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How can I calm down when anxiety hits in a situation?

33 Answers
Last Updated: 05/26/2020 at 4:14pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Theresa Gulliver, Registered Clinical Counsellor


Problems cannot be solved using the same level of thinking that created them. We must try something different. Gently, we turn your challenges into opportunities for healing.

Top Rated Answers
March 21st, 2015 7:40am
Noticing warning signs like breathing , tense shoulders and other things is a great way of managing yourself and space before things get to the point like it all feels to much ! Once you notice the anxiety has impacted on your feelings then breathing and calm thoughts help with mindfulness tools ...
May 31st, 2015 8:41pm
Try and use breathing techniques is the best way or try and think positive thoughts which is likely
January 18th, 2016 3:40am
Take a step back, from the situation and from yourself. Ground yourself in the present--using whatever techniques work for you; deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness, positive and rational self-talk, etc. Ask for help if you need it; ask for space if you need it. And tell yourself: you got this.
March 24th, 2015 9:44pm
Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale for about 3 seconds each time. Close your eyes and think to yourself that everything is going to be just fine.
April 25th, 2015 10:56am
In such situation, I will drink plenty of water, or write down my anxiety to get it out. If there is a possibility, I will find find someone to talk.
May 6th, 2015 8:32pm
I like to use a grounding technique: I try to list 5 things I can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear in order to draw myself back to the 'present'.
May 24th, 2015 6:39pm
Think about someone who makes you happy, or something that makes you happy. Maybe think of your pet dog if you have one. Maybe think of your best friend. Zoning out and imagining that you are in your happy place could be a good idea at times.
May 27th, 2015 8:26am
You can do different breathing techniques and keep reminding yourself that there's nothing to worry about.
May 29th, 2015 8:11am
In my experience the best way to calm down is to entirely focus on your breathing. Take long deep breaths. Every breath you take inward think in your mind "in". Every breath you take outward, think "out". If you get a good rhythm and really shut out everything else except 'in and out' you should be able to calm down. This only works however if you really commit to thinking those words only as loud as you can in your mind, just breathe, it will be alright.
June 17th, 2015 12:42am
Sit or lie down, and take deep breaths. Its easier to think of something that will distract you healthily like reading a book or watching a movie
June 18th, 2015 6:31am
Remember anxiety is not bad at all. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming. Don't try to fight with the anxiety. It's okay to be anxious. Sit for some minutes and observe the breathing. It might be disturbed, but let it be. Slowly slowly the breathing becomes normal. Remember anxiety can't last longer. When you are anxious, you have a lot of anxious automatic thoughts in your mind. Try to write them as they come. Then try to validate each thought whenever you have free time. After regular practice you'll be able to filter automatic thoughts when anxiety hits you.
June 18th, 2015 1:14pm
Do you have a favorite perfume? Carry it around wherever you are and when you feel anxious, smell at it! It will calm you down.
June 22nd, 2015 2:12pm
There are many strategies that you can use to control your anxiety. It is best to practice these during a period when you are less anxious. These techniques include diaphragmatic (deep) breathing. This is especially important because when we are anxious our heart rate speeds up and our breathing becomes shallow. By making our breath deeper we can slow the rate we are breathing down and this naturally brings our heart rate down too. One key thing to remember about breathing is that you need to make your out breath at least as long, if not longer, than your in breath. This avoids the effects of hyperventilation. There are many other ideas too but this one seems fairly key.
June 30th, 2015 9:27pm
Breathe! When anxiety hits, it's important to step back and breathe. Really analyze the situation, but only after you've removed yourself from it. Are your thoughts logical? Consider alternatives to your current way of thinking.
August 18th, 2015 2:01pm
First I try to take deep breaths and lower my heart rate. If that does not work I drink water to control my breathing speed; the coolness also calms me down. I tend to look at the ground or a fixed object.
October 27th, 2015 6:44pm
Look around you. Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
November 3rd, 2015 6:31am
Practice your breathing. Breathing is such an important aspect in anxiety. Tell yourself that you'll get through it, and that you always will, even if you don't believe it.
December 21st, 2015 8:34pm
I'm a Dude with alot of Adrenalin all the time, just constantly go go go. I find so long as i remind my self to think, im able to step out of the situation and re-evaluate it. this in turn helps to keep you cool calm and groovy
March 14th, 2016 6:07am
Focusing on your breathing can help you calm down. Think about inhaling negativity and exhaling positivity. Sometimes, trying to analyze what's making you anxious helps too. What are you scared of? Why does it scare you? What's something similar you've dealt with in the past?
March 29th, 2016 4:16pm
Anxiety is tough. For me, my anxiety stricked me anywhere and at any time, from in class at School, to my bed in the middle of the night. Mindfulness is a form of imagery meditation that focuses your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. There are tons of websites that will help you. As well as this though, by telling your family and friends about your anxiety, and knowing that the average panic attack can't kill you or last longer than 20 minutes, you should be fine, Stay strong :)
May 23rd, 2016 3:06am
The first thing to do is breath. Especially in these situations, breathing and getting oxygen to the brain is the most important. Another is to leave the place that the situation is causing you to have anxiety and walk around and breath.
May 23rd, 2016 10:51am
When anxiety hits, there's many ways to calm down,grounding techniques, distractions, repetitive motions or chants. Music and self consolations. The best method is the one that you find works for you. I use grounding techniques like, "I'll look for everything in the room that is blue(or another color or specific shape)" or I'll also say my alphabet backwards to distract myself. Focusing on soothing breathing. Meditation.
March 7th, 2017 6:11am
In my experience the best way to calm yourself down whilst having an aniexty attack is to focus mostly on your breathing. If you can focus your mind to breathing deeply then aniexty symptoms should suppress. Meditation is also another really great thing someone can do to help them take their mind of things and calm themselves down. Practicising meditation everyday for even just 20 minutes a day can really be a fantastic preventative towards aniexty.
June 27th, 2017 5:24pm
What works for me is to focus on my breathing, trying to inhale and exhale slowly. To have something warm between my hands helps me calm down so maybe it could help someone else too! It also helps to remember that can be controlled, as if it were a superpower. It takes time but one can learn how to manage it, breathing in slowly, and remembering that whatever were feeling anxious about won't harm us for we"re strong and capable of doing anything we set out minds to
September 4th, 2017 2:53pm
Hi there! I am personally a really big fan of poetry, so I find that it helps to close my eyes, take deep breaths, and recite my favourite poem. Hope this helps :)
October 30th, 2017 4:47pm
My first step is usually to try to take a step back, be it physically by leaving the situation briefly or just mentally. This can include just focusing on breathing for 1 minute, and trying my best to just acknowledge my anxious thoughts before letting them go. Realise that they are just thoughts and might not be an accurate representation of the situation I'm in.
December 5th, 2017 2:18pm
The trick is to be able to access your breath. If you can take a full breath, and access the same calm, slow respiration rate that you achieve in a meditation or during sleep, you can access your emotions and stay centered.
January 16th, 2018 7:11am
Using a breathing technique. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, hold for two seconds, and release through your mouth for five seconds. Repeat this until you feel calm enough to evaluate the situation causing you anxiety.
April 10th, 2018 7:13pm
I try pretend I have two voices in my head. One is getting really anxious and the other one is strong. The strong one tells the other that we can't do this right now, and will have to deal with why we are anxious later. Plus deep breathing/ the centered feeling that you get when meditating.
April 17th, 2018 7:29pm
Focus on your breathing and remind yourself that you're safe and loved. If you have a fidget or something important to you like a necklace or other object, play with it and use it to ground you.