If you aren't into meditating and don't have access to a therapist, try a breathing strategy that can be done anywhere. "It's helpful for people to practice these techniques when they aren't feeling anxious so they are better equipped to implement these skills in an anxious state, when adrenaline and emotions are high," said Lauren Mosback, MA, LPC, NCC, and founder of Lauren Mosback Counseling Services.
The first technique Lauren recommends is 4-7-8 breathing. "Slowly breathe in [for] four seconds, hold your breath [for] seven seconds, and exhale [for] eight seconds," she said. She suggested repeating this technique four to five times.
Another breathing technique you can follow is the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. "Rather than being trapped by anxious thoughts in your mind, grounding helps you stay in the present moment instead of worrying about things that have happened or may happen in the future," she said.
How to do the 5-4-3-2-1 technique: "Look around you and list five things you see, name four things you feel (your hair, a carpet), three things you hear (birds, the sound of your breath), two things you can smell (your perfume, a candle), and one thing you can taste," Lauren said. "This strategy helps individuals feel more in control of their surroundings and themselves by refocusing on their body and how they are physically feeling rather than on their anxious thoughts," she explained.
LaQuista Erinna, PhD, LCSW, founder of T.H.R.I.V.E. Behavioral Health and Consulting, recommends trying the four-square breathing technique. "Breathe in for four [seconds], breathe out for four [seconds], breath in for four [seconds], and breathe out for four [seconds]," she explained.