Grounding Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear about what’s to come. But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder and need professional help. 

Anxiety feels different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in your stomach to a racing heart. You might feel out of control, like there’s a disconnect between your mind and body.

Grounding techniques are strategies that can help a person manage their traumatic memories or strong emotions. Its purpose is to return the person to reality by focusing on the present, to be in the here and now. For example, just admire your surroundings, this allows you to become more aware of what’s happening externally rather than focusing on your negative thoughts and slowly you will start to feel calmer.

The following are some of the grounding techniques;

  • Breathe
    Breathe in slowly and deeply from your core, and breathe out slowly, imagining all your worry and anxiety leaving your body as you exhale. Sometimes counting while breathing in and out can further calm your mind.
  • Laugh
    Laugh, even if it’s hard to do, just laugh. Laughing can break the feeling that you’re spinning out of control and you are focusing on something else.
  • Exercise
    Exercise doesn’t have to be planned or extensive. Jump up and down on the spot. Do some quick yoga poses. Go for a walk or ride a bike if you’re able.
  • Mindfully Existing
    Trace your hands around the physical outline of your body and be aware of your existence in the world. This can help you feel more connected to yourself when your anxiety makes you feel disconnected.
  • Senses
    When practicing grounding techniques, people can also focus on the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. 5-4-3-2-1 is a technique that can be used. For example say out loud
    • 5 things you can see
    • 4 things you can feel
    • 3 things you can hear
    • 2 things you can smell
    • 1 thing you can taste

So why not try grounding techniques next time you feel your mind is taking over. Remember  that maybe depending on how you feel one technique will work better than another, so don’t give up and keep trying.

Learn more about Meditation