Living Well

Self Care For Anxiety: Tips On What To Do, How To Calm Down (+ More!)

self care for anxiety
The information in this article is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All images and text presented are for general information purposes only.  
Please consult your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis 

Self care for anxiety is an important brick in the institution to calm yourself down. The self care ideas come in handy when you are looking for a way out of your anxiety attack. Self care is an important part of self help in mental health issues.   

Mental self care is based on the idea that you have a healthy mind. This stimulates your brain and helps you build healthy mental behavior. The mental self care that you develop is to help you manage your stress and lower the health risks.   

This article describes how you can improve your ability to manage anxiety. Read until the end to discover the proven ways to control your anxiety.   

What Is Anxiety?

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental health condition that can lead to excessive and intense worry or fear about situations. Anxiety disorders can include episodes where you are feeling intense fear, anxiety, and terror that can reach a peak.   

You may experience occasional anxiety, which is normal in our lives. However, experiencing it frequently is something that requires medical attention. You need to pay attention to the signs that you may be going through a mental health issue.   

Text HOME to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor through Crisis Text Line, a global not-for-profit organization. Free, 24/7, confidential. 

Moreover, anxiety disorder can include frequent episodes of intense fear or anxiety that reach a peak within a few minutes. This is known as an anxiety or panic attack. The intense feeling can grow so much that you cannot perform everyday activities. Self care for anxiety helps in overcoming this! 

These feelings may develop from a young age, such as when you are a teenager. Usually, these symptoms develop as a teenager and can continue until adulthood.   

You may feel anxiety in the form of social anxiety disorder (social phobia), generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and specific phobia.   

Causes And Risk Factors Of Anxiety

Causes And Risk Factors Of Anxiety

Anxiety may be related to a plethora of reasons. These reasons make it evident why you need self care for anxiety. The most common reasons why you may experience anxiety are:   

  • You may have an underlying condition that is causing anxiety. You may have diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, or COPD that can make you anxious.   
  • Recent withdrawal from substances such as alcohol or anti-anxiety medication can lead to anxiety symptoms in a person.   
  • You can also experience this when you have a rare tumor that’s developing. Which can lead to the production of fight-or-flight hormones. For instance, brain tumors can cause anxiety as a side effect.   

The possibility that you have an underlying reason causing the anxiety is further clear when:   

  • You do not display its symptoms during childhood.   
  • You do not have blood relatives with the condition.  
  • Another sign that tells you that a medical condition is causing anxiety symptoms is the absence of a condition that causes anxiety.   

Other causes

  • There may also be a genetic disposition for you to develop anxiety. Meaning that you may have inherited the chromosomal characteristics that have a link to anxiety or panic disorders.   

An example of this gene is RBFOX1, which makes an individual prone to developing generalized anxiety disorder.   

  • Experiencing a situation that threatens you/your body and puts it in the fight-or-flight mode.  

Ideas that make it to the list of self care for anxiety help in taking care of almost all the possible causes.  

Risk factors

The causes can differ depending on the type of anxiety disorder (coming up shortly.) The common risk factors that can contribute to the development of anxiety are:   

  • Exposure to a difficult event that was stressful. It may be a childhood experience or an adulthood one.   
  • Physical health conditions as mentioned above   
  • Family history of anxiety or related disorders  
  • Gender has been shown to play a role in the development of anxiety in some people. For instance, females individuals (23%) are more likely to develop anxiety than males (14%).    
  • Groups that are exposed to more discrimination are more likely to represent anxiety than others. For example, last year alone, nearly 39% of individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community reported having a mental health condition.    
  • They are more likely to have depression and anxiety.   

