“Place your hands into the soil to feel grounded. Wade into the water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the sun to connect with that fire to feel your immense power” – Victoria Erickson
I don’t know about you but anxiety has been a crippling factor for me, and a lot of other people for that matter. so often it goes unnoticed or shoved aside for the lack of patience to deal with it. Whether it is social anxiety disorder, health anxieties, or just general anxiousness. This article will comprehensively discuss how to calm down anxiety, using different grounding techniques for anxiety. The art of grounding exercises helps you to feel like you are n charge of your life, sitting in the driver’s seat, or taking the reins. This article will discuss a variety of grounding techniques like clapping, using cold water, the 54321 grounding technique, and more.
What are grounding techniques?
Grounding in is a way of bringing yourself back to the present moment, it connects you to what is happening in the here and now. If you find yourself getting sucked into a rabbit hole of bad memories and flashbacks, there are a variety of exercises you can practice to ground yourself from general stress to anxiety grounding techniques, even techniques for panic attack grounding. These techniques can help you learn how to overcome fear, and overcome a number of anxiety disorders or situations that may trigger them.
Your five senses will be your greatest coping mechanism. If you start to feel overwhelmed, these techniques work by bringing awareness to how your body feels, what you can see in front of you, what noises you can hear, what taste is on your tongue, and the different scents in the air. Essentially, grounding techniques are a way of bringing mindfulness into your daily practice.
What is grounding in therapy, is it different?
If you struggle with a crippling anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, your nervous system is permanently in hyper-drive, favoring your fight-or-flight response a little too much for your mind to recover in between. In this case, self-care might not be enough and therapy could be what’s best for you. During your therapy sessions, your therapist will teach you calming strategies for anxiety so that when you are out and about and feel an anxiety attack coming along you have been prepared with the know-how to soothe your panicky symptoms.
Anxiety grounding definition in psychology
The psychological definition for “grounding”,
“Individuals who have experienced trauma often find it difficult to stay within the ‘window of tolerance’. Grounding techniques (which can be sensory/perceptual or cognitive) are an essential treatment technique for trauma therapists and anyone who struggles with the consequences of trauma.”
Types of grounding exercises for dissociation
If you feel detached, as if you are a participant in your life and not the one taking the reins, there are a series of anxiety relief techniques you can do to help you take the front seat of your life again.
Sensory grounding techniques
Sensory grounding techniques make use of your five senses to bring you out of your mind burying thoughts and back into the present. These techniques would involve taking note how your body feels, what scents can you smell in the air, looking up at the clouds in the sky, splashing your face with cold water, and more.
Physical grounding techniques
Physical grounding techniques link with the sensory techniques, with the added element of your surroundings. It could involve the objects that are nearest to you, are they light or heavy? soft or rugged? Physical grounding techniques also involve getting your body to move. You could opt for yoga, which is extremely beneficial in this case, or if time is not on your side, some simple jumping jacks will be sufficient. Take note of the physical sensations your body feels with each motion.
Self-soothing techniques are when you need it of comforting by yourself, for yourself. This might involve massaging your temples, cuddling your favorite blanket, deep breathing, or listening to your favorite music.
Emotional grounding strategies
So often we get so caught up in our memories that those less desired feelings pop up too often. When this happens, you can try some emotional grounding techniques which involve bringing up a memory of something you are more fond of, that perfect family day at the beach, the feeling when your mother hugs you, any positive emotion which might drown out the negative. There are also incredible health benefits of laughter, so engaging a memory that makes you laugh can help as well.
Mental exercises for anxiety
Mental games or exercises are a great way to distract yourself. If anxiety is taking over, you can always conquer it with some maths – a good game of sudoku is bound to confuse the stress right out of you.
5 best grounding techniques for anxiety & panic attacks
There are a number of grounding techniques for panic attacks or general anxiety that you can use if you feel overwhelmed or caught off-guard. Read on to find out how to calm down from anxiety.
54321 grounding technique (5 senses grounding method)
The 54321 method involves listing things starting from five and working down. This helps you to take stock of your surroundings and what is happening in your current reality – forgetting your future expectations and the past traumas, for a moment. Read on to find out how to calm down anxiety using the 54321 technique.
- 5 – List five things that you can see
- 4 – List four things that you can hear
- 3 – List three things that you can smell
- 2 – List two things that you can touch
- 1 – Name one thing that you can taste
When anxiety or panic attacks start to egg you on, our heart rate starts to rise, we get hot-cold sweats in our palms, and tingly fingers – you might even feel like your chest tightens. Fortunately, there are some phenomenal breathing techniques you can practice when those feelings first rise which will nip your panic attack in its butt.
