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How To Calm An Anxiety Attack: 10 Fast Ways To Ground Yourself

Anxiety attacks can feel scary, but you do have some control. Here are 10 effective strategies to help you learn how to calm an anxiety attack fast.

Anxiety can be frightening because it isn’t just about feeling worried — it’s a complex cocktail of emotions. It can have roots in a combination of life pressures, stress, or even underlying mental health conditions. Regardless of what’s causing your anxiety, we’ve got some simple techniques to help you manage your anxiety in the moment.

What does an anxiety attack feel like?

An anxiety attack can feel overwhelming and frightening. Symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, and a feeling of dread.

Everyone experiences an anxiety attack slightly differently, but many people have a sense of losing control or feeling detached from reality.

Is it an anxiety attack or a panic attack?

There are loads of misconceptions about anxiety attacks, so let’s get the first out of the way: anxiety attacks and panic attacks are two different things. They have similar symptoms and have related causes but aren’t identical. 

An anxiety attack usually gradually builds when there’s a stressor, like a looming deadline or a difficult conversation. Once the stressor is gone, the anxiety usually subsides, too.  A panic attack, however, can take you by surprise; it often arrives unexpectedly, with or without a trigger, and ramps up very quickly.

So, if your heart is galloping like it’s in the Kentucky Derby, your breath is fast, and your thoughts are out of control, you might be having a panic attack or an anxiety attack. The best way to know what you’re experiencing is by looking at the length of the attack (panic attacks usually last less than an hour) and whether there is an obvious trigger. 

With both anxiety and panic attacks, there are steps you can take to help you navigate the emotional turbulence and find your way back to a calmer mind and body. Here are some ways to ground yourself and return to a state of calm.

How to manage your anxiety to avoid anxiety attacks 

The best way to combat anxiety attacks is to try and ensure your anxiety stays in check. The best way to do this is to try and incorporate these tips into your daily life as often as possible. By managing your anxiety you can help ensure that it won’t spiral into an anxiety attack. Here are some additional tips to help with anxiety management.

Simple but effective, belly breathing is a great place to start. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, ensuring your belly rises more than your chest. Exhale slowly through the mouth, and repeat as necessary.

💙 Need a quick one-minute breathing reset? Try Moment of Calm – Breathe with Chibs Okereke. 

Stretching and movement

Stretching isn’t just for before or after a workout; it can relieve tension in your body caused by anxiety, too. 

Simple neck, shoulders, and back stretches can release that pent-up tension and give you a renewed sense of well-being.

💙 Try Releasing Stress with this episode of the Daily Move. It focuses on movement centred around letting go of stress and anxiety.

Guided imagery

Imagine yourself in a serene setting—a beach, a forest, or even a scene from your favourite book. Try to involve all your senses. What do you see? What can you touch? Immersing yourself in a detailed mental picture can be soothing and calming for lingering anxiety.

💙 Sometimes using a beautiful soundscape can help you set the scene for your guided meditation. 


Mindfulness meditation helps with anxiety by training the mind to focus on the present moment, thereby reducing the impact of stressors and interrupting the cycle of worry and fear.

💙 If you’re looking for a guided meditation to help you feel more centered try Breathe into Relaxation with Jay Shetty.

Your Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit

Sometimes, trying to remember every helpful tool can feel overwhelming at first, and that’s why we developed the Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit, a resource to help you cope with anxious feelings that contains all the resources you need located in one convenient place.

10 ways to calm an anxiety attack (fast)

Feeling an anxiety attack coming on can feel like watching a storm approach. Whether it’s anxiety about an upcoming social event, about work, or about the future in general, there are ways to help yourself through the worst of it.

1. Try a breathing technique

We’ve all been told to “just relax” but when you’re dealing with an anxiety attack that is easier said than done. Fortunately, specific breathing techniques are designed especially for those times when an anxiety attack is looming. 

Deep breathing exercises, for instance, can help by slowing down the heart rate. Try square breathing where you inhale deeply through the nose for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, and then exhaling through the mouth for another count of four, and hold again for four. 

You can repeat this simple exercise for as long as needed until you feel more in control.

💙 If you’re feeling panicked, Calm’s Panic SOS meditation can really help ground your anxiety by working with the breath.

