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 2023, December 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/12/why-and-how-to-make-an-anxiety-toolbox
Author: Gabe Howard
Good article. Simple as it may sound, one of the things that help me with my anxiety is music.
That makes perfect sense to me! Thank you for reading & commenting! :) Gabe
cant find my last comment its important..
thats a good idea we need small challenges to keep our minds occupied and motivated!!! i realy need this site i dont talk to no one anymore i live in a very dark life that i been fighting to no end everything is gone touch feel feeling laughter everyone starting to see what i been hiding inside of me now im starting to get picked on at 38yrs old and never been picked on or made fun of in my life i was faithfully married but lost control of my feelings lost total desire on life and got a divorce five yrs ago ever since in the last five yrs ive only worked about six months since its a power struggle just to even talk to a close family member if i even try to talk i mummble and bummble my words its a bad slurre a lot of times i start to say something and completely forget what i was sayin or talking about. everything is completly a paranoid disruption in life.i have no life no money no friends.pepole think im hunting for sympythy this is a very dark n dead feeling that would give them a stroke if they were in my shoes..im pretty much homeless at my mothers im so far out of options in life im in everyones way while being humiliated and embarresed.i applied for ssi for the third time something has to give theirs no where eles to turn and go..im lost i just wish i could be figured out and diagnosed correctly they just say i have anxiety attacks panic att.and depresion!!!ive had drs say MS a couple different times but never even been tested for any of it..ya crazy right...but i truely believe myself in my own study in mind and body that it ms!!and it helps set off the rest of the mental issue..i would love to go to one of the best hospitals and sort this out so i can be a oriented human being..ty god bless you all!!
YOU have to talk to a doctor --- describe your state as in crisis - not suicidal if you dont want police . At last that is what I found after moving to a new city and starting over. See an urgent care doctor and ask him for referrals. It's a fine line we have to walk when saying " Im not well" equals a visit with police.
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.