Coldwater or Ice
Shock therapy is the only option in some cases. In this case, an ice-cold shower might be the best tool in your defense against anxiety. You could opt to simply splash your face with some cold water but in severe instances, you might want to get your hand on some ice cubes and grip them tightly.
What can you hear
When the thoughts are pounding in your head, your own voice is drowning out your voice of reason. The prickling sensation starts in your fingers and your heart rises. When these overwhelming and often loud thoughts are seemingly taking over, close your eyes and take note of the sounds that are coming out of your surroundings. Birds singing nearby, children playing, the sound of running water, the hum of traffic in the distance can remind you where you are, presently.
Listening to music
It is undeniable the impact that certain music has on our emotional and mental health. Certain sound vibrations can manipulate our own vibration and instill a sense of calm. You might find that listening to one of your particularly favorite songs could lift your mood, or snap you out of your anxiety.
Other interesting uses for grounding exercises
Grounding exercises for anxiety are not the only reason you might need a bit of centering. You might be in group therapy for drug addiction or PTSD. Luckily, there are grounding techniques to suit any situation or mode. Read on to find out more!
Using grounding techniques for PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be one of the most debilitating aspects of our consciousness. You are bamboozled with sleepless nights due to bad dreams and flashbacks in your waketime. If you experience an intense moment where memories were triggered and it threatens a panic attack, there are a few methods you can use to alleviate those symptoms by grounding yourself.
This can be as simple as it sounds. Find something of meaning to you, a beaded necklace, an ornament, or a photograph of a loved one, or a watch. Make sure the memory this object trigger is a positive one – take note of that feeling and allow it to become your present feeling, taking over the negative one.
Using grounding exercises for groups
Grounding exercises are extremely helpful in group therapy settings. This helps to keep every member of the group present with each person’s story, sharing, contribution. It is easy when you hear a story from someone else that is similar to our own trauma to get sucked into that rabbit hold of memories we spoke about earlier on. There are a few options of grounding techniques to use within group sessions.
Clapping in unison with your group can bring each of you back to the present. The pattern of claps can be in a variety of rhythms:
- Group leader counts to 5 and the group must only clap on when you say the numbers two and four.
- Clapping a certain number of claps, then state an affirmation: “I am here, I am at peace”.
- Starting with one member of the group clapping one clap, then the person to their right claps, and the pattern continues.
Getting your body to move and stretch can bring oxygen flow to our brain and a notion of mindfulness – how does your body feel? Are your mussels stiff? Is your back sore? Here are a few great yoga poses that bring you back into the here-and-now. A quick vinyasa flow or some sun salutations will snap you back into reality.
Using grounding activities for meetings (virtual or live)
If you have a virtual meeting, or in the flesh, anxiety can often run strife in the moments leading up it. This can lead you to feel flustered and unprepared. To prevent that you can choose from a number of techniques to ground you en you start to feel prickly.
Stress balls are a great tool for those fast-paced jobs where you don’t get much time to think for yourself over the anxiety you feel. As you squeeze it, take note of how your nad feels, which muscle in your hand feels tenser?
Wiggle your Toes
Stress balls and fidget spinners alike are not readily available all of the time. Another method is simply curling your toes, closed shoes or not, and squeeze them. Make sure to take note of how each toe feels like you would with a stress ball.
Grounding has the potential to change your life. It is a habitual practice of coping skills that alleviates your panicked symptoms threatening your wellbeing. There is a magnitude of grounding techniques, you just need to find the one that works the best for you.
“If you don’t learn how to ground to your surroundings, you will live like a slave to your emotions rather than a master of them” – Mateo Sol.
What is the 54321 grounding technique?
Starting from the number five and counting down, state five things you can see, then four things you can hear, then three things you can smell, then two things you can touch, and finally, one thing you can taste. This allows you to be present.
Who can use ground techniques?
Grounding techniques can be used by anyone. You do not have to be suffering from chronic anxiety or PTSD. You might simply feel overwhelmed momentarily and grounding exercises will help to bring your clarity back.
What are some grounding techniques?
Playing a quick math game, clapping whilst counting to five, splashing your face with water, squeezing a stress ball, listening to music, keeping a grounding object nearby, wiggling toes are all amongst the many different grounding techniques you can use to center yourself.
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I am a creative and a wanderer. Mysteries and connections are what inspire me to write. While on my path, my purpose is to bring you information to help inspire you on your journey on this place called earth.
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