50 Tips for Interrupting Anxiety & Panic Attacks
Updated: Feb 28
Anxiety is a pattern of behaviour that comes and goes, sometimes without any warning. Often there can be a triggering event but that’s not always the case. Anxiety ranges from being mildly irritating to absolutely debilitating. Going to a therapist is extremely helpful but is rarely a quick fix, especially for people who have suffered with it for years. So, in the meantime, people can experience relief using various techniques. The key to finding success with the techniques is to try different ones to figure out which ones work for you. The following is a list of anxiety relief techniques for you to experiment with to help you to feel calmer and more peaceful.
1. Do some simple mental math…addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.
2. Notice 5 things you can see, hear, smell and touch.
3. Notice 5 things that are red, blue, green, etc.
4. Pick an object near you and describe it.
5. Do 5 minutes of easy yoga poses.
6. Balance a small ball on a plate while walking.
7. Touch your toes using the right hand to the left foot and alternate back and forth.
8. In point form write down what worries you.
9. Spend 2 minutes being mindful about how the anxiety feels in your body.
10. Do some breath work eg. Box breathing.
11. Close your eyes and picture relaxing all your facial muscles (including your tongue).
12. Play with a fidget toy.
13. Visualize inhaling positive energy and exhaling negative energy.
14. Notice your negative thoughts and remind yourself that they are not reality.
15. Smell something strong like Vick’s Vaporub
16. Hold an ice cube.
17. Tap back and forth on your knees.
18. Squeeze the area between your thumb and first finger.
19. Chew something sour.
20. Hold cold water in your mouth for five seconds.
21. Colour in an adult colouring book.
22. Lay under a weighted blanket.
23. Go for a walk/run.
24. Throw on some upbeat music and dance.
25. Google calming pictures.
26. Listen to an ASMR video on YouTube.
27. Play an instrument.
28. Paint a picture.
29. Knit (if you don’t know how, check out beginner tutorials on YouTube)
30. Do needlework.
31. Use calming lights on your ceiling when it’s dark.
32. Pet your dog/cat.
33. Go swimming.
34. Go for a drive.
35. Put your hands in the shape of a butterfly by hooking your thumbs and pat your chest with your palms back and forth.
36. Visualize being in a safe place.
37. Do a lifestyle inventory…do you eat well, exercise, drink water and get enough sleep
38. Make sure to eat every few hours.
39. Visit a mental health professional or call a crisis line.
40. Allow yourself to feel your emotions.
41. Use humour…give your anxiety a human name and tell it to piss off!
42. Take a cold shower.
43. Clean something.
44. Call a friend.
45. Put some nice lotion on your hands.
46. Use some Rescue Remedy.
47. Count backward by 5s from 100.
48. Listen to a story on the Calm app.
49. Do some gardening…really get your hands into the soil.
50. Have a quick nap.
And most importantly, once you feel calm again really notice how good that feels. Pay
attention to how that feels in your body. Appreciating that feeling of peace helps to
reinforce it so it can happen more often.