20 Grounding Techniques for Panic Attacks

Panic attacks hit hard, bringing on waves of fear and anxiety that can knock you off your feet. Your heart races, you break out in a sweat, your hands shake, and it feels like you can’t catch your breath. It’s downright scary. But here’s the thing: you’re not alone, and there are ways to deal with it. Coping with panic attacks takes some savvy strategies, and that’s where grounding techniques come in. They’re like your trusty toolkit for regaining control and finding some much-needed relief.


Here Are 20 Grounding Techniques for Panic Attacks

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a fundamental technique for calming the body and mind during panic attacks. By inhaling slowly and deeply through the nose, and exhaling slowly through the mouth, you can regulate your heart rate and induce a state of relaxation.

2. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves cultivating awareness of the present moment without judgment. By focusing on sensations like the breath, sounds, or bodily sensations, you can anchor yourself in the present and alleviate the grip of panic.

3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves systematically tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body. By consciously releasing physical tension, you can promote relaxation and reduce overall anxiety levels.

4. Visualization Techniques

Visualization techniques encourage you to imagine yourself in a calming or soothing environment. By vividly picturing scenes like a tranquil beach or a peaceful forest, you can create a mental escape from the intensity of panic.

5. Counting Exercises

Counting exercises provide a distraction from panic-inducing thoughts by engaging the mind in a structured task. Counting backwards from a specific number or counting objects in the environment can help redirect attention and ease feelings of panic.

6. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

The 5-4-3-2-1 technique uses your senses to ground you in the present moment. By naming five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste, you can shift your focus away from panic and into your immediate surroundings.

7. Body Scan Meditation

Body scan meditation involves systematically directing attention to different parts of the body, noting sensations without judgment. This practice promotes relaxation, body awareness, and a sense of connection to the present moment.

8. Guided Imagery

Guided imagery involves listening to audio recordings or scripts that lead you through visualizations of peaceful and comforting scenes. By immersing yourself in these guided journeys, you can cultivate a sense of calm and inner peace.

9. Square Breathing

Square breathing, also known as box breathing, is a technique that involves inhaling, holding the breath, exhaling, and then holding the breath again, each for an equal count of seconds. This rhythmic pattern can help regulate breathing and induce a state of calmness.

10. Grounding Objects

Keeping a grounding object, such as a smooth stone or a stress ball, can provide a tangible anchor during moments of panic. Holding or focusing on the object can serve as a comforting reminder of stability and safety.

11. Affirmations

Positive affirmations are empowering statements that challenge negative thoughts and beliefs. By repeating affirmations like “I am safe” or “I am capable of managing this,” you can counteract feelings of panic with self-assurance and resilience.

12. Physical Exercise

Engaging in light physical activity, such as walking or stretching, can help alleviate symptoms of panic by releasing endorphins and reducing muscular tension. Regular exercise also promotes overall well-being and stress reduction.

13. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils or scented products to promote relaxation and emotional well-being. Scents like lavender, chamomile, or citrus can help calm the nervous system and alleviate feelings of panic.

14. Listening to Music

Listening to soothing music can have a profound impact on mood and emotional state. Slow-tempo music or nature sounds can induce relaxation and provide a comforting backdrop during moments of panic.

15. Journaling

Journaling offers a therapeutic outlet for expressing emotions, thoughts, and experiences during panic attacks. By putting feelings into words, you can gain insight, process emotions, and cultivate a sense of clarity and perspective.

16. Tapping (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), or tapping, involve gently tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on feelings of panic or distress. This practice can help alleviate anxiety and restore emotional balance.

17. Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is a simple yet effective technique for reducing symptoms of panic. The repetitive motion of chewing can help regulate breathing, alleviate tension, and provide a distraction from anxious thoughts.

18. Cold Water Splash

Splashing cold water on the face or taking a cold shower can activate the body’s dive reflex, which slows down heart rate and induces a calming effect. This quick and accessible technique can help interrupt the cycle of panic and promote relaxation.

19. Engaging the Senses

Engaging the senses by focusing on sensory experiences in the environment can help ground you in the present moment. Activities like feeling the texture of an object, noticing colors in the surroundings, or savoring the taste of food can provide a comforting anchor during moments of panic.

20. Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk involves replacing negative thoughts with affirming and empowering statements. By consciously challenging catastrophic thinking and cultivating self-compassion, individuals can build resilience and cope more effectively with panic attacks.


Get Help Today!

As you navigate through the storm of panic attacks, remember that you’re not alone in this journey. The Beverly Hills Therapy Group, your trusted Anxiety Therapist in Los Angeles, is here to support you every step of the way. We’ve provided you with 20 grounding techniques to help you manage those overwhelming moments and find relief. Now it’s time to take action. Choose a few techniques that resonate with you and make them a part of your daily routine. Practice them regularly, especially during times of stress or anxiety. Remember, finding the right combination of techniques may take some trial and error, so be patient with yourself. And if you ever need additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can overcome panic attacks and reclaim your sense of peace and well-being. Take the first step towards healing today.

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