11 Ways To Tackle Anxiety Before The Panic Attack Strikes

An anti-anxiety expert shares little extra help to get out of your head and into your body.

woman relaxing, finding relief from anxiety Pavel Danilyuk | Canva

I used to manage my anxiety when it appeared, and then I would be distracted from the emotion and feel numb, so I'd do a workout, and then overeat. It was a reactive approach to anxiety, and the anxiety worsened. However, when we proactively do little things to alleviate anxiety every single day, we can hit a baseline of feeling good.

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Here are 11 exercises to relax and find anxiety relief.

1. Get some rest

I go to bed at 10:00 pm, and I wake up anywhere between 5:45 and 6:15 unless I'm doing a writing sprint and I get up earlier.


Rest is so important. If you can get eight to nine hours a night — do it! Don't be scrolling social media, watching videos, or other activities. It is OK to do these activities but set a time limit. "Hey, I'm going to check out reels for 15 minutes, and that's it."  You don't want to mindlessly scroll for hours on end. Right? It cuts into your rest.

She is relaxing with headphones on to find anxiety relief PeopleImages.com - Yuri A via Shutterstock


For new parents and others on different schedules, 8-9 hours of sleep might not be realistic. So, wherever you're at in life, maximize rest as much as possible, which includes rest at night and rest during the day.

Take little brain breaks. If you have 15 free minutes on your schedule, don't go into your email and try and get through all your emails during your break. That's not a break. Instead, breathe for 15 minutes because it is relaxing. It calms the mind. It opens the heart. It drops you into the body. Breath is rest.

2. Limit caffeine and alcohol

I love my morning cup of coffee. I really do. I'm not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee, but don't drink it consistently throughout the day because it's a stimulant, and it'll affect your anxiety.

Same thing with alcohol. I used to do more drinking. Now, I don't drink a lot, maybe twice a month, but every single time I drink alcohol, I feel way more anxious the next day. For those of you who are constantly feeling anxious on a day-to-day basis, check in with that. Again, I'm not telling you not to drink alcohol, but limit it.


3. Pay attention to hydration and electrolytes

Get those electrolytes in your belly! I'm obsessed with electrolytes. I have them in my water all day long. I drink water all day long, and I’m always leaving team meetings to pee (lol, seriously!) I’ll be like, I got to go, BRB! So this one's a simple one.

4. Use grounding practices and earthing

Get your feet on the earth. Get your feet in the soil, go walk in the sand, go walk in the grass, find a little patch of earth, and get your body on it. Better yet, lying down.

@lisalongcompston Earthing, AKA Grounding is so beneficial.This aids in stress, vitality, blood flow, sleep, and so much #earthing #nature #momsoftiktok #almost50yearsyoung #earth #grounding#earthing #sun #naturalmedicine #naturesmedicine ♬ original sound - Loyal 🤴🏾

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5. Have a healthy connection

Uninterrupted, soul-to-soul human connection. Whether with your partner, family, friends, or all of them — a deep connection can put your heart at ease and help you find anxiety relief instantly.

6. Do a cold plunge

You don't need to have a cold plunge. You can have cold showers. Blasting the water on cold every single day. There are so many health and emotional benefits, but this is more of a mental practice. This practice will train your mindset to believe, “I can handle and do hard things!” The cold plunge is my hard thing. I meet the resistance. I feel the resistance. I settle into it.

That's the same relationship I have with my anxiety. I feel the anxiety. I meet the anxiety. I settle into it. I accept it. And guess what? I transcend it.

Get your body in some cold water. Whether it is the cold plunge, or a cold shower, as cold as in nature is my favorite. When I lived in Canada, I would jump in rivers. I would jump in little pools of water I saw. It was so much fun. I've always loved cold exposure for the mental challenge of it, but also the health benefits.


7. Practice journalling

I love doing a stream of consciousness in the morning when I get up. It's part of my morning ritual of just writing. My partner always asks, "Are you writing about me?" And I'm like, "No, what I'm writing about doesn't even make sense!"

Just grab your pen, grab a journal and just write whatever comes to mind. And it might not even make sense. But when we just take everything that's in our mind and we put it on paper, we create clarity in our mind. When we have clarity in our mind, our body is not responding energetically to our thoughts, and that helps reduce anxiety a lot.

She is journaling to relax and find anxiety relief GaudiLab via Shutterstock


8. Use breath work then meditation

This should be number one, right?! I never meditate before breath work. I hate it. It's distracting. My mind is too busy. Doing breathwork and then meditating right after is so powerful. You can do as little as 3 minutes and as long as 40 minutes of breath work depending on time and the result you want, whether clearing anxiety, your mind, or feeling your intuition. Breath work and meditation all day long. Obviously. I'm obsessed.

R/L (not published yet) 11 Exercises To Relax And Find Anxiety Relief

9. Give yourself spaciousness

When we keep ourselves hyper-distracted, busy, and go, go, go, we don't allow ourselves to feel. One of the biggest reasons we struggle with anxiety as a society is we are so disconnected from emotion. We're thinking, thinking, thinking all the time. Give yourself time to feel. Give yourself spaciousness.


10. Have an evening ritual

I turn off my tech one hour before bed. No laptop, no phone. Put it away.

One of the worst things we do is to be on our phones until the minute we go to bed, and then we go to sleep with all of the stress and all the to-do lists echoing in our minds. If you go to bed at 10, turn your phone off at nine o'clock. You're going to be OK. Everything's going to be fine. Turn your phone off at nine o'clock, and that's your wind-down time.

The wind-down time is when I do gentle meditation and breath work, I'll do the Halo-Active breath (Which is in through the nose, out through the mouth. Let that exhale be nice and relaxed. We're not forcing it. We don't want to activate the system. We want to relax).

I do the breathing exercise for about ten minutes and go into about a 20-minute meditation to let myself wind down. Then, I grab my journal to write down everything amazing that day and reflect on the moments that mattered and what felt good.


Next in the evening ritual is my face routine. Taking off my mascara, washing my face, putting my creams on, brushing my teeth. I really take time with it. It's not a race. It's a ritual.

Being so present in what I'm doing, how it feels, and having gratitude. I live in a home with running water. That's rare and so incredible. I'm so grateful for this human I live with and get to spend my life with. Whoa, that's so cool. Take those moments to be present, they're so sacred.

And, now, the number one important thing.


11. Observe your presence

As you're reading this right now, I just want you to drop into your body a little and take a deep breath. Drop your shoulders. Closing your eyes. Feeling the potency of the silence. Bringing both hands up to your heart. Feeling the energy of your heart, the power of your heart.

You are safe to feel. You're safe to be. You're safe to breathe.

And that's it, my friend. 


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Samantha Skelly is a vanguard in the breathwork movement. She's an international speaker, best-selling author, and wellness coaching expert. She founded Pause Breathwork with a dual mission: to alleviate human suffering and elevate consciousness through breathwork and coaching.