Top 21 Anxiety Grounding Techniques
Sometimes the worst stress comes from the things that are all too terribly familiar. There are times that anxiety can make even daily tasks seem insurmountable, even though I've done them countless times before. I know it's something I can do, it's just that in that moment it's implausible, nigh on impossible I could do it again.
What makes simple tasks so hard?
What thoughts or behaviours prevent you from feeling confident about tasks you're familiar with but which create anxiety regardless?
One incredibly common example for anxiety sufferers is picking up the phone to call a friend. Intellectually you're aware you'll probably have a great conversation. But anxiety magnifies every difficult emotion, negative thought or sign of hesitation.
Treat Anxiety with Grounding Skills
If you want to stop feeling "spacey," or you feel yourself slipping into the spiral of anxiety, try some of these helpful anxiety management techniques:
- Bring up today's newspaper on the web, notice the date. Read something fun!
- Breathe slowly and steadily from your core. Imagine letting fear and worry go, evaporating along with each breath.
- Trace your hands against the physical outline of your body. Experience your own presence in the world.
- Call a friend and have a chat.
- If you are feeling 'stuck', change how you're positioned. Wiggle your fingers, tap your feet. Pay attention to the movement: You are in control of what your body is doing, right here and now.
- Eat or drink something. Is it hot, or cold? Sweet, or sour?
- Meditate, if that's OK for you. Otherwise use distractions like television or music to help settle down.
- Use your voice. Say your name or pick up a book and read the first paragraph you find out loud.
- Look at yourself in the mirror. Smile, even if that's the last thing you feel like! How does that feel? What can you see? (If negative thoughts come to mind, write them down to look at later but let them go for now. You're anxious enough as it is.)
- Write out what's going on. Keep writing until you start to notice it makes a difference, lets some of the things you're anxious about out.
- Take a shower/bath. Notice the sensations of the water.
- Write somebody you care about an email.
- Imagine yourself in a familiar, comfortable place. Feel the safety. Know it.
- Take a look outside. Count the number of trees and street signs.
- Exercise. Jump up and down on the spot. Try some gentle yoga, or ride a bike.
- Hold onto something comforting. Maybe a blanket or an old stuffed toy.
- Laugh. Even if that's hard. Just the act of laughing about something, anything can break that spinning out of control feeling.
- When you're not too stressed, make a list of the things that provoke your anxiety. Take it to your therapist and ask them to help you find ways to desensitize you to some of those things. Then those triggers won't be quite so powerful, and your anxiety coping skills will work better.
- If you get PTSD flashbacks, when you're feeling OK, make a list of the furniture in your home and what room it's in. Give the list to a friend you can call to help you focus on what's now and safe.
- List 5 really positive things in your life. Put the list where you'll see it and remember that there's more to the world than just panic and fear.
- Think about the last week. Was there a day you didn't have so much anxiety? Remember how it felt to be less anxious than you are right now. What was different? What can change?
Once you've found which techniques help, make a list to put on your wall, or carry in your pocket.
White, K. (2010, September 11). Top 21 Anxiety Grounding Techniques, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2010/09/top-21-anxiety-grounding-techniques
Author: Kate White
2. Reduce of negativity
3. 3D vision: different point of view
4. Affirmation to stay positive :)
Panic attacks, pulsating tinnitus, palpations, sweats, the negative voice in your head constantly dragging and forcing you down, the worst case scenario of every situation played out in your mind before you even consider attempting it and the fear of dying, fear of dying while walking anywhere alone and panicking about who will find you, going to sleep terrified you might not wake up, fear of loved ones dying, fear of losing everything and everyone that means something to you, the list goes on...... living with that every single day, trying to hold down your job, trying to hold down your relationship (if you can even do relationships) it generates a hell of a lot of stress, the anxiety itself generates more anxiety. I had cbt therapy for 6 months and it helped me so much, it really did help me change the way I dealt with my issues. I was practically anxiety free for a year and a half following therapy but unfortunately it’s returned again :(
Something that helps relax and calm my mind is asmr videos on YouTube. You can search specifically for asmr anxiety videos, sleep videos..... headphones required for best effect. I recommend giving it a try. It seems a bit weird at first but some of the videos are super relaxing I manage to fall asleep most nights listening to it.
What you described is exactly how i feel sometimes. It's awful but there are good days that make it worth it.
I hope you can feel better soon <3
Anxiety and panic are terrible experiences. I'm sorry that you're dealing with them so much lately. Believe it or not, your comment highlights a very important first step in stopping anxiety and panic: breathing. When anxiety increases, the breath becomes shallow and rapid, and this leads to panic. If you can notice yourself feeling anxious and starting to breathe too quickly (sometimes it's hard to notice until you're panicking), you can purposely take a series of slow, deep breaths. It calms the brain and creates physiological changes that reduce anxiety. From there, you can take a mindful walk (even a short trip through your house), stretch, drink water, eat something healthy, or do any number of things that are comforting to you to pull your body out of anxiety/panic mode. This can help you in the moment as well as decrease anxiety and panic over time.
iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look
forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!
Cannot talk between group of people.
Heart racing before start of examination( any type of exam )
I now medicine made it worse .
Kate White no longer writes for the Treating Anxiety blog, even though she wrote this awesome post. I actually have a website for driving anxiety that you might want to check out:
Caffeine can definitely trigger anxiety attacks, or at least make them worse.
Katie no longer writes for the Treating Anxiety blog, but we're still really glad it helped you. It's on of my favorite posts!
Glad they were useful for you. Let me know how they work out, if you like.
p.s. I'm enjoying your blog. Dialogue feeds my brain (and the graphics are just fun!)
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