6 Easy Ways To Calm Yourself Down When You Start Feeling Anxious

by Leigh Weingus

If you've ever suffered from anxiety, you're probably familiar with the feeling of going from your normal, semi-calm state to uneasy or panicked.

Maybe your anxiety is caused by a series of little stressful events throughout the day, or maybe it's something bigger, like an argument with a coworker.

And sometimes, you can't quite pinpoint where your anxiety is coming from.

Whether you know exactly what's causing it or not, in a lot of cases, you can get your anxiety under control before it becomes a full-on panic attack.

So the next time you feel anxiety and panic creeping up on you, try one of these tricks.


All anxious people have heard this one before, and there's a reason for it. Taking a "calming breath" when you start feeling panicked really works.

Try taking a long, slow breath through your nose, holding it for three counts and letting it out slowly and evenly through your mouth.

Repeat this a few times, then check in with your anxiety. Has it gotten a little better? We thought so.

Write down what you're worried about

Sometimes putting pen to paper is exactly what you need when you're feeling anxious.

Worried about those unanswered emails in your inbox? How about the text you drunkenly sent to your ex last night? Or the really pathetic amount of money in your bank account?

Write it down.

The simple act of writing the things you're worried about down can help clear your mind and refocus you.

So give it a try, especially if you can't sleep. You may find jotting down your weird, 2 am worries to deal with them in the morning will send you straight to dreamland.

And chances are, those worries won't seem like nearly as big of a deal in the morning.

Take a break

Research shows taking a break during the day -- even if it's as short as 15 or 20 minutes -- can help refocus you.

If your anxiety is a result of having way too much on your plate, it may seem counterintuitive to take time off from it.

Trust us on this one, though -- you won't regret that short break.

As an added bonus, if you use that short break to go for a walk, you'll probably come back even calmer.

Exercise releases endorphins, the happy chemical in our brains, and walking can be extremely meditative and calming on its own.

Take a hot shower

If you're the kind of person who takes your showers at night, you're probably familiar with how calm and ready for a long, deep sleep you are afterward.

According to Greatist, a warm shower leads to a drop in body temperature, which results in a drowsy, relaxed feeling.

If you're lucky enough to be near a shower when you're feeling panicked, give it a try.

And if you happen to have a great bathtub, we're very jealous of you.

Light some calming, lavender-scented candles and take a nice, long bubble bath.

Call a friend

Sometimes all you need to get out of an anxious rut is a friendly, reasonable voice.

Actually socializing with someone else is preferable -- a hug can do wonders for anxiety -- but a phone call will do.

Whether it's a best friend, SO, parent or sibling, give someone you love a call and let them know you're feeling anxious.

You can talk to them about what you're worried about or maybe just hearing about whatever's going on in your loved one's life will calm you down and help you forget about what's upsetting you.

Pick up a coloring book

Coloring is for kids, right? Hardly.

Actually, adult coloring books are topping bestseller lists.

This is because coloring helps you unwind, destress and helps take your mind off whatever's getting you down.

After all, how can you possibly think about that horrible thing your boss said to you at the end of the day when you're concentrating on coloring inside the lines?

Plus, coloring is fun. If you ask us, spending an afternoon coloring sounds like an awesome way to keep calm.

With all these tools at your side, we're going to venture to say anxiety doesn't stand a chance against you.