2. Try progressive muscle relaxation

Sometimes the best way to curb an anxiety attack is to move the mind away from the feelings of panic by moving the body. Practicing progressive muscle relaxation where you focus on relaxing each group of muscles can help you do this. 

To practice PMR, you isolate different muscle groups, then tense them and then relax them. Many PMR practices would have you start with the toes, then move up to the feet, then to the calves, up the legs and on and on. 

💙 It’s normal for the body to experience tension when stressed, if you’re feeling those physical symptoms try this Release Tension practice with Jay Shetty.

3. Practice visualization

One effective visualization technique for calming an anxiety attack is Safe Place Visualization. Here’s how it works:

  • Close your eyes and take deep breaths
  • Visualize a peaceful place you love. Engage all your senses: What do you see, hear, and feel?
  • Use positive affirmations like “I am calm” or “I am safe
  • Keep breathing deeply as you visualize
  • Gently transition back to reality when ready.

This quick technique can help ground you during an anxiety attack and will become more effective with practice.

💙 Looking for another calming meditation practice? Try our Calming Anxiety guided practice.

4. Take a bath

Immersing yourself in water can sometimes feel like a mini-vacation for your anxious mind. Warm water can ease muscular tension, and you can focus on the sensation of water against your skin rather than your runaway thoughts. If you don’t have the option of a bath, splashing water on your face can help to slow your heart rate.

💙 Listening to music in the bath can be wonderful for calming anxiety. Try Restorative Piano 432 hz

5. Ground yourself with the 5-4-3-2-1 technique

The 5-4-3-2-1 rule is a grounding technique used to focus your mind and body on the present moment, especially effective during an anxiety attack. Here’s how it works:

  • Identify 5 things you can see: Look around and notice 5 things in your surroundings.
  • Identify 4 things you can touch: Feel the texture of objects around you.
  • Identify 3 things you can hear: Listen for and acknowledge 3 sounds.
  • Identify 2 things you can smell: Identify two different scents.
  • Identify 1 thing you can taste: Focus on the taste in your mouth or sip a drink.

By connecting with your senses, you help ground yourself in the present moment, which can relieve symptoms of an anxiety attack.

6. Listen to music or soothing sounds

Music has the power to shift our mood in an instant. Create a playlist of songs that calm you down and make you feel centred. If you don’t have your own, the Calm app has a range of soothing sounds and music designed to ease anxious minds.

💙 If you’re looking for a playlist specifically designed to calm your mind and body, try our Bilateral Stimulation EMDR playlist.

7. Walk it off

Getting your body moving can help to shift your mental state. Take a quick walk around the block or, if that’s not an option, simply pace around the room. Even gentle physical activity can get your blood flowing and naturally lift your mood. If your anxiety is very severe, it might be wise to take a friend with you or tell someone where you’re going just in case.

💙 If you’re looking for a mindful movement practice to help calm feelings of anxiety try, Softening Anxiety with Mel Mah.

8. Share your feelings

Sometimes, you just need to get things off your chest. Reach out to a friend or family member you trust, because putting our feelings into words and gaining another perspective can lessen the weight of our worries.

Sometimes saying the words, “I think I’m having an anxiety attack” out loud can help to disempower the attack. By speaking the words to someone who can help you, you’re offloading some of the responsibility from your own shoulders which can help lessen those feelings of anxiety.

9. Avoid stimulants like coffee and other caffeinated beverages

While there are plenty of tense moments in life where a cosy cup of coffee or tea will relax you, the middle of an anxiety attack is not one of them. Drinks containing caffeine can make anxiety worse. If you’re in the middle of an attack, it’s best to avoid them. Instead, choose herbal tea or sip a glass of water. 

A word of caution: Drinks containing alcohol might give someone a temporary feeling of relief, but once the effects wear off the feelings of anxiety could rebound and be even worse.

10. Distract yourself

Distraction can be a very effective quick fix. Listen to your favourite music, read a chapter of a book, or watch a funny video clip. Shifting your focus away from anxiety can sometimes be enough to defuse it or make it more manageable. 

Sometimes anxiety attacks manifest as a result of anticipatory anxiety. Worrying about having a panic attack can bring one on. If you feel anxious at all, find ways to move your mind away from your rising panic and towards something else that’s calming and peaceful. You might even have a box where you keep all your favourite distractions. Your favourite book, a nice-smelling candle, a cosy sweater. 

