Grounding: Use This Technique to Ease Anxiety Instantly

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I am someone who has dealt with anxiety my entire life, someone who gave birth to a daughter who has had anxiety her entire life as well. But let's get real for a moment: I'm not a doctor or psychologist, psychiatrist, or anyone else with a clinical background treating mental health. Grounding has helped my anxiety go from a LEVEL 10 down to about a 3-5, depending on the day. It has improved my life tremendously, and I want to share that with you.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. This response is different for everyone, but here are some of the symptoms I have experienced:

  • nervousness
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • worrying
  • crying
  • feeling tired

That's not a complete list, by any means, but are some of the more common symptoms I've experienced, my daughter has experienced, and many of my friends have as well.

natural anxiety help

“When we start to think about something stressful, our amygdala, a section of the brain located in the temporal lobe, goes into action. The amygdala, simply put, is the part of our brain that is responsible for our emotional responses, especially fear. It is great for preparing for emergency events but sometimes it kicks in to action and detects a threat where there really isnโ€™t any.” {Source}

Anxiety feels as real as an actual threat does, and can be just as harmful in some people. I went to the hospital once thinking I was having a heart attack. Nope, just a pulled chest muscle (yay, tennis!) and anxiety. Lots of anxiety. I felt so stupid! That's when I knew I had to figure something out because what I was trying was not working.

Anxiety and panic attacks are not easy to deal with and can cause major disruptions in your life. In the middle of an attack you feel helpless, but you are not. You're in control of your mind and your body, but it takes some time, energy, and manifestation to realize it.

Sometimes our bodies get in the habit of doing things. I feel like, because I've been anxious my whole life, this is what happened to me. Since I've started practicing meditation and grounding, it's not that my anxiety has gone away because I don't think it ever will… it's just part of who I am, but it's gotten to where it's not debilitating. THAT is a huge difference for me.

What is grounding?

Grounding is a way to refocus yourself. We use grounding to focus on our body and what we are physically feeling, rather than what we are thinking or feeling emotionally. It basically helps us move towards being more logical in the moment, which I realize feels nearly impossible at times… but it's not, I promise!

Grounding is designed to take you out of your head and back to the present moment. By doing these approaches you are trying to bring yourself back by immersing yourself in the environment around you. This grounds you and allows the anxiety and panic to be reduced and managed better.

These techniques are meant to help you calm down as soon as (or even before) you feel anxiety coming on. Not a whole lot helps when you're in the middle of a full blown panic attack (at least not for me), so try to attack the anxiety with multiple grounding methods as soon as you feel an inkling of it showing up.

grounding for anxiety

Grounding Techniques

Here are some of the best tried and true ways to use grounding for anxiety relief.

Concentrate on your breathing.

When we get anxious, our breathing can increase rapidly. This can create a snowball effect, leading to more anxiety. It's a viscous cycle that can be difficult to escape!

One thing I always remind myself is: I have control over this. If I have control over nothing else, I do have control of my breathing. I can hold my breath, I can breathe slow or fast. My breath is mine and nobody can take it from me. Period.

Take slow, deep breaths from your core. Breathe alllll the air in through your nose, and slowly push it out – through your nose. Exhale twice as long as you inhale.

When I notice my anxiety starting to creep up, I leave the room if possible, and use the 2:1 breathing method. If you can't leave the situation, you can do this breathing method without anyone around even noticing. If you can leave, find a quiet room to reset and relax in.

Grab a blankie.

Whether it's a blanket, stuffed animal, or trinket that you love, a grounding item can help you ground yourself. I call it a “coming back to Earth” moment. Sometimes when we are anxious, we can feel like we're floating to another plane. When this happens, our anxiety can go up even higher! Having a grounding item – whatever it is – can pull you back down to reality, so you can focus on other grounding techniques such as breathing.

Journal.

I'm a huge fan of journaling! I don't know if it's the art of writing everything out or what, but man oh man. Journaling is therapeutic in so many ways, and definitely helps with anxiety, depression, and a plethora of other issues. You can use journaling to show gratitude (which can help ease anxiety and depression, when we focus on the positive), you can use a journal for ranting (which can help you stop yelling)

Here are some of my most recent journal projects to get you started:

Use your imagination.

Clear your mind and imagine yourself in your “happy place”. This is somewhere you feel safe and familiar with. It could be the beach, in your car, in the snow… wherever your happy place is, go there in your mind when you feel your anxiety creeping in.

Take in the sights, the sounds, the smells. My happy place is La Jolla, California. Yes, very specific! I sit in the closet, put on some beach sounds, and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. The salt in the air, breeze in my hair, the sounds of the sea lions off in the distance… that's my happy place. Where's yours?

Take a bath.

I can't take baths right now because I have a nephrostomy tube in. Do me – and yourself – a favor and enjoy a bath or nice long shower. Dress your bath up with essential oils, herbs, crystals, salts, or anything else that will help you relax. Lock the door, put some relaxing music on, and let your partner handle the kids for a bit. Single mom? Wait til the kiddos go to bed, and enjoy just the same.

Get up and move.

When I'm anxious, the last thing I usually feel like doing is getting up. But a while ago, my daughter noticed I was anxious and put some music on as a distraction. We both danced, had fun, and I totally forgot about the anxiety that was trying to come on.

Chill the F out.

Whether it's reading a book, binge watching Netflix, or listening to rain and thunderstorm sounds on Alexa (I do this daily!), find something that relaxes you. Everyone has their own activities they deem relaxing… I hear some even find running relaxing! *shudders* Whatever it is that calms you down, even a little bit, work it into your daily routine.

