A man with a dog pauses on a nature path to look up into the trees and breathe in the air. Behind him are rolling hills and around him are large, bright flowers and grass.

Self-Soothing Tips for High-Anxiety Moments

Many of you understand that IBS and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Finding ways to calm your body and mind can help you feel more in control and overcome tense situations.

To learn more about what helps you relax, we asked our Facebook community to fill in the blank: “My self-soothing tips for high-anxiety moments include _______.”

You provided some wonderful responses we wanted to share.

Focused breathing creates centeredness

Many of you find that taking time to focus on your breathing and using guided imagery helps to calm you. Meditation also relieves your anxiety.

“Self-talk and deep breathing. I like to journal when I’m really having bad anxiety. I can reassure myself through my journaling.”

“Imagining myself walking on the beach, timing my breath to the waves and letting the tension be carried out to sea...or walking through a forest just listening to the sound of the wind through the trees.”

“I began taking my fist and circling it on my chest. It's helping me be mindful of my breathing. I use breathing and music at times, listen to birds singing outside, and breathing in fresh air.”

“Closing my eyes and deep breathing or focusing on my breathing until I feel calm.”
“Close my eyes, clear my head, and tell myself, ‘you got this.’”

Time in nature brings peace

Getting outside into a peaceful, natural environment was also comforting for many of you. Listening to the sounds, connecting to the earth, and feeling the wind is grounding.

“Walking across the street to the beach.”

“Going outside with just my dogs and walking an easy hiking path.”

“Going for a walk, petting a cat or dog, meditation, sitting in the sun listening to the birds and breeze.”

“Going out in my big backyard when it is nice!”

Rest and animals soothe the soul

Many of you spoke to the importance of resting, often accompanied by cuddling with your pets. There is nothing quite like soft fur to help the anxiety melt away.

“Taking a nap with my dog.”

“Petting my cat. She seems to know when I need a distraction.”

“I lay in my chair with my blanket and my dogs cuddle with me. I usually fall asleep.”

“My dog when I get in a depression or have major anxiety will jump on me and rub his head on me.”

Finding comfort in warmth

Feeling enveloped in warmth was also comforting for a lot of you. This took many different forms, including heating pads, tea, and hot baths.

“Meditation and lavender essential oils, dandelion tea, and a hot bath.”

“Warm bath with a lavender diffuser going.”

“A cup of hot tea or a glass of iced tea with lemon. Getting under the covers, even if not to sleep – just to stretch out, relax, and read a good book.”

“A heating pad and deep breaths.”

Activities as a means of distraction

Engaging in activities to distract your mind and body can be a way to relieve the stress that comes with IBS.

“Facebooking and playing games to keep my mind off stress.”

“Doing yoga.”


“Martial Arts.”

“Knitting, reading, and writing.”

“Watching a favorite show or movie, fidget toys, drawing, and writing.”

“Praying and singing praises.”

“Music and relaxation.”

“Being with my grandchildren.”

Thank you to everyone who shared their tips. We hope you find them helpful, and we appreciate your support for each other.

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