7 Simple Soothers for Anxious Times

101 Ways to Feel Calmer

Way back before I had any coping skills, my life was pretty stressful, and I found drugs. There’s a lot more to that story, but that’s the gist of it. Drugs calmed me down. Booze seemed to melt all my fizzling and jangled wiring. I found more and different drugs to put into my body, but my goal was always the same: get through the day and feel as little as possible. I confused feeling numb with feeling calm.

After I got clean, no drugs; but also, still no coping skills! In many ways I was back to square one, with this exception: I had good information about what doesn’t work for me. Now all I had to do was find out what does.

More good news: There are plenty of ways to address stress, anxiety and nervousness. We are multi-dimensional creatures. We have a body with its nervous system; our minds which feed us pictures and stories all day long; our hearts, where our feelings of love and longing reside; and our souls, which guide us to healing experiences and let in unseen help.

All of these parts of us can act as avenues for decreasing anxiety and increasing feelings of calm.

Here are 7 surefire ways to begin to feel a tiny bit better in the moment.

Remember: There are plenty of ways to address stress, anxiety and nervousness. And all it takes is a simple, doable step to shift your moment and your life toward health.

1. Break isolation - One of the best end-runs you can do against stress is to reach out to others. You are not the only person feeling stressed and anxious! In fact, it’s universal. Letting someone know you are all keyed up, and being open to hearing how they’re doing can help you get to a better place.
1. Break Isolation

One of the best end-runs you can do against stress is to reach out to others. You are not the only person feeling stressed and anxious! In fact, it’s universal. Letting someone know you are all keyed up, and being open to hearing how they’re doing can help you get to a better place.

2. Shift the focus off yourself - In fact, taking the focus off of you for a while can significantly decrease your stress by breaking your hyper-focus on what’s bothering you. This gives your brain a chance to shift gears and get out of the thought loops that are causing distress. Offering to help someone or giving of yourself can remind you of the gifts you bring, too.
2. Shift the Focus off Yourself

In fact, taking the focus off of you for a while can significantly decrease your stress by breaking your hyper-focus on what’s bothering you. This gives your brain a chance to shift gears and get out of the thought loops that are causing distress. Offering to help someone or giving of yourself can remind you of the gifts you bring, too.

3. Nurture your body - Do something good for your body. Hint: Bodies like to move, and they like nourishment and water. One of my biggest re-sets is simply to drink a tall glass of cold water. Find out 1 of yours.
3. Nurture Your Body

Do something good for your body. Hint: Bodies like to move, and they like nourishment and water. One of my biggest re-sets is simply to drink a tall glass of cold water. Find out 1 of yours.

4. Practice mindfulness - If this sounds complicated, it isn’t. All it really means is to sit quietly and do nothing for half a sec. Ok, maybe 5 seconds. Truly, really, I’m not lying, if you have to set your alarm for 15 seconds, DO it! There are other mindfulness practices, but this is a good start, and pretty cheap. :-)
4. Practice Mindfulness

If this sounds complicated, it isn’t. All it really means is to sit quietly and do nothing for half a sec. Ok, maybe 5 seconds. Truly, really, I’m not lying, if you have to set your alarm for 15 seconds, DO it! There are other mindfulness practices, but this is a good start, and pretty cheap. 🙂

5. De-stress - Actively let off steam, lighten your expectations (and maybe your schedule), and find time to relax your body. Take a nap, take a bath, take a walk, unplug for a bit.
5. Vent Stress

Actively let off steam, lighten your expectations (and maybe your schedule), and find time to relax your body. Take a nap, take a bath, take a walk, unplug for a bit.

6. Connect with Spirit and/or Nature - Something as simple as lighting a candle or holding a special object can help you feel the presence of Something Greater. This connection can help ease stress and reconnect you to benevolent forces.
6. Connect with Spirit/Nature

Something as simple as lighting a candle or holding a special object can help you feel the presence of Something Greater. This connection can help ease stress and reconnect you to benevolent forces.

7. Engage your creativity, imagination and sense of fun - Another great stress reducer is to distract yourself with making something, going to a movie, or, yes, even fantasizing, but only if you fantasize about things that make you feel lighter.
7. Engage Your Creativity, Imagination and Sense of Fun

Another great stress reducer is to distract yourself with making something, going to a movie, or, yes, even fantasizing, but only if you fantasize about things that make you feel lighter.

This is a lot, and you can’t do it all. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Get the 101 Things You Can Do to Feel Calmer card deck and use the suggestions to help you shift your moment and your life towards health and happiness. Join my mailing list to get the 50% off coupon, using the button below.

Photo by Jeremy Cai on Unsplash

Published by Phyllis Capanna

Phyllis Capanna, MA, OTR/L, occupational therapist and counselor, creates mental health and wellness printables to help you shift your moment in times of change.

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