15 Best Books to Help With Anxiety (2024)

There is no single best way — different things work for different people, says Kissen. “When you’re on anxiety, it’s a fight-flight-freeze response, because your brain is thinking ‘danger!'” she says. One helpful way to cope in the moment is to do something with your body, such as take a brisk walk, jump up and down or dance, “to do something to relieve the energy,” she says.

Another good coping mechanism for anxiety is to took around to reassure yourself that you are no in actual danger, even though it feels that way. “Is there a lion coming? Are my pants on fire? Is there an immediate danger?” Kissen asks hypothetically. “If nothing is actually occurring, then that’s a false alarm.” Realizing that can give you space from the emotion.

Once you’ve recognized that you’re feeling anxiety, you might try repeating a helpful mantra, such as “this is a false alarm,” or “this feels uncomfortable but I am teaching my brain I can handle this.” Kissen advises having your helpful mantra handy as an in-the-moment reminder.

Breathing slowly and deliberately can also help dial down some of the physical reaction to anxiety, say experts, as can focusing on fidget toys.

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