Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are useful tools you can use when feeling distressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. They can be especially helpful if you struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm urges, or PTSD. Practicing grounding can allow you to refocus back into the present moment. Grounding techniques can include both physical and emotional components. Here are some examples of grounding techniques to try out:

5 Senses: Zoom in on the 5 senses by noticing 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Focus on maintaining slow, steady, deep breaths while you notice the 5 senses. This tool can be particularly helpful if you are experiencing intense anxiety.

4-7-8 Breathing: Breathe in through the nose to the count of 4, hold the breath for the count of 7, and exhale through the mouth to the count of 8. You can repeat this cycle several times to help you feel more centered. You can also modify the number of seconds while doing this, however, try to keep the ratio the same. When practiced consistently over time, this exercise can help to lower anxiety and stress.

Practice Self-Compassion: 
Focus on repeating compassionate affirmations to yourself to help feel safe in the moment. Here are some examples you might try: I am safe in my body, I will get through this, I can handle this, it’s okay if I don’t feel okay right now, this feeling is temporary.

Peaceful Place Visualization: Close your eyes and visualize a peaceful, comforting place. This can be a place you are familiar with or a place you are imagining. Envision the details of this place: what are the sights, sounds, and sensations there? Picture yourself relaxing in your peaceful place and remember that you can save this visual to return to at a later time.  

To learn more about grounding techniques, reach out to one of our licensed counselors today here.