Here are a few examples of diversion tactics to use while experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Practice them, they really work!
- Splash face with cold water – this produces the dive reflex and causes your brain to send messages to your body to slow down.
- Count down from 100 as fast as you can and repeat.
- Listen to your favorite music and sing along to it.
- Tell yourself that what you are feeling are sensations; nothing more and that sensations never hurt anyone.
- Watch a funny video on TV or online and laugh out loud.
- Don’t look at yourself in the mirror, the more you focus on your symptoms the worse things get.
- Keep some apples in the fridge. Eat one, they are an excellent, healthy snack.
- Gently slap your cheeks and dance around – confuse your thoughts to distract them.
- Do not look up your symptoms on medical related websites. WebMD is not your friend.
- In the night, if you cannot sleep, get out of bed, turn on the TV, get a drink, eat an apple and keep moving.
- Talk to someone, but do NOT discuss your anxiety.
- Do something physical such as talking a walk, working out, or yoga.
- Do not sit down. Keep moving.
- At night, disconnect from computers or mobile devices at least an hour before bed, preferably longer. Those bright screens give off light waves that can keep your mind active for quite a while after. Also avoid the news or anything negative or violent.
- Drink lots of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration, which interferes with proper brain and body functioning and is a common trigger for anxiety and depression.
Do any amount of these diversion tactics simultaneously if possible.
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