Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues. I used to struggle with anxiety daily, and it was awful.
With a little know-how, you can cope with your anxiety using some grounding techniques to help your situation.
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I’ve learned a few of these techniques, and I’ll share them with you. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.
Anxiety is frequently overwhelming, and it doesn’t have to take over your life. Using grounding techniques for anxiety, you can have inner peace.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding is a practice that helps you put unwanted memories away, pulls away flashbacks and negative emotions.
You can use these techniques anywhere when you have a distressing feeling. These techniques may help distract you and refocus on the present moment.
Grounding techniques allow you to find peace and calm when you are anxious intentionally.
These grounding exercises help:
- Self-harm urges
- Traumatic memories
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Decrease stress levels
- Elevate mood
- Decrease illness
- Panic Attacks
Related: How To Do CBT
Why Anxiety Grounding Techniques Work
Grounding techniques help take you away from negative thoughts, which cause your anxiety and bring you back to the present.
These anxiety grounding exercises help with concentration, constant looping thoughts, insecurity, restlessness, and disconnected from your current surroundings.
All those negative thoughts in your head can spiral out of control, causing you severe anxiety. Being mindful and aware of the present situation is what it’s all about.
I suggest doing them during your day; even when you are not anxious, I found if I waited till I had anxiety, it was harder and more difficult for me.
Practice grounding techniques in a calm, quiet space where you can concentrate fully on what you are doing. The more I did this, the easier it was when I experienced anxious thoughts.
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Tips For Grounding Techniques
- Use grounding techniques when you feel your anxiety starting
- Focus on your exercise only
- Try several methods to see what works best for you
- Talk to a therapist if you have anxiety every day
- Focus on your senses
- Your mind may wander, redirect yourself back to the exercise you were doing
Grounding Techniques For Anxiety
The more you practice these techniques, the better at them you will be. Remember to try each one and find one that works best for you.
The most common grounding technique is the 5,4,3,2,1 method. It’s effortless and straightforward as you look around going through each one of your senses.
Focus on your senses, such as smell, taste, touch, sight, and hear.
Start with what you can see. Pick out five things and say them out loud.
Now touch four things around you. Are they warm? Rough? Cold? Say them out loud again.
Move on to what you can hear. Find three things you can listen to and say those out loud.
Identify what you can smell and then taste. Do your clothes smell like fabric softener? Is there a smell in the air? Find two things you can smell and then one you can taste.
Whatever it is around you, focus on them, and say them out loud. By doing this, you have just brought yourself back to the present because you were to busy focusing on what you were doing, and not overthinking.
Concentration Meditation – Concentrate on a single point or object around you and focus your sole attention on it.
Your mind will tend to wander, and that’s okay, choose a new object, and continue to concentrate. As you practice this meditation, your concentration will improve.
Mindfulness Meditation – There are many benefits to mindfulness meditation, such as:
- Body awareness
- Improved self-awareness
- Regulation of your emotions
- Improved attention
- Decreased stress and anxiety
This type of meditation encourages you to observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind. The more you use this technique you will allow yourself
to see and observe your feelings and thought patterns. Mindfulness meditation will help you become aware of each thought.
Related: Mindfulness Exercises For Anxiety
The next time your anxious try deep breathing using these steps:
- Breathe deep in through your nose till you can’t inhale anymore when your belly is full.
- Next, exhale letting the air pass through your nose
- Now put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest
- Inhale paying attention to your hands moving with your breathe
- Exhale feeling your hand moving again as you breathe out
- Repeat as long as you need to
Chair Grounding Technique
One of my favorite grounding techniques is chair grounding, as it helps me fully relax and take my mind off of things. Here is how you do it.
Sit down on a comfortable chair; I prefer a soft plush chair with arms. Make sure your feet can touch the ground when you are sitting.
As you are sitting, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slowly breath into the count of three, then slowly exhale.
Now shift your focus to your body and how it feels sitting in the chair. Is the chair material soft?
Press your arms into the chair with your hands hanging off the end. How does it feel?
Now pay attention to your legs and feet. Notice them planted firmly on the floor.
Start now to relax your muscles throughout your body, starting from your head, neck, and shoulders.
Let them fully relax and continue to move down through your body. Relax your arms, your torso, moving down to your legs, and finally, your feet.
Don’t rush this, enjoy the relaxation and your body not being tense. Imagine all the bad energy from your body released into the ground, through your feet.
I carry a stress ball around in my pocket. When I feel anxious, I keep squishing and moving it around till my thoughts focus on the ball and not the stressful situation.
You can carry any object around with you, such as silly putty, a smooth stone, or whatever lets your mind wander.
Focus on what you are holding, pay attention to how it feels. Is it rough, soft, textured? Think about the sensation you are feeling.
There are many ways you can distract your mind from your anxious thoughts. I like this grounding technique for anxiety and sometimes turn it into a game.
When you are in a room, pick out the colors you see. How many shades of red are there? Shades of blue? Brown? Count how many you can find.
Another is counting backward. Start from 100 and choose a number that will make you concentrate on what you are doing and subtract.
Let’s use six as an example.
100 minus 6 is 94. Now keep subtracting by six. You can choose any number you like, and this helps you concentrate on subtracting instead of your anxiety.
You could also play the alphabet game or find as many objects in your surroundings. Pick a game you like and have fun!
Self Talk / Affirmations
Ask yourself questions like what time is it?
What day is today, and what is the date? Simple questions like these might seem silly, but they will help bring you back to reality.
Also, use affirmations. Tell yourself, “I am safe here,” “nothing bad will happen,” or “these bad feelings will pass.”
Listen To Music
Go to your favorite spot and put on some of your favorite music. Pretend you are hearing the song for the very first time. Pay close attention
to the melody, lyrics and instruments. How does the song make you feel?
Water is powerful, as it can help calm your anxious thoughts. The Blue Gym Initiative, suggests that “blue spaces” such as lakes, oceans and rivers have positive
mental health benefits. If you don’t live near a body of water, you can go to your bathroom or kitchen and turn on the faucet.
Make the water warm and notice how it trickles through your fingers. Listen to the sound of the water flowing.
Let the water bring you back to the present and relieve your anxious thoughts.
Get Your Energy Out
Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on doing these grounding techniques, so I suggest doing something that gets you moving.
Many times when we are anxious, our adrenaline is pumping through our bodies. To help alleviate some of this energy, I suggest the following:
- Go for a fast pace walk outside
- Run outside
- Get on the treadmill
- Go up and down the stairs
- Turn on some music and dance around the house
Find anything that will get you moving. Cleaning, doing chores around the house, whatever it is that gets you a bit tired.
Once you’ve done this, you can come back and start one of the other techniques.
Remember, there are many ways to help you cope with anxiety. Find the right grounding technique that works best for you.
Some of these techniques may work at different times than others.
Let me know what your favorite grounding techniques are, and if you know of something different, please let me know.
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