Tips for Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is a common coping response to sexual violence. Anxiety is your body’s way of trying to keep you safe following trauma. For people who have experienced multiple traumas in their life, anxiety is usually a common experience.

What is anxiety?

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger or panic
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly, feeling breathless
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

How to manage anxiety

There are lots of different things you can do to manage the symptoms of anxiety. It is important to identify the effective strategies that work for you. Here are some ideas for you to try.

Five Senses

Identify 5 things you can see

Identify 4 things you can hear

Identify 3 things you can touch

Identify 2 things you can smell

Identify 1 thing you can taste


Have a hot or cold shower/ bath

Go for a swim

Put an icepack on your head


Find a calm/ relaxation music playlist

Create your own music

Get Moving

Go for a walk

Do some stretching or yoga

Do some cleaning or gardening

Shadow boxing



Mindfulness & Meditation

Focus on your breath

Listen to some guided meditation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Engage in progressive muscle relaxation


Time to breathe

Notice your breath (without trying to change it)

Box breathing


Go outside

Take a mindful walk

Remove your shoes and feel your body connect with the earth


Mindfulness colouring in

Knitting or crocheting

Diamond dotz art

Drawing or painting

Home decorating or furniture restoration

Creating a vision board (collage or Pinterest)


Fidget toys

Card or boardgames

Video or computer games

Seeking Support

Reach out to a supportive friend or family members

Contact a service for telephone or online support


Kid’s Helpline

Beyond Blue