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Anxiety Props: 5 Props That Keep Anxiety Going

Guest blog by Jumoke Omojola.

You might use blocks as supports when trying to maintain poses and posture during yoga. You might also use props to keep something in position, keep it from closing, falling or crashing. For example, propping a door to keep it open, using props to support house beams.

Props usually provide temporary safety and support.

When you are facing the challenges of anxiety you might be having constant worry thoughts. You might have thoughts that something terrible is about to happen even when reason suggests there is no danger. You might feel overwhelmed, irritable and have difficulty concentrating. Many would use one or more of these props to help cope and get some relief. These anxiety props often reduce symptoms and provide temporary relief but in the long run anxiety symptoms remain.


5 Anxiety Props


1. Dedicated Research

Nancy’s 5-year old daughter, Jonet just started kindergarten. Nancy has read books, magazines, and checks the internet daily to learn all she can about kids starting kindergarten. She learns about curriculum, lunch, recess, bathroom use, security protocol and more. Nancy is increasingly anxious about potential threats and what ifs that might happen to Jonet at school.

2. Avoidance

Wade is often invited to social gatherings with co-workers but would decline. He worries about having nothing to say, no one would like him, he might say something stupid on and on. So he doesn’t attend and is able to reduce anxiety feelings. He realizes he is missing out on opportunities to learn that his fears might not really be accurate. Great temporary prop but anxiety remains on the long term. Wade is missing social connections.

3. Reassurance of Safety

Diana’s older brother is her “safety person.” She calls him several times daily so he can tell her she will be okay and nothing terrible is likely to happen. Diana’s anxiety is of the charts if she is unable to reach him. She will not go to the store until she is certain he can be on the phone with her. This is not helping her anxiety symptoms long term.

4. Replacements

Mark and Casey have been married 7 years. Recently they have been arguing a lot. Casey worries about the relationship. What if they have to get a divorce, what would happen to her and the children? She knows shopping keeps her from thinking too much about their conflicts. She recognizes that she doesn’t need another pair of shoes but she goes shopping with the children.

5. Self-Medication

Larry becomes extremely anxious, sweaty and overwhelmed whenever he visits his mom at a local nursing home. His friend, John was prescribed some anxiety medications and shares with Larry. Larry does not see this as a real problem since “he is not an addict.”


What are some anxiety props you have used to help cope with anxiety symptoms?

Stop the Anxiety Spiral

These props are helpful only for brief periods. There are longer lasting strategies to help cope with anxiety symptoms. These include breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Practices and more.

If you currently use props to manage anxiety symptoms, why not try a long-term approach to managing these symptoms?


Jumoke Omojola is a Mental Health Therapist in Omaha, Nebraska where she assists adults create healthier, happier lives and nurturing relationships. She serves Bellevue, Ralston, LaVista and other surrounding Omaha areas.