Count to yourself: As you breathe in for 5 seconds, count the number 1. When you breathe out for 8 seconds, count the number 1. Keep on counting. Repeating the numbers will help you gain some continuity to help your breathing ease a little and for things to settle and calm.
Quick meditation: Lie or sit down. If you are sitting, make sure that your feet are flat against the floor and you are sitting up in a state that is relaxed. Set your phone or a timer for a minute. For that minute, focus upon your breathing. Focus upon how your body feels and how your chest falls as you breathe in and out. If your mind wanders, don’t beat yourself up for that, it’s perfectly natural, just bring your mind back to focus upon your breathing. Doing this daily can help you feel more present in the moment and it can help to focus your mind on your breathing if you’re feeling distressed.
Hot and cold: As you breathe in, feel your body warming up from your toes up to your head. Feel it filling with warm, positive emotions. As you breathe out, feel the cold, negative emotions draining from your head down to your toes and flowing out into the ground, not a part of you anymore. You can do this in any public place when you begin to feel nervous and worried.
Drinking water/mints: Only do this if you’re breathing okay, so you don’t choke. Sucking on a mint and drinking cold water can clear your airways. When you drink the cold water, feel it going down your throat and into your system. Focus upon it reaching all the parts of your body and clearing your thoughts. It can help you focus upon breathing more steadily if your airways are clear.
Five senses: Go through each of your five senses: touch, smell, sight, taste and hearing. What do you experience with each of these? How does that feel? If you focus upon hearing, try to listen to every tiny little sound, for example, such as birds singing through a crowd of people. Work through each of those senses and repeat until you begin to feel less overwhelmed by it all.