If the anxiety attack is very strong, you can try a more intense distraction like holding an ice cube, popping a sour candy into your mouth, or even plunging your face into cold water.

💙 Consider using one of Calm’s Sleep Stories, to help transport your mind somewhere more peaceful and tranquil. 

These techniques can help you quell a rising anxiety attack, and each can support you in a different way. Try them individually, or use a combination of several to calm a wave of anxiety.

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Veteran Benefits Australia Privacy Policy

Here at Veteran Benefits Australia, (we, us, our, or Veteran Benefits Australia) protecting your privacy and treating your personal information with care is of paramount importance to us. This Privacy Policy explains why we collect personal information and how we collect, use, disclose, store and protect your personal information when you use our Veteran Benefits Australia Services (our referral services to third party suppliers of goods and services to veterans and anything we add to those services from time to time).

It also explains how to contact us to correct, update or delete any personal information provided to us, or make a complaint if you have concerns. We are compliant with the privacy principles of Australia.

We will only collect and process personal information about you where we have a lawful basis to do so. Lawful basis includes consent (where you have given consent such as filling out our “contact us” form), contract (where processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with you) and legitimate interests (including security threats or frauds, compliance with applicable laws, and enabling us to administer our business).

You expressly and voluntarily grant your informed consent to Veteran Benefits Australia to deal with your personal information in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy. You have the right to withdraw or decline your consent at any time and where we rely on legitimate interests, you have the right to object.

Changes that we make to our Privacy Policy

We will notify you about any changes to our Privacy Policy by updating the “Last updated” date of this Privacy Policy.  You are encouraged to periodically review this Privacy Policy to stay informed of updates. You will be deemed to have been made aware of, will be subject to, and will be deemed to have accepted the changes in any revised Privacy Policy by your continued use of the Veteran Benefits Australia Services after the date such revised Privacy Policy is posted.

Which entities does this Privacy Policy cover?

This Privacy Policy applies to Veteran Benefits Australia with respect to the Veteran Benefits Australia Services.

What is personal information?

Personal information is defined as information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.

What personal information do we collect?

From time to time Veteran Benefits Australia may offer the ability to make a donation or purchase goods or services including merchandise through its Website. The terms of donation or purchase will be in accordance with the online check-out terms and conditions appearing on check-out of the transaction.

Why do we collect your personal information?

We may collect your personal information when required by law but generally we collect personal information from you (or about you) to allow us to:

  • supply you with the Veteran Benefits Australia Services;
  • supply you with tailored service offerings that may benefit you;
  • communicate more effectively with you about our services such as through our newsletter;
  • supply marketing or promotional materials and other information to you;
  • ensure your experience with us is a positive one; and
  • notify you about our new services or product offerings, discounts, promotions or upcoming events.


Personal information collected or received by us will only be used for the stated purpose for which it was provided.

When you access the Veteran Benefits Australia Services, we may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, your operating system, the type of Internet browser you use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data (Usage Data).

When do we disclose your personal information?

Your personal information will not be used contrary to this Privacy Policy but may be disclosed to third parties in the following circumstances:

  • for the purpose it was collected (such as a referral to a third party service provider);
  • if we sell all or part of our business and the purchaser also requires your personal information;
  • to enforce our legal rights or those of others;
  • to prevent actual or potential fraud or illegal activity; or
  • if we are required to do so by law.


If personal information is disclosed to a third party, we are required to take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is treated in accordance with the laws that apply to personal information.

When and how do we collect your personal information?

We collect most personal information directly from you when you make an enquiry about our Veteran Benefits Australia Services from us. Your consent may be express (e.g. you agree to the use of your information by ticking a box) or implied by an action you take or do not take (i.e. because you have agreed to terms and conditions that contain information about the use or disclosure of your information).   At the date of this policy, your consent is given when you register your interest in a service, sign up for our newsletter or complete our contact us registration form.

What if you don’t want us to collect your personal information?

You are not obligated to provide us with your personal information. You may choose whether you receive communications from us. Whilst it is your choice not to provide your personal information to us this may impede our ability to provide you with all of the functionality of our Veteran Benefits Australia Services.

What if you don’t want to receive further communications from us?

Should you wish to remove yourself from our contact database you may do so at any time by contacting us at www.veteranbenefitsaustralia.com/contact-us/

How can I access, correct and/or update personal information you have collected?

