Grounding techniques are great tools to use when you’re experiencing physical & mental signs of anxiety. These techniques are ways to engage your mind and body, so you can begin to move away from an activated state of worry, triggered in the fear-based area of your brain, and get into a more centered space and engage in something self-soothing.
Three ways you can do this are to…
1. Engage Your Senses
- Look around you, what do you see, smell, hear?
- You can try the “5-4-3-2-1 exercise”:
- Name 5 things you can see
- Find 4 things you can feel (notice the textures of the materials around you, temperature of the room, touch the objects in your reach, etc)
- Identify 3 things you can hear (traffic noise or birds outside, fan or heater running)
- Notice 2 things you can smell
- Focus on 1 thing you can taste (you can have a candy or mint or just notice what you taste)
2. Engage Your Mind:
- Identify all of the purple (or any color of your choosing) objects that you can see
- Focus on your breath, or an activity like a mindful walking exercise
3. Engage Your Body
- Do a body scan from bottom to top. Tense and release your toes, your calves, your core, your hands, and beyond.
- Take a sip of water - how does it feel, what is the temperature? Think about that water as it moves through your body.
You can use these techniques at any time, from any location. It’s good to practice these techniques in times when you’re not highly triggered or activated so that you can start building that grounding muscle.
About the Author: Sage Grazer is the Chief Clinical Offer & Co-founder of Frame Therapy.
Follow her for more content @sagegrazerlcsw
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