Therapies & Solutions

Can a Wrist Band Help You Control Your Anxiety?

  • Anxiety wrist bands are a popular “anxiety treatment” promoted on many alternative health sites.
  • Wrist bands that “treat anxiety” (such as those with magnets or ions) have no effect and cannot treat the condition.
  • However, the wrist bands themselves can be used as part of a behavioral treatment for anxiety.
  • Combined with affirmations, wrist bands for anxiety can be part of a self-help treatment plan.
  • Wristbands are not a substitute for treatment, but a useful way to augment other approaches.
Micah Abraham, BSc

Written by

Micah Abraham, BSc

Last updated March 1, 2021

Can a Wrist Band Help You Control Your Anxiety?

Anxiety is such a common condition that many "experts" have developed theories for how to treat anxiety that are simply designed to take advantage of you in your desperate condition. There are lots of examples of products that are simply ineffective. They claim to help with anxiety but ultimately do nothing. At best, they temporarily relieve your through the placebo effect.

But there's an interesting anxiety reduction strategy that sounds far out there, as though it couldn't possibly work. Yet it's not a product at all. It goes by many different names, but it's essentially called the "wristband" technique, and it can help many people control their overall anxiety levels.

A Wrist Band? For Anxiety?

An anxiety wristband is not an anxiety treatment. It's not some new age treatment like those magnets that people put on their arms to reduce stress. In fact, it doesn't have to be a wristband at all. Many people use rubber bands or hair bands. Anything that can go on your wrists can potentially provide the same benefit.

Living in Your Own Head

One of the major issues that affects those with anxiety is this feeling that they're inside of their own head. They feel like they're unable to experience the world, and that they're so lost in thought that they cannot seem to focus and enjoy life.

The wristband anxiety treatment is designed to take you out of your own head and snap you back into reality. It's a physical reminder designed to get you to stop over-thinking and prevent anxiety from getting worse. You use the technique as follows:

  • Pick a rubber band or elastic wrist band - it must be able to snap.
  • Make sure you choose one that you are willing to wear every day.
  • Decide what you want to say to yourself or remember. For example: "I am not going to let anxiety control me" or "Nothing is wrong with me. My anxiety causes me to feel this way."
  • You can also try to remember how to overcome your anxiety like slowing down your breathing.
    Snap the rubber band against your wrist 3 times. It may sting a little.
  • Repeat what you want to remember as you're snapping it.

Then, when you experience symptoms anxiety, snap it again and repeat to yourself what you need to remember, whether it's the affirmation or the tips for overcoming your panic attack or anxiety.

How Do These Wristband Treatments Work?

These wristbands and rubber bands are not doing anything magical. They're not claiming to be able to suck your anxiety out or change your spirit. They have nothing to do with "toxins." What they are is the type of reminder that those with anxiety need in order to help overcome their symptoms.

Living with anxiety requires far too much thinking. These rubber bands, and the little bit of pain that snapping them back on your arm causes, help bring you back to reality so that your thoughts are not causing you to feel like things around you are crashing. They are a great tool to remind you of something you need to remember, and they're nondescript - meaning they're one of the few anxiety treatments that few others will be able to notice, and they can be done almost anywhere.

Anxiety wristbands can be made yourself and are a great tool for associating yourself with a stress free idea. The more you bring yourself out of your own head, the easier time you'll have coping with your anxiety.

Of course, these elastic wristbands are not an anxiety cure. They're more of a relaxation strategy. Combine with smart anxiety treatments and you may be able to substantially reduce symptoms of anxiety.


Some companies sell wrist bands for anxiety claiming they provide some function, like removing toxins or regulating hormones. Those types of wristbands do not work, but these bands can be part of a useful behavioral approach to addressing severe anxiety symptoms. Combining it with a science based treatment plan can be useful. 

Questions? Comments?

Do you have a specific question that this article didn’t answered? Send us a message and we’ll answer it for you!

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Where can I go to learn more about Jacobson’s relaxation technique and other similar methods?

– Anonymous patient


You can ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional who uses relaxation techniques to help patients. Not all psychologists or other mental health professionals are knowledgeable about these techniques, though. Therapists often add their own “twist” to the technqiues. Training varies by the type of technique that they use. Some people also buy CDs and DVDs on progressive muscle relaxation and allow the audio to guide them through the process.

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