At any time you may contact our Privacy Officer and request your personal information be modified. We will make all efforts to correct data once we have proved your identity.

We will deal with all requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days from the date of your request (unless any complexities arise).

We will refuse access where the personal information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings, and the information would not be accessible by the process of discovery in those proceedings. Further, we will refuse access where your request is frivolous or vexatious, and where we reasonably believe that: giving access would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or public safety; unlawful activity, or misconduct of a serious nature, is being or may be engaged in against Veteran Benefits Australia and giving access would be likely to prejudice the taking of appropriate action in relation to that matter.

If we refuse to give you access we will provide you with reasons for our refusal, unless doing so would be unreasonable in the circumstances. We will also take reasonable steps to give you access in a way that meets your needs without giving rise to the reasons of our refusal. Further, we will provide details of how you may make a complaint about our decision.

Please note that the access and correction requirements under this Privacy Policy operates alongside and do not replace other informal or legal procedures by which an individual can be provided access to, or correction of, their personal information.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

For us to provide excellent service we are required to store some personal information and take the greatest of care to ensure this information is treated as private and confidential. Transmitting personal data via the internet does have inherent risks associated with it. We will however take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of this data. Note that no information transmitted over the Internet can be guaranteed to be completely secure. While we will endeavour to protect your personal information as best as possible we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you transmit to us, or receive from us. The transmission and exchange of information is carried out at your own risk.

Although we take measures to safeguard against unauthorised disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that personal information that we collect will not be disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Policy.

We have taken the necessary measures to ensure the personal information (including the financial information about yourself) we hold is not compromised. In accordance with and as permitted by applicable law and regulations we will retain your information as long necessary to serve you, to maintain your Veteran Benefits Australia registration or as otherwise need to operate our business.

It is important that you protect your privacy by ensuring that no one obtains your personal information and you must contact us directly if your details change. Should your information be erroneously provided to us or no longer remain valid within the constraints of this Privacy Policy we will securely destroy or de-identify it as soon as practicable, as long as it is lawful to do so.

We have obligations to notify you if you are affected by an data breach. We will take all reasonable precautions to take remedial action to prevent such an event. However, as we cannot guarantee that remedial action will be sufficient to prevent all instances of a breach, we will take steps to notify you of an eligible data breach as soon as practicable and provide recommendations as to what steps you should take to mitigate any serious loss or damage.


Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behaviour information. When you visit our website, we may collect information from you automatically through cookies or similar technology.

Insofar as those cookies are not strictly necessary for the provision of our website and services, we will ask you to consent to our use of cookies when you first visit our website.

How do we use cookies?

We use cookies in a range of ways to improve your experience on our website, including understanding how you use our website.

What types of cookies do we use?

There are a number of different types of cookies, however, our website uses:

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How to manage cookies

You can set your browser not to accept cookies, and the above website tells you how to remove cookies from your browser. However, in a few cases, some of our website features may not function as a result.

Third party sites

Our site has links to other websites and services provided on those websites not owned or controlled by us. These links are meant for your convenience only. Links to third party websites do not constitute sponsorship or endorsement or approval of these websites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practises of other such websites. We encourage our users to be aware, when they leave our website, to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personal identifiable information.

Disclosure policy:

Veteran Benefits Australia is in no way associated with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Veteran Benefits Australia is an online service providing an information blog that has affiliate agreements with its service providers. Veteran Benefits Australia is remunerated for its services from the service providers for the marketing and services it provides. Please note that some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that Veteran Benefits Australia will earn a commission if you decide to proceed with the service providers services they are providing. Please understand that I have thoroughly checked these service providers and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful for veterans, not simply because we make money from referring you to them. Please don’t proceed with these services if you don’t think they will benefit you or your family. Veteran Benefits Australia is purely designed to promote the awareness of these services and does not accept payments from veterans directly.

Veteran Benefits Australia Terms & Conditions

These are the terms and conditions of Veteran Benefits Australia. All advices, referrals and other services provided by Veteran Benefits Australia (“Services”) whether via its website at www.veteranbenefitsaustralia.com (“Website”) or by contacting Veteran Benefits Australia in any other manner, are provided on these Terms & Conditions and all customers of Veteran Benefits Australia’s Services (each a “Customer”) agree to these Terms & Conditions as a pre-condition of obtaining any Services from Veteran Benefits Australia. No terms and conditions introduced by the Customer shall take effect to vary these Terms & Conditions unless expressly agreed in writing by Veteran Benefits Australia.