Journaling and coloring are two things you can work into your daily (or weekly) routine to help keep anxiety away. Have you tried meditation yet? If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can do this right with your smart device! I wrote an article on how to meditate with Alexa. Have you read it yet? ๐Ÿ™‚ Not sure where to start? Try meditation for beginners.

You can also use your phone and YouTube to find some guided meditation videos.

Eat something.

You're probably thinking that's the last thing you feel like doing right now, but hear me out: eating or drinking something you love while concentrating on the smells, texture, and flavor is a great way to kick anxiety out of your head. Close your eyes, do some deep breathing, and truly focus on whatever it is you're enjoying. I do this with Dr. Pepper (don't judge me LOL) and the bubbles truly help calm my stomach – which always gets upset when anxiety shows its ugly face.

Phone a friend.

Well, text a friend. DM a friend. Send a friend some TikTok videos. I hate the phone so I don't technically phone a friend, ever, but if you like the phone, go for it! If you hate the phone like I do, that's totally okay. Find a friend you can talk to through text, or Facebook, or whatever the young folks are on these days. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This friend should be someone who can remain calm while you're not. If your friend is anxious and prone to spin out alongside you, this is not the friend to reach out to in the middle of a panic attack. I have a friend, Beth, who is the most level-headed person I know. If I need someone to talk to that will bring me back down to Earth in a snap, she's the one.

Count sheep.

No, we aren't trying to fall asleep here – though, that would get rid of the anxiety for the moment! Look around and count what you see. I see: a half-empty bag of chips, two half-empty Dr. Pepper cans (does that count as 1? or 2?), 3 Q-tips, 5 bottles of vitamins/medicine, and 3 lights on my lamp. When anxiety strikes, PAUSE. Then do something as simple as counting the items you see, to take your mind off of what was trying to happen.

Five senses.

This is a common grounding technique. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, open your eyes.

Then, find:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Spell it out.

This is one of my personal favorites and I almost didn't share it, because I'm not sure if this is weird or normal. Let me know in the comments if it's something you have done (with or without success).

When I'm super stressed out, waiting for a doctor to come in the room or getting ready for surgery or whatever my BIGGEST causes of stress are at the moment, I spell things. I look around and just spell everrrrrything.

s-t-e-t-h-o-s-c-o-p-e … w-i-n-d-o-w … c-a-b-i-n-e-t

I've done this since I was about 3 years old. When I was 4, my Mom said I was obsessed with the word – well, words – “magnifying glass”. I spelled it constantly. In the car, at the grocery store, at church, at the park, literally everywhere we went, I was spelling magnifying glass repeatedly. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized it was my way of calming myself down. I'm telling ya, I was born anxious.

Flip the script.

Have you ever talked a friend down off the ledge, so to speak? Now's the time to flip the script: speak to yourself (yes, out loud) and give yourself a little pep talk. Tell yourself what you'd tell a good friend if they were having anxiety over the same thing.

Surgery? Pffttt. You've done this a dozen times in the past year, so I'm pretty sure if you were gonna die, you would've died already. Go get 'em, champ!

Maybe I'm not the best pep talker, but … try it.

Talk to yourself.

I know I said to talk to yourself in the last tip, but this one is a bit different. If you haven't tried affirmations before, you're going to get a crash course now! I'll write a longer post on them later, but affirmations and manifestation are both a huge part of my life and they've both helped me tremendously.

An affirmation is a short phrase you say over and over to yourself every single day. You don't have to say the same thing, you can mix it up.

Wake up, look in the mirror, and try one of these affirmations:

  • I am beautiful, healthy, and strong.
  • I am more than enough.
  • My self-esteem grows daily.
  • I am deserving of love, happiness, and success.
  • I am bigger than my anxiety.
  • I am in control of my life.

Don't feel like getting out of bed? Turn your phone camera around like you're taking a selfie, and say the affirmations to yourself that way.

Manifesting is similar. Try these:

  • Today is a great day.
  • Every day, I live my best life.
  • I release any fear or limiting beliefs I may have about becoming the best version of myself.

Be specific and only use positive language. How we speak to ourselves, and the words we put out into the Universe, matter.

Be silly.

The last technique works similarly to the funny dances I did with my daughter. Choose an accent, pick up a book, and read it in the accent. Switch every chapter. You can also do this with songs, or general conversation with your kids and spouse. It's sure to end in laughs!

Using grounding techniques

These techniques will take time and practice to get used to using them as well as find out which ones will work for you. Not all of them will work for everyone. Anxiety is a complex disorder and finding what works is a trial and error process. Trying them out and finding one or two that really work for you can be a lifesaver in the middle of an anxiety or panic attack.

Please PIN this post so it can reach more people! Thank you!

anxiety in moms

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2 thoughts on “Grounding: Use This Technique to Ease Anxiety Instantly”

  1. Thank you for this post! Nearly everyone I have talked to recently is anxious in some way, shape, or form, so this should be very helpful for so many people. I have had anxiety for years, and some of these techniques are tried-and-true for me, and some are new to me – will definitely try them all.

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  2. Really informative. Learned some insights to some of my feeling would never of thought I have anxiety, but I have noticed on a few occasions Iโ€™ve found myself talking to myself about a problem and either coming to a conclusion or just giving it up not worth the energy and even feeling better with that one. I will be reading this again and trying or exercises .Thanks again

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