Most people feel anxious some of the time — such as before taking a test, after losing a job, or when public speaking — and what stresses one person may not stress another.

Practicing self-soothing techniques can help you manage your anxiety. These methods typically involve doing something that pleases one or more of the senses. Here are five easy examples.

  • Sight. Look at a favorite piece of artwork or cherished photos, or take a walk in a picturesque setting. Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful scene. Consider other ways you may enjoy to take your mind off worry, such as coloring in a coloring book.
  • Sound. Listen to a favorite song that inspires you or holds a special meaning. Sit near a fountain or a bubbling brook.
  • Smell. Breathe in fresh air or fresh laundry. Step into your favorite coffee shop or bakery to absorb the smells. Consider seeking out smells that will bring back pleasant memories – the area in the brain that processes memories is located next to the area that processes scents.
  • Taste. Savor a bite of gourmet dark chocolate, a sip of special tea, or a juicy piece of fresh fruit.
  • Touch. Take a warm bath, wrap up in a blanket, or snuggle your pet. Hug a friend.

Try these relaxation techniques to help take the edge off your worry. Know that if you are worrying excessively — every day, all day, for example — without an apparent cause, you may have generalized anxiety disorder.

Working with a behavioral health professional can help you gain control over anxiety or stress. Some anxiety disorders can be successfully managed with self-help techniques, talk therapy, a support group, medication, or a combination of methods.


Health Library: Tips to Help Calm Anxiety.  Accessed: August 22, 2019.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Generalized anxiety disorder. Accessed May 29, 2019
Helpguide. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Symptoms, self-help, and treatment to break free from chronic anxiety. Accessed May 29, 2019.
National Institute of Mental Health. Generalized anxiety disorders: When worry gets out of control Accessed May 29, 2019.