Keywords: Grounding Techniques, Anxiety, Stress, Mental Health
Many of us live busy, hectic lives that can leave us stressed and filled with anxiety. It is important to find balance and take care of yourself in these busy moments. There are many simple way you’re able to do so is by grounding yourself.
Below, we discuss what grounding is, and the top six grounding techniques that you can start trying today!
What is Grounding
Grounding is the intentional act of connecting back with yourself physically and mentally and with the space around you. The word grounding derives from connecting with the ground, or “earthing”, which has been proven to be beneficial for easing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. However, in therapy and coaching it is more about bringing awareness to the present moment which will ease psychological, and physical reactions which occur when in a situation that you perceive to be fearful or dangerous. Specific techniques, listed below, are a great place to begin with the practice of grounding.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Technique
Within the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique, you’re able to bring awareness to the present moment, your senses, and your current surroundings by:
- Naming 5 things you see in the room around you
- Naming 4 things you feel within or around yourself
- Naming 3 things you can hear in the present moment
- Naming 2 things you can smell currently
- Naming 1 thing you like or enjoy about yourself
Self Sooth Box
Similar to how the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique is able to utilize, stimulate, and bring awareness to your senses, by creating a self-soothing box you’re able to create a go-to box full of sensory items to help ground you as needed. Enjoy creating your own box, and be sure to include things that interest and/or inspire you such as:
- Affirmations or quotes that motivate and lift you up
- Photos or items that bring back good, positive memories in your life
- Items with different textures to touch such as soft fur, leather, or slime
- Toys that allow you to relieve stress stitch as fidget spinners
- Essential oils or aromatherapy scents to smell
- Something sweet for you to taste
- A journal if you enjoy writing or something musical if you’re inclined
- Colouring books, mind games, or puzzles to help ease and clear your mind
Whatever it may be to help you soothe any stress and anxiety you can include in your personal box.
Grab and Describe an Object Close to You
If you don’t already have a self-soothing box, it’s okay! Grab the closest thing to you and start to describe it as if you were telling a friend on the phone about it, imagining they had no idea what it was. Detail the shape, texture, size, and colour. Then, if you continue you can describe other aspects of the object; does it open or close? What function does it best serve? What is it used for? Each of these will allow you to ground yourself instantaneously.
Play a Memory Game
To also ground yourself and release anxiety instantaneously, play a memory game. By asking yourself questions that require you to jog your memory you’re able to shift your awareness away from your current stresses, and onto a different topic, while relieving anxiety. Name major cities in your country, list places you’ve visited, or your top memories, you can even ask yourself to list off random categories of items or subjects, whatever you choose you’ll be bringing your anxiety levels down in the process.
Remember your Mantra
If your mind can’t possibly remember a bunch of items or places, start by just remembering your mantra. Create different “I am…” statements, about 3-5, and when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious and in need of grounding repeat them out loud multiple times to remember that this moment is only temporary.
Focus on Breathing
If you have absolutely nothing else around you, you don’t want to use your mind, and you want to release anxiety you can focus on your breathing. Breathwork is something that you’re able to do anywhere at any time. Start by breathing in, holding, and breathing out for a consistent amount of time between 2-5 seconds and focus on counting in your head. Often simply by breathing, we are able to ground ourselves.
Research supports that breathing exercises can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, and ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression and anger.
Although stress and anxiety tend to come through our busy lives, there are ways and techniques that you’re able to implement to help ground you back into the moment. We don’t know when we may need to implement grounding into our routine so it’s encouraged to take note of all the above techniques and add them into your toolbox.
If you are struggling with your mental health and feel you would benefit from further help please book a free discovery call.