Panic and anxiety disorders tend to rear their ugly head at the least opportune time. If you catch yourself beginning to spiral, grounding techniques can help you return to the present and feel stable in your body. Next time your anxiety spikes, try these easy grounding techniques for anxiety.
The 5 Senses Exercise
Notice your breathing. Is it quick and shallow? Is it deep and slow? If you feel able to, try to take deep belly breaths. If you can’t, that’s okay! Just recognizing what your breath is doing can be helpful all on its own.
Name 5 things you can see.
They can be big or small, near or far.
Name 4 things you can touch and feel.
It can be as simple as noticing the way your clothing feels on your body. No matter what you choose, take the time to really notice the sensations associated with each item.
Identify 3 things you can hear.
These can be ambient sounds like the birds chirping or cars driving by. But noises you’re making yourself count, too! If you can hear your own breath or your clothing rustling, that counts.
Identify 2 things you can smell.
If the room you’re in doesn’t have any identifiable smells, seek out a few things to sniff. Put on some fragrant lotion, take a walk outside to smell the fresh air, anything to activate that sense.
Identify one thing you can taste.
What does the inside of your mouth taste like? (This can also be a great excuse to pop a breath mint, eat a piece of candy, or take a sip of tea.)
When you’re done, notice your breathing again.
What sensations do you feel in your body?
Of course, the 5 senses exercise isn’t the only way to ground yourself. It’s always helpful to have several options to turn to when you need to pull yourself out of an anxiety spiral.
Related Post: Square Breathing to Reduce Anxiety
Here are a few other quick ways to ground yourself:
Run Your Hands Under Water
Introducing a new sensation can pull your attention from your internal monologue. Run the water cold, then warm. Try alternating temperatures to see if that helps. Notice the sensations in your body.
Get Some Fresh Air
Taking a quick walk serves a dual purpose. First, it gives you a chance to get some fresh air and sunshine, both of which are excellent for your mental health. Second, it provides an opportunity to remove yourself from whatever situation is triggering your anxiety.
Use a Mantra
It doesn’t have to be fancy or even spiritual. Even a phrase as simple as “I am okay” can be calming and give your brain something to do other than worrying.
Grounding techniques can be valuable tools to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. But if you find yourself feeling anxious most days or having frequent panic attacks, grounding techniques might not be enough on their own. There are several types of anxiety disorders, here at BOLD Health, we treat you as an individual and provide the best anxiety treatment options available to you.