This blog shares 5 ways to quickly ground yourself. Grounding is a coping technique with intentions to self-soothe feelings of stress, overwhelm, or anxiety. It helps keep you present in the moment, reorients you to the current time/place, and helps ease ruminations about the past or the future.
These techniques can aid you in calming down from panic attacks, anxiety attacks, or heightened stress. Our mind may be racing in every direction, making it hard for us to focus on calming our bodies down.
Panic attacks can be scary, as we also experience somatic symptoms like increased heart rate, rapid breathing, or chest pain. It’s important to note that these symptoms can mimic medical conditions, so it is essential to consult with your doctor about alternative causes or underlying conditions.
Being equipped to take a step back and get in tune with yourself is crucial for your well-being. While grounding techniques appear simple, they can make a significant impact on your state of mind and functioning in daily life. Trying out different methods to ground yourself by understanding what techniques work best for you, can help you manage stressors in the future.
5 ways to quickly ground yourself include: breathing exercises, the 5-4-3-2-1 method, keeping a soothing item with you, practicing self-kindness, and moving your body intentionally. You can practice these techniques by yourself, while in social settings, or at work or school. Try each one of these out to see what method works best for you!
Struggling with feelings of panic, overwhelm, or anxiety can leave you feeling drained and stressed out when unresolved