About Veteran Benefits Australia’s Services

Veteran Benefits Australia’s Services are an online service and information blog designed to connect Customers to third party service providers (“Service Providers”) to facilitate Customers’ awareness and access to possible useful services for veterans, whether at full or discounted prices, as described in the various service categories described on the Website.

Veteran Benefits Australia does not of itself provide any health care service, social security service, legal or financial advice or any other direct service of any kind.

Veteran Benefits Australia is not affiliated with the Department of Veteran Affairs or any other Government department, the Returned and Services League Australia (RSL) or any other veterans association.

Veteran Benefits Australia’s Services are an independent online service.

About Service Providers

Whilst all care is taken to connect Customers with suitable, qualified and appropriate Service Providers based on the Customer’s instructions as to their needs, Veteran Benefits Australia does not endorse the advices of any Service Provider and expressly disclaims any liability for any products and services provided by Service Providers. Customers are encouraged to consider if the products and services of the Service Provider are suitable for the Customer’s needs and seek independent advice if required.

Veteran Benefits Australia will not conduct any assessments of the Customer’s needs and any recommendation that Veteran Benefits Australia makes for use of any Service Provider including for the making of any social security application, health care or other services is purely based on Veteran Benefits Australia’s response to the Customer’s request and their own assessment of their needs and circumstances.

Donations, merchandise and paid goods and services

From time to time Veteran Benefits Australia may offer the ability to make a donation or purchase goods or services including merchandise through its Website. The terms of donation or purchase will be in accordance with the online check-out terms and conditions appearing on check-out of the transaction.

Informed Consent for Social Worker Services

The purpose of the following is to inform you about the provision of social worker services by Medilinks Australia Online Pty Ltd t/as VBA Health (“us”, “we” “VBA Health”) and for you to consent to receive social worker services from us and to our management of your personal information.

Part A

Social Worker Services

Type of Services

Social worker services include the following supports:

Part B

Management of Health and Medical Information

Collection of Personal Information

As part of providing social worker services to you, we need to collect and record personal information from you that is relevant to your situation, such as your name, contact information, medical history and other relevant information. This collection of personal information will be a necessary part of the services that are provided.

Viewing Your Accepted Conditions

The following steps will help view the accepted conditions of your DVA white card via the MyGov website.

Step 1:

Go to https://my.gov.au

Sign in to your myGov account using your Username and Password.

You can sign in to myGov using the following:

  • Your username (Your myGov username has 2 letters and 6 numbers. For example XY123456)
  • Your email address used to create your account
  • Your mobile number (if you have enabled this option)

After entering your login details you may be required to provide a one-time access code.

  • A one-time use code is sent by SMS to your mobile phone.

If you do not have a myGov account, you can create one by selecting Create myGov account on the myGov sign-in page.

using the MyGov login page

Step 2:

Once you have logged into your account scroll down until you see the heading ‘Your Services’.

Your Services lists the government programs you access that offer online services through myGov. You should see ‘Department of Veteran Affairs’ listed here.

Select ‘Department of Veteran Affairs’.

If you do not see Department of Veteran Affairs listed you will have to link this service to your account (See the video below).

You can do this by selecting Link another service.

Select the DVA tile

Step 3:

This is your Department of Veterans’ Affairs My Service Home Page.

My Service allows you to access DVA services online such as:

  • Access support for a service-related condition or injury
  • Access your digital DVA Veteran Card
  • Lodge and track the status of your claims

Look in the middle column titled Claims.

Select Accepted Conditions.

Select Accepted Conditions from the Claims Menu

Step 4:

This page shows your digital DVA Veteran Card.

You will see information such as your Card NumberExpiryCard Type and the Conditions listed on your card.

Select the Conditions Listed drop-down menu to view the conditions listed on your card.

Step 5:

Select Print this Page in the top right-hand corner of the page to download your digital DVA Card as a PDF.

Alternatively, if accessing this on your mobile phone you can take a screenshot of this page. Depending on your phone you can:

  • Press the Side button and the Volume up button at the same time (iPhone)
  • Press the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time


Video on how to log on and link my service: