Though not an easy task, knowing proper grounding techniques is an essential tool for those living with anxiety. People experience anxiety attacks in a plethora of different ways and everybody has to learn how to ground themselves in their own way. Here’s three grounding techniques for anxiety that have worked well for me:
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Knowing proper grounding techniques is an essential tool for those living with anxiety Click To Tweet
1. Grounding Techniques For Anxiety: Breathing
My breathing has always been an issue for me. As a kid, I would hyperventilate during my anxiety attacks. I’ve had to spend a lot of time in my life learning how to breathe properly during different activities. My point is this: anxiety messes with your breathing, so you need to know some breathing exercises. For me I’ve always used a very simple inhale through your nose for 7 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 5 seconds. This is a great little trick to help catch your breath during an anxiety attack or even if you’re winded when you’re exercising! I’ve personally found that I’m better off by actively controlling my breathing during an attack. Focusing my energy on controlled breathing techniques has afforded me less time for thoughts such as “my heart is racing” or “my hands are shaking.”
For more information on different breathing techniques for anxiety, see my article: 5 Breathing Exercises For Anxiety
2. Grounding Techniques For Anxiety: Count & Describe Objects
Some grounding techniques for anxiety work well because of how complex you can make them. This is a variation of some of the more common techniques. If I were to look around a room, I’d try to find three objects. I then start saying to myself: one, two, three objects. If the attack isn’t going away, simply stay focused on your three objects and begin describing new characteristics. For example, the thought process might sound something like: one, two, three objects. Orange, blue, green objects. Round, tall, short objects. In this example, I observed three different coffee mugs: a round orange one, a tall blue one, and a short green one. Confusing at first, but this is one of those grounding techniques for anxiety that works really well because of its ability to get your mind off of the anxiety attack.
3. Grounding Techniques For Anxiety: Happy Thoughts
Much easier said than done, but an essential tool for those with severe anxiety. My therapist once told me “Practice putting a thought into your head and then taking it out.” Though an incredibly simple concept that I have spent years practicing, I am certain I will never fully master it. The ability to “think happy thoughts” (as cheesy as it sounds) is arguably one of the best tools for anyone to have during an anxiety attack. Personally, I think about my dog, Maverick, or just driving on the open road – things that bring me joy.
Grounding Techniques For Anxiety: Practice putting a thought into your head and then taking it out Click To Tweet
The list of grounding techniques for anxiety is never-ending, but the idea behind all of it is to reduce that “loss of control” feeling from an anxiety attack. Properly grounding yourself can mean the difference between an attack getting worse and you realizing you’re okay long enough for it to go away. Practice grounding, practice your breathing, practice counting & describing objects in obnoxiously long sequences, and practice thinking about what makes you happy, but do practice. Knowing proper grounding techniques for anxiety can significantly improve your quality of life if you’re struggling.