Why and How to Make an Anxiety Toolbox
Since the beginning of time, people have used objects, people, food, and the like to distract themselves from uncomfortable situations. Children are the masters of this, using their favorite blanket or stuffed animal to reduce their anxiety about pretty much everything. Clearly, the average adult doesn’t want to wander around with a stuffed tiger, but what healthy things can we put in an anxiety toolbox and why should we bother in the first place?
Why Make an Anxiety Toolbox?
Before we get into how to make an anxiety toolbox, let’s talk about why we should. Some might think it’s a waste of time. On the surface, it does seem childish. I am a grown man and shouldn't need a blanket or pillow to make me feel better.
The reality, however, is that my pillow does, in fact, make me feel better. Because of societal expectations, I don’t carry my pillow like Linus carries his beloved blanket, but it doesn’t change the fact that some part of me would like to. We’ve discussed using objects to reduce anxiety in this blog previously. It comes up a lot because it works.
So, why make an anxiety toolbox? Because it will probably work for you. Chances are you already have one. It is just filled with the wrong choices. Smoking, drinking, or eating comfort foods could be some items currently in your “toolkit.”
How to Make an Anxiety Toolbox
Hopefully, you are now asking yourself how to make an anxiety toolbox. The good news is that it’s just a matter of thinking about it for a moment and gathering those items in a convenient place.
I have my own desk at work, and I created an anxiety toolbox right on top of it. I have a picture of my wife, a Koosh ball, and even a little mini drum set. I keep healthy snacks in my desk drawer, and I never hesitate to pick up my little Mad Hatter doll and give him a hug.
In my car, I keep my favorite CDs and little toys in my glove box. They are hidden from view, so if I do have a business associate with me, for example, no one is the wiser.
Finally, I live in an anxiety toolbox. From my spot on the couch to my beloved pillow to the pretzels I keep in my cupboard, I have made my entire home a space where I can reduce as much general anxiety as possible.
Many people incorrectly think that “coping toolkits” need to fit in a box. And, sure, they certainly can be made that way. But, if I’ve proven nothing else in all my blogging, it's that I like to think outside of the box.
Howard, G. (2014, December 24). Why and How to Make an Anxiety Toolbox, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/12/why-and-how-to-make-an-anxiety-toolbox
Author: Gabe Howard
Call Catholic Charities mental health, call NAMI for a local support center - keep trying to get help even if only once a day. It feels exhausting doing this I know but you will feel better after you have communicated with someone who can lead you to the right help.