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Tips for Coping with Anxiety in the Moment

by Kelsey Lange 4 years ago in anxiety

Anxiety can creep up on you at any time, meaning we need tactics to tackle the monster right in that second. These are the best tips for coping with anxiety in the moment it's happening to you.

There is not much worse than feeling an anxiety attack creeping up your shoulder. It's easy to feel completely overwhelmed and defenseless. People with anxiety disorders can have battles with their mental health daily.

Do not surrender without trying these 10 tips for coping with anxiety in the moment. You will be surprised by the access you have to simple and easy coping mechanisms. With practice and commitment to one or a few of these strategies, you will see a change in the way you react to an anxious episode, and generally, live your life.

Deep Breathing

Even just one big, deep, breath will help you to realize that it's what you need to be doing, right here and right now. Breathing is never something we have to think about, and that is why this tip can be easily overlooked. You need to trick your body into thinking that you are calm, putting it into relaxation mode. This tactic is best to use if you can catch yourself feeling anxious immediately; it can prevent your body from having a panic attack.

There are many different types of deep breathing to calm anxiety. One variation has you counting to five, holding your breath for seven, and exhaling for nine. While another includes breathing and tapping, both completely free ways to help with nothing but your body needed. Tapping accesses your energy points and breaks them down. Try out different methods to see which can help you the most effectively.


Though you do not want to rely on distraction as the key source of help, music can definitely help put your mind elsewhere when you are having trouble getting a hold on your anxious thoughts. If you can learn to use this method in small doses as well as other mechanisms against anxiety, you will be golden.

You could even go for a walk and throw some headphones in to physically get yourself out of the environment that you started to feel anxious in. Relaxing music is key to calming down; this could include nature sounds like waves crashing on a beach, or birds chirping in a forest. Whatever is the most pleasing to your ears, stick with.

If you practice this enough, the sounds or music should immediately bring you a sense of calm even in your worst anxiety. Coping with anxiety doesn't have to be a thousand steps.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation and music go hand in hand. As someone with anxiety, we are sure you are well aware of the stress relieving effects of meditation. There are a plethora of guided meditation videos and audios, easily accessible on YouTube or iTunes.

Having a narrator aid you through the process of meditation will allow you to remain focused while hearing the words your body needs coming from someone besides yourself. Most of the work is done for you; just sit back, try and relax, breathe, and listen.

Silent meditation is also helpful if your phone or laptop is not accessible. Because you are simply relying on nothing other than your own thoughts, the silent option is empowering. Be open to either!


Though getting to a gym is not always the ideal situation when you are feeling anxiety building up, it's a great method to burn off a negative mood. If you are at home, or somewhere you can easily leave, burning off some steam can immediately allow anxiety to release hold on your mind. This doesn't have to be a three-hour workout with heavy lifting and a four mile run.

Exercise can mean a quick walk around your neighborhood, swimming in the pool for half an hour, or even going on a hike. Sometimes a simple change in scenery and fresh air can do wonders.

If you are one to hit the gym for a few hours, this is an even better option for coping with anxiety in the moment. Long term effects of fitness reduce anxiety in your life by a lot. This also goes hand in hand with eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Treat your body with care.

Write it Down

Journaling is amazing for your mental health. Simply getting your thoughts and worries down on some paper helps you release those anxieties to a new home. It doesn't even need to be on a physical piece of paper: type them out, write them in the notes on your phone, or scribble on a napkin; they all have the same effect.

Sometimes your worries tend to circle your brain until you can't handle them anymore. Writing these thoughts down is powerful because they have finally been properly acknowledged. This can also help you prioritize your concerns and pin point triggers.

Don't try and force yourself to write a novel every day; this can make it seem more like a task than a coping mechanism. Just be sure to be honest with yourself.

Stress About it Later

Promising yourself that you will stress out later in the day may seem silly. This tactic takes a little practice to get used to, but allowing yourself to not let anxieties interfere right then and there will give your body and mind time to relax and retackle concerns better.

So instead of worrying in the moment, tell yourself that you will stress out from 9:00 to 10:00 that night. This eliminates pushing those thoughts off all together, which can come back to bite you, and lets you survive your day without any interruptions.

Maybe even come up with a time to meditate on it, or write your thoughts down, or even both.


Though this might seem too simple to be true, physically smiling does wonders to your mood. Even if you feel that there is absolutely no reason to smile, it doesn't take too many muscles to do so. Just like deep breathing, this tricks your brain into thinking that you are happy. It's a temporary process, but one of the easiest and most instant to do if you feel stuck.

This can also go along with taking a break to watch a funny movie or video. Allow yourself to laugh out loud at something that has nothing to do with your situation. Something as simple as a genuine laugh reduces anxiety symptoms. Coping with anxiety in the moment can be as easy as a smile.


Candles go great with both the guided meditation and music strategies. Specifically, aromatherapy candles are the best option for an anxious person. Aromatherapy has essential oils that medicate our wellbeing. There are plenty of options for scents, lavender being a popular option specifically for anxiety, because it aids with relaxation and sleep.

The candle's flame also helps to reduce stress and create a soothing atmosphere. If you have nothing but candles to radiate light in your room, the low light will help to relax your body.

Allow Yourself to Stress Now and Only Now

Some people believe that trying to alleviate anxiety can be useless or even counterproductive. So instead of masking your feelings, allow yourself to worry, but only for a moment. If you do nothing to try and subside the anxiety, your symptoms will likely disappear on their own after about 15 to 20 minutes. So allow yourself those minutes to worry, recognize the fact that you're overwhelmed, and face your anxiety head on.

Think about your situation in depth and come up with conclusions or outcomes; what is the worst that could happen? And then when your time is up, get up and do something different.

Question Yourself

Anxious thoughts are often unrealistic. So, it's your job to question yourself in order to find the truth of the situation. Questions like: what is really going to happen, can I handle this, how will I feel once it's done, what is the worst scenario, how can I prepare for this, and is this really the truth, are all perfectly rational to ask yourself.

Focusing on the present will help this tip to be more successful. This can help to catch a stressful thought and squash it. Even downsizing an anxious thought can do wonders to your process. Don't be afraid to challenge your own thoughts while you are coping with anxiety in the moment.


Kelsey Lange

Passionate about writing, animals, makeup, movies, friends, family, learning, exercising, and laughing!

Read next: Naive And Violated

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