8 Grounding Techniques From TikTok That Can Help Calm Panic Attacks

Soothe your body and mind.

These TikTok grounding techniques can help calm panic attacks.
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When it comes to mindfulness and meditation tips, TikTok is loaded with smart tricks that can help soothe a racing mind. And, mixed in with these mental health-boosting bits of advice are some grounding techniques for panic attacks on TikTok that can help bring a sense of calm.

When you have a panic attack, you may feel your heartbeat accelerating, experience shaking and sweating, and a crippling sense of fear. Even though it can sometimes feel impossible to manage those sensations in the moment, grounding techniques are one helpful way to jolt yourself back into feeling calm and in control. A 2013 study from Frontiers in Psychology explains the concept of grounding as a process in which “physical experiences interact with cognitive processes.” In other words, using physical stimulation while experiencing emotions of panic and anxiety can help you feel safer.

One of the most common grounding techniques is the 5-4-3-2-1 method, which has you engage with all five of your senses to return back to the present moment. Each of these TikTok grounding techniques for helping calm panic attacks are a variation of this well-known method — from using a cold compress to dropping into one of the most relaxing yoga poses, these tips are worth trying in moments of need.


Try The Butterfly Hug

Even the name of this technique sounds relaxing. According to this TikTok-famous nurse, to try the butterfly hug: Interlock your hands and put them on your chest, the sides of your shoulders, or your thighs. Then, tap your fingers one side at a time. You can do this as long as you want or until the sensation of self-touch helps you feel more calm.


Grab A Glass Of Sparkling Water

Licensed therapist Micheline Maalouf, LHMC swears by the sparkling water trick. All you have to do is take a glass of sparkling water and begin to notice the bubbles, listen to them bubble, and feel the condensation. She notes it’s an easy way to engage all of your senses to help ease yourself out of fight-or-flight mode.


Hold An Object

It’s time to whip out your favorite crystal. This TikTok user says holding an object — anything works — in your hands can help you feel more present. She suggests asking yourself questions about it to engage with touch: Is it smooth? Is it sharp?


Try These Journal Prompts

Not only is journaling a soothing mindfulness tool, but it also can come in handy when you’re feeling anxious or panicked. This TikTok user recommends giving yourself prompts, and write one thing that you saw, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled that day to ground yourself in the moment.


Do A Grounding Pose

Sometimes the best grounding technique is to literally get on the ground. Energy healer Laura Chung says dropping down into malasana, aka the deep squat pose from yoga, can help you feel more centered. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to feel more present (and reap the benefits of more open hips while you’re at it).


Search For A Color

If you need to focus your mind on something other than your anxiety during a panic attack, this therapist’s grounding trick can help. Start by picking a color and then search the room you’re in to find it. If you discover all the objects in that color, select another one and repeat the process.


Try Tapping

Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping is a counseling practice that works by pressing on acupressure points on your face and body, and TikTok user Dr. Janine Kreft, Psy.D., says this allows energy to flow more freely and help calm you. Her tip is to start by tapping the top of your head and your shoulders to ease into it.


Put Ice On Your Neck

This TikTok user recommends simply putting ice on your neck during a panic attack. Engaging with your sense of touch can help bring you back to the present — especially if you apply something freezing cold on your neck.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Frontiers in Psychology. It has been updated with correct information.

Studies referenced:

Bach, D., (2019). Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine, https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690X18823691

Ottoboni G. (2013). Grounding clinical and cognitive scientists in an interdisciplinary discussion. Frontiers in psychology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00630