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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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FrozenRobot7 Offline
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How do I stop? - January 24th 2017, 04:16 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So in the past week or so, I've been feeling pretty anxious around certain people and I started doing this thing. I snap my hair bands on my wrist, both to attempt to stop feeling anxious, and to try to distract myself from feeling this way.

My friends noticed me doing this and immediately took them away in an attempt to make me stop. I also know by doing this I really kid of scared my friends and that is obviously not something I wanted to do. I didn't exactly realize how hard I was doing it until I looked down and my whole wrist was completely red.

In this scenario, I wasn't looking to "self harm" or cause myself any pain, because I would never do that to myself. I just kind of started doing it without thinking about it and didn't realize how bad it was until after.

What are other ways to calm anxiety when it kind of comes up out of the blue? and how do I stop snapping my hair bands?
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Re: How do I stop? - January 24th 2017, 09:15 PM

Hey Danielle,

I'm wondering why you feel anxious around certain people? Perhaps you may worry before being around these people about certain things or scenarios? The first step would be when you notice these thoughts, to try to challenge them. While we can't control what other people may say or do, and they may do or say things that make us feel uncomfortable, you are in control of your reactions. Depending on the situation, if you worry that you'll be embarrassed in some way, you can laugh it off.

You noticed that you were anxious, and perhaps without thinking started snapping your hair bands that were on your wrist to break you out of the feeling and distract you. Have you tried breathing exercises? They can be done rather discreetly and can help you to feel less anxious. Also, rather than focusing on the anxiety, just notice it, and then try to focus and engage with your friends and the conversation, or other things around you. It sounds like physical sensations may help you, so perhaps you could try holding and feeling things around you. My favourite is wrapping my hands in my sleeves and really noticing the material. You could also have a refreshing drink of something and really focus on the sensation it gives.

The easiest way to stop snapping your hair bands would be to make sure that you don't have any on your wrist. Otherwise, try having looser hair bands so that you can't snap them too easily. Or when you notice yourself snapping, take the bands off.

Hope this helps a little

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Re: How do I stop? - January 24th 2017, 10:11 PM

Hi, Danielle!

Thank you for reaching out to us. It's wonderful you're looking for other ways to cope with anxiety to refrain from harming yourself. Well done. Although, I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with anxiety in the first place.

Your friends seem to care a lot about you to notice and take the hair band away upon noticing. Do you trust your friends enough to talk to them about the anxiety you've been feeling lately? Talking about it verbally to someone may help, as well as having that support from friends. If you're comfortable enough, you could tell them when you're experiencing anxiety and they could help distract you and hold a conversation with you which may help.

Holly has great suggestions about focusing on sensations. Other things that may help is chewing on an ice cube, focusing on the cold sensation. Do you have a beaded bracelet, or any bracelet that isn't smooth? You could wear a bracelet and rub your fingers across the bead and focus on how each bead feels. That may distract you from the anxiety you feel.

To refrain from having a hair band to snap, try to ease yourself out of the habit of putting them on your wrist. You can work on making yourself more aware when you notice yourself doing this as well. You can also start using softer hair bands that wouldn't cause any damage when you snap them, such as soft hair scrunchies preferably without the metal clasp.

I hope this helped, Danielle. Take care and stay strong!
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del677 Offline
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Re: How do I stop? - January 29th 2017, 09:17 AM

As the previous replies have eloquently stated, Practice focusing your attention, on the present moment, on a feeling or sensation, and for a moment just notice and observe. It's the basis of meditation and yoga. It can slowly alleviate anxiety if done daily for several weeks. It basically alters the brain and you become a less anxious person.

(There are also antianxiety medications, but they won't heal the brain the way doing the above exercises can.)(Also there are antidepressant medications which may help. Ask a doctor.)("Headspace" is an app I use that may help practice meditation.)
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