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10 products that therapists personally use for stress or anxiety


Dealing with anxiety can be overwhelming, and sometimes it can seem like you are the only one going through it. According to American Association for Anxiety and Depression, anxiety is actually one of the most common mental disorders in the country, affecting 40 million adults, including the very people we turn to for advice.

Yes, we are talking about your therapists. Take for example, Mahlet Endale, an Atlanta-based licensed psychologist whose anxiety manifests primarily as sleep disturbances. There is also Sara weand, a relationship and anxiety therapist in Annville, Pa., who often experiences pain in her upper back and shoulders when she feels anxious.

So what tools do experts use when they are feeling anxious? Below they swear by a few. Hope they help you too.

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An ice cream roller

Most people use ice rollers to reduce puffiness on the face and around the eyes. But for Sara Tick, a licensed marriage and family therapist in South Carolina, ice rollers play a different role in her self-care routine.

“I use it on my pressure points when I feel a panic attack building,” she told HuffPost. “I hold it on the back of my neck or on my wrists to help my body calm down.”

This is particularly useful because “ice can be an effective tool for people with panic attacks”. Check recommended to use the roller along your cheekbones while holding your breath, then breathing deeply.

Get one on Amazon for $ 12.95.

A coloring book for adults

Tick ​​also likes to channel any anxious energy into the pages of an adult coloring book. “By using beautiful colored pencils and staying in the moment while coloring the tiny intricate patterns, my mind should stay in the moment and not brood over anxious thoughts,” she said.

Get this swear word coloring book for $ 5.99 at Amazon .

A weighted blanket

Jamie Steiner, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Brooklyn, New York, said she uses a weighted blanket when she experiences stress or anxiety before bed.

“It’s incredibly helpful when you’re feeling anxious and trying to fall asleep,” she said. “Mine weighs about 20 pounds, but it doesn’t feel uncomfortably heavy or hot, and the weighted pressure is comforting and set in.”

Get Casper’s 20-pound weighted blanket for $ 189.

A massage gun

Meredith Prescott, a psychotherapist in New York City, said she personally uses a masseur when stress or anxiety begins to affect her physically.

“I find the Hypervolt helps relax my body by releasing tension and increasing blood flow to my muscles,” she said. “Working from home at an office all the time has put enormous stress on our bodies, forcing us to do more to help our bodies heal.”

Get it on Amazon for $ 199.

A set of Gelly Roll pens

If you’re the type of person who finds themselves in a relaxed state while engaging in creative work, Weand’s suggestion might be just what you’re looking for. She said she made it a priority every day to “just create” in order to relieve stress. And his favorite tool? Gelly Roll pens.

“[Doing this] keeps my feet on the ground and balanced, ”she said, noting that these particular pens appear on black paper. “I love using them to tap into creativity through the conscious art of ‘zentangles'” aka doodling in a pattern.

Get a 12-pack variety box from Amazon for $ 27.55, or you can get a 10 assorted color pack from Amazon for $ 13.29.

A meditation app

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In an attempt to eliminate his anxiety, Endale uses the Headspace app, initially recommended by his own therapist at the height of the pandemic.

“Headspace offers excellent courses in general meditation as well as special training on using meditation to deal with different things like stress, anxiety, chronic pain, anger, balance and much more. ‘others,’ she said. “They also offer all kinds of meditations, relaxations and stories designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.”

“I usually use a relaxation session or one of their Sleepcasts (45 minute sweet stories to fall asleep) when I get into bed for the first time,” she continued. my mind and quickly fall back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night. I have yet to find anything as effective as Nighttime SOS meditations to help me with my nighttime awakenings.

Alexa Pinsker, art therapist and licensed counselor in Colorado, also relies on meditation apps. Pinsker said Ten Percent Happier is usually his choice “because they have specific guided stress meditations as well as a section for guided sleep meditations. They also have many free lectures, classes, and meditations. guided tours. During the pandemic, they offered free subscriptions to health care providers, which was awesome. “

Try Headspace free for 14 days before committing to a paid one-year subscription. You can also try Ten Percent Happier for free.

Sleep headphones

Whether you’re using one of the mediation apps on this list or trying to calm your mind with one of your favorite playlists, these sleep headphones could be just what you’re looking for.

Pinsker said the headphones were specifically “designed for sleep, so they are wireless and very comfortable.”

Get them on Amazon for $ 19.99.

A puzzle

After facing high levels of anxiety during the 2020 election and pandemic, Andrea Dindinger, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in San Francisco, turned to this glowing popsicle puzzle. She found looking at the colors and putting the pieces together to be heartwarming.

“I would turn off all the devices, put on some music and focus on the puzzle,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of free time, and a 500-piece puzzle is both complicated enough. to hold my attention and not that difficult that it takes me too long to complete. It’s the perfect way to relieve the stress of the day in both my mind and body. “

Get it on Amazon for $ 13.99.

A cup of hot tea

Sticking to a routine or ritual can be very helpful in dealing with anxious energy. For Bethany Nickerson, a licensed clinical social worker in New York City, it comes in the form of a cup of spiced cinnamon tea.

“I love the ritual of making tea and smelling the hot cup in my hands,” she said. “This stuff is amazing and also comes in decaffeinated (sometimes the caffeine makes my anxiety worse). I would often take a break from work and go to the Harney and Sons store in SoHo, so the taste and smell of this tea reminds me of those relaxing breaks in the middle of the day.

Get a bundle from Amazon for $ 8.35.

A brown noise machine

Brown noise is fundamentally deeper than you would expect from a white noise machine (think of it sounding like a heavy waterfall or thunder). It can help promote deeper sleep or relaxation.

Dian Grier, a licensed clinical social worker in California, swears by the magic of this brown noise machine from LectoFan.

“I couldn’t live without my brown noise machine,” she said. “The brown noise machine is much lower and calms me better than white noise. The one I’m using is called LectroFan, and it’s advertised as white noise, but brown noise is included. It keeps me asleep because it blocks out all sudden noises, and I’m a light sleeper, so the constant low tone helps.

Get it on Amazon for $ 42.40.

Of course, when it comes to stress and anxiety, tools like these don’t go far. Lifestyle habits like getting enough sleep and exercise can work wonders. And maybe the best way to deal with whatever is taking its toll on your mental health is see a therapist, Endale said. (Here’s a guide on where to start, and here’s a list of resources that are affordable if therapy isn’t within your budget.)

“I also recommend that people seek professional help if they find that the stress is such that they cannot even use their usual healthy anxiety management strategies,” she added. .

“Sometimes when we have chronic anxiety, our bodies succumb to stress and the anxiety turns into depression. It is also a key indicator that it is high time to seek professional support.

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