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Grounding Techniques for Anxiety Attacks: 3 Powerful Strategies to Regain Balance and Control

Does anxiety leave you feeling untethered? Discover 3 powerful grounding techniques for anxiety attacks to regain balance and control.

Anxiety attacks can be an overwhelming and frightening experience, leaving you feeling out of control and unable to cope. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can find balance and prevent anxiety attacks from taking over your life. In this article, we’ll explore three powerful grounding techniques for anxiety attacks that can help you regain control during these challenging moments. By practicing and mastering these strategies, you can halt the onset of an anxiety attack and maintain your emotional and physical well-being.

Grounding Techniques for Anxiety Attacks: Engage Your Senses

One of the most effective grounding techniques for anxiety attacks is the 3-3-3 technique, which focuses on engaging your senses to anchor yourself in the present moment, thus shifting your attention away from the anxiety attack.

Sight: Identify Things You Can See

Begin by looking around your environment and naming three things you can see. This can be anything from the color of the walls to a tree outside the window. By focusing on the visual details, you are directing your attention away from anxiety attacks and toward your surroundings, helping you regain a sense of control.

Hearing: Listen for Sounds Around You

Next, close your eyes and concentrate on three distinct sounds in your environment. This can be the ticking of a clock, the hum of a refrigerator, or the sound of a distant conversation. By tuning into these sounds, you’ll further anchor yourself in the present moment, allowing your mind to detach from the distressing thoughts and sensations associated with anxiety attacks.

Touch: Find Objects You Can Feel

Finally, find three objects you can physically touch. This can include items like the fabric of your clothes, the coolness of a glass, or the texture of a nearby object. Focus on the sensation of touch, noting the different textures and temperatures. By engaging your sense of touch, you are grounding yourself in the here and now, which can provide a sense of stability and control during anxiety attacks.

Harness the Power of Deep Breathing for Anxiety Attacks

Deep breathing exercises have long been recognized as effective tools for managing stress and anxiety attacks. By consciously slowing down your breath, you can activate your body’s relaxation response and counteract the physiological symptoms of anxiety. In this section, we’ll discuss three different deep breathing techniques that can help you regain control during anxiety attacks.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, focuses on engaging your diaphragm to promote deeper, more relaxed breaths. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of four, allowing your abdomen to rise as your diaphragm fills with air. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four, feeling your abdomen contract as you release the breath. Repeat this process for several minutes, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen. This technique can help soothe your nervous system and reduce the intensity of anxiety attacks.

Box Breathing

Box breathing is another effective deep breathing technique, often used by military personnel and first responders to manage stress in high-pressure situations. To practice, inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. Hold the breath in for another count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Finally, hold your breath out for a count of four. Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing on maintaining a steady rhythm and timing. This technique can help you regain control of your breath, while also promoting mental clarity and focus during anxiety attacks.

7-11 Breathing

7-11 breathing is a technique that involves inhaling for a count of 7 and exhaling for a count of 11. This method emphasizes a longer exhale, which encourages your body to relax more deeply. To practice, breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 7, and then exhale gently through your mouth for a count of 11. Repeat this process for several minutes, focusing on the extended exhalation to soothe your mind and body. This technique can help you regain control over your breath, reduce the intensity of anxiety attacks, and instill a sense of calm.

BONUS! 3 Additional Grounding Techniques for Anxiety Attacks

Nature Connection

Spending time in nature can be a powerful grounding technique for anxiety attacks. The natural environment offers a calming and soothing effect on the mind and body. Whether it’s a walk in the park, sitting by a river, or simply enjoying the presence of trees and plants, nature can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote overall well-being.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on the present moment, without judgment or resistance. Regular practice of mindfulness meditation can help improve your emotional resilience, making it easier to cope with anxiety attacks when they occur. To practice mindfulness meditation, find a comfortable position and focus on your breath, allowing thoughts and sensations to come and go without getting caught up in them. This practice can help you develop a greater sense of control over your thoughts and emotions, making it easier to manage anxiety attacks.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a grounding technique for anxiety attacks that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. By focusing on the contrast between tension and relaxation, you can release physical stress and help your body relax. To practice PMR, start with your feet and work your way up to your head, tensing each muscle group for 5-10 seconds before releasing the tension and moving on to the next group. This technique can be particularly helpful for those who experience physical symptoms during anxiety attacks.

Developing a “Grounding Techniques for Anxiety Attacks” Toolkit

Having a variety of grounding techniques for anxiety attacks at your disposal can be beneficial, as different strategies may work better in different situations or at different times. Experiment with the techniques outlined in this article and find the ones that work best for you. You may want to create a personal toolkit of grounding techniques for anxiety attacks that you can draw upon when needed.


Grounding techniques for anxiety attacks, like the 3-3-3 technique, deep breathing exercises, body scan, nature connection, mindfulness meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation, can help shift your focus from the overwhelming sensations of anxiety to the present moment. By engaging your senses, harnessing the power of your breath, reconnecting with your physical self, and exploring additional grounding strategies, you can regain control and find balance during these challenging experiences. Practice these techniques regularly, and you’ll be better equipped to halt anxiety attacks and maintain your emotional well-being. Remember, you have the power to overcome anxiety and create a more balanced, anxiety-free life.

Speak with a licensed therapist.

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Thomas Hanna

Thomas Hanna is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).