Signs of anxiety

Signs of anxiety

Self care for anxiety is important for you if you notice these signs. The signs that you have anxiety or may be developing anxiety disorder are as follows:   

  • A change in behavior  
  • Feeling unpleasant when faced with a situation or object that makes you anxious  

Anxiety can manifest as both physical and mental signs that include:   

  • Racing thoughts (mental)   
  • Sweating (physical)  
  • Shortness of breath (physical)  
  • Dry mouth (physical)  
  • Feeling your heart pound in your chest (physical)  
  • Constant worrying (mental)  
  • Feeling panic or dread (mental)  
  • Confusion (mental)  
  • Trouble concentrating (mental)  
  • Dissociation (mental)  
  • Restlessness (mental)  

When these symptoms are visible frequently and aggressively, you should be concerned about them. The frequent occurrence of these signs is an alarming sign of anxiety and anxiety disorders. You must seek professional help when you notice signs of anxiety or other related conditions.   

How to treat anxiety?

Treatment of anxiety should only depend on a professional’s advice, and you must not self-medicate, which may lead to severe side effects. This can cause more harm than benefit, making the situation worse.   

The following treatment options are what a professional would recommend:   

  • Medications   
  • Psychotherapy   
  • Home remedies  

Self care for anxiety is a great support for medical treatment. However, it is not a complete treatment on its own.  

1. Medications  

The pharmacological treatment that a mental health practitioner recommends is to cure the symptoms of anxiety. There is no anxiety treating medication yet, but the current research provides a glimmer of hope for people with the condition.   

Following the prescription and consulting your doctor count as self care for anxiety!  

Types of medications for treating the symptoms of anxiety:

SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors  

SSRIs regulate and increase the level of serotonin in your brain, which helps alleviate the symptoms. They are found in prescriptions for all types of anxiety disorders.   

TCAs or Tricyclics 

TCAs are an older type of antidepressants that function as SNRIs (next medicine in line!) These treat some anxiety disorders; however, they are not recommended often due to their side effects.   

SNRIs or Serotonin-norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

Similar in function to SSRIs, these increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin.   

BuSpar or Buspirone

BuSpar helps in treating anxiety through increasing the uptake of serotonin which helps in alleviating the signs associated with anxiety and its types.   


These medications also come in handy for all types of anxiety. This acts fast and is prescribed for short-term use. These work by affecting the neurotransmitters present in the brain. Neurotransmitters such as GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid decrease nerve activity. These are highly effective but have a higher chance of increasing dependence and withdrawal chances.   

MAOIs or Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Off-label medications for anxiety are different from SSRIs and SNRIs as they block the chemical monoamine oxidase from the body. This decreases the presence of some neurotransmitters, which can affect one’s mood. Thus, it can be called a mood enhancer.   


Mainly used to decrease the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rising blood pressure. The medication is also helpful in controlling racing heartbeat.   

2. Psychotherapy  

Also popularly known as talk therapy, psychotherapy becomes an option when other options have yielded unsatisfactory results. This can include discussing your issue with a professional. Sometimes, they may also include other techniques.   

You may opt for either of the following psychotherapy:   

  • Couples therapy  
  • Individual therapy  
  • Group therapy  
  • Family therapy   

The choice of therapy depends on your situation and the cause of your anxiety. The therapist will use their expertise to find the cause of your anxiety and find a solution that helps you manage the symptoms.

3. Home Remedies

These are self-care ideas that help you manage the symptoms while following a traditional treatment method. This includes ways to practice self care for anxiety and stress. These are discussed in the following section.   

Top 10 Ways To Calm Anxiety Attack

Top 10 Ways To Calm Anxiety Attack

If you are wondering how to reduce anxiety immediately, there’s no shortcut to this. Yes, over time, you can improve your ability to bring things under control. However,   

Looking for the best self care for anxiety? We’ve got you covered! Here are the top 10 ideas for you to calm your nerves down.   

Idea #1 Use A Worry Jar

This is helpful if you are trying to control their negative thoughts. Take an empty jar and a few chits you can write your worries in and dump them in the jar. You can simply pen down your thoughts, whatever is worrying you, and put them in the jar.   

This also helps you acknowledge your thoughts. This is also helpful in giving distance to your negative thoughts that are causing you worry.   

Idea #2 Try Physical Grounding

Physical grounding is a sure shot technique that helps create a space from feelings that distress you. You can refocus on the present moment by distracting yourself.   

This technique makes you use your five senses to distract yourself from your thoughts and make you mindful of your surroundings.   

Idea #3 Food That’s Good For You!

It may be hard to find foods that reduce anxiety fast. However, it is possible to make use of food that is good for your mental health. The following section will dive into the types of food that are effective in calming your nerves down.   

This is because, during an anxiety attack, a person may find distracting themselves to be more effective than food.   

Idea #4: Breathing Exercise For Anxiety

Breathing exercises for anxiety are an effective way to calm down because of the way they help regain control. When we are focusing on our breath instead of letting ourselves go down the spiral, it helps control our thoughts.   

Breathing exercises have been proven to positively affect people with anxiety or related disorders. Thus, focusing on our breath makes us more likely to calm ourselves down faster.   

Idea #5 Practice Affirmations

Positive affirmations help us take our thoughts away from the negative spiral and re-center them. Positive affirmations are a clever way to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, thus controlling the challenging experience.   

These are tools that can be used daily to properly maintain your mental health. You may write them down or carry them in Post-its. Here are a few ideas that can help you:   

  • Try “I am doing the best I can”   
  • Or, “I am resilient and will get through this difficult time”  
  • Even, “I don’t compare myself to others”   
  • Say “I choose to be happy”   
  • Try “I accept and love myself”   
  • This is great too! “I don’t compare myself to others”   
  • My favorite! “I act with confidence because I know what I am doing”   
  • Even “I choose to feel calm”  
  • Or, “I choose nurturing and positive thoughts”   
  • This one’s powerful too, “I do the best I can”   
  • To let go! “I release the past”   
  • Another favorite “I inhale the good and inhale the bad.” You may change these as you require.   

Idea #6 Stick To Your Treatment Plans

This is one of the most important steps of self care for anxiety and stress. You must follow the prescription and complete your course. This ensures that your symptoms are under control and not worsening.   

Idea #7 Socialize

Socializing is a great way to get yourself out of your head. Grounding techniques help you create a space from distressing feelings, no matter your situation. Grounding exercises for anxiety can help healthily manage your symptoms.   

Socializing helps you discuss your thoughts with trusted friends, relatives, or family. You may even socialize anonymously on an online forum, but it is more helpful to do it physically – with your friends and family.   

Idea #8 Identify Your Triggers  

Identifying your triggers is important for you to manage your symptoms of anxiety so that you can avoid it in the future. Some people have triggers that lead to anxious feelings or fear. For example, some people may have an irrational fear of thunder, which makes them extremely anxious. When they know this trigger, they can avoid it to save themselves from an anxiety attack.   

Idea #9 Journal Your Thoughts   

Journaling your thoughts will help you rid your mind of the negative talk that is bogging you down. This is also a positive, healthy channel through which you can ensure you are not getting into self-destructive habits.   

Journalling has been heralded as one of the most effective ways to calm yourself down consistently. This is because you regularly find ways to ‘vent’ that do not let you keep thoughts to yourself, as bottling up emotions can be detrimental for individuals.   

Idea #10 Avoid Harmful Coping Mechanism  

Harmful coping mechanisms can depend on ways to alleviate your feelings so that you can ‘handle’ the situation. However, this does not mean it is a healthy way. Healthier ways of managing your anxiety and stress include mechanisms such as journalling, music therapy, or talk therapy, among many other healthy coping mechanisms.   

It is best to consult a professional for advice on ways to manage your anxiety. However, talking to a friend or a family member comes as an initial step for you to manage your anxiety and the symptoms associated with it.   

These are all the top 10 ideas that can help you manage your anxiety. These are just a few ideas that can help cope with anxiety, related disorders, and other similar mental health issues.   


In conclusion, finding ways to manage your anxiety is always great. Especially healthy ways through which you do not further deteriorate your mental health. The importance of self care for anxiety and stress is understood through the rising rate of alcoholism and substance abuse within the country, let alone the world.   

To conclude, it is better to reach out to your mental health professional for guidance on your mental health. This helps you get a proper diagnosis based on your symptoms.   

Comment below your thoughts on the list of ideas, have you tried any?  

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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