want to go the extra mile with it, a gratitude journal is a good option, as well.

9. Do a grounding exercise

In high-anxiety situations, grounding exercises can help one focus on the task at hand and stop one’s mind from spinning. There are several different grounding exercises to choose from, but a common one is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. To complete the exercise, start with a deep breath, then look for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. When you find these things, name them outloud, or at least mouth the words to create a physical experience to go along with the mental exercise. Take a deep breath to complete the exercise.

10. Talk to someone

I know that it can be hard to open up to others about anxiety, because there is a fear that they might not understand why your brain works that way. But if they really care about you, they will not judge you for it and will be happy you opened up to them. Talking to a friend or family member about what makes you anxious can help relieve anxiety, so give a try next time your anxiety flares up.