Grounding can be a huge asset to those suffering with anxiety.
So yes grounding helps tremendously with anxiety. You will be able to recognize when your anxiety is getting out of hand. With some practice, you can stop your anxiety in it's tracks with a few techniques. The key to success is practice, practice, practice.
Let's start with the basics, and then move on to how you can take these steps and ground yourself with anxiety.
What is Grounding
Put simply, grounding is a way for your to step away from emotional pain or triggers that are stopping you from living your life.
Grounding helps distract you from the difficulties you're facing right now, so you can come back to them later if you wish.
Practicing grounding doesn't solve the problem for you, that's not what it's meant for. But it will help you regain control over your feelings and stay composed, and keep you from reacting in a way that will make things worse.
There are three recognized techniques for grounding. You may find that one works better for you, or you might benefit from each of them.
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These techniques focus on your five senses. You'll benefit the most from these when your brain is fried.
|run cool water over your hands||clench and release your fists|
|touch things around you||strestch|
|jump up and down||rub your fingers together|
|fiddle with a bracelet||wiggle your toes|
|focus on breathing||notice the textures of the floor|
|notice how your pants feel||draw a circle in your palm|
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Mental techniques are focusing your mind, this is best when you're NOT doing something requiring your full attention. So not while driving.
Mental grounding is all about focusing your mind on something else.
When you're in the moment it can be very hard to focus on ANYTHING else, so I write down a few things to focus on beforehand, and keep it readily available. Your wallet is a great place to put something like this.
Here are a few techniques you can try.
Describe Your Environment– in great detail. How man chairs are around you, what color are the walls, what is the decoration on the wall, what color are the curtains? If this is too much, start on the right, and sweep your eyes across the room as you count things and notice what you can see.
Play Scattergories– Think of a letter, and then try to think of as many different objects that begin with that letter. Or pick a category and name as many things as you can, such as dogs, desserts, superheroes, or colors.
Think of Someplace Happy – Maybe this is a beach for you, or your best friend's couch, or Target. Think about how it sounds, smells, feels, and looks. What do those pillows feel like under your fingers, or how does the sunscreen smell on your skin when you go to the beach?
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Think about soothing techniques like this, sometimes you need to be pumped back up.
The world can deflate your self-esteem, your happiness, or your ability to maintain your composure.
So what can you do? Talk kindly to yourself. Because talking down to yourself when you're already in a low place has never helped, and will never help you.
Does Grounding Help Anxiety?
YES. So much yes.
Grounding helps you get away from the bad thoughts in your brain. Once you back up a step, you'll be able to handle those feelings better.
This isn't to say anxiety is all in your head and you can merely “wish it away”, because we all know that's not true.
But you CAN practice these techniques, pick a favorite or three, and see results.
Grounding does not solve the problem you're facing. It helps you regain enough composure to get a handle of your emotions to get to a safe place, or to get away from your trigger.
What Are the Five Steps to Ground Yourself?
There is a common technique known in the mental health world for grounding, this is called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique.
This technique encourages you to focus on your surroundings and find the small details your mind would normally tune out, such as the color of someone's socks, a distant sound or the texture of something around you.
Grounding to Help Anxiety – Action Steps
Need to know what to do right now?
- Select three grounding techniques you are committed to learning and practicing.
- Put gum in your purse to have available when you need it.
- Write down the mental techniques you'd like to try and put them in y our wallet so you can have them.
- Grab your morning routine planner below, and join my newsletter to get helpful information like this send to your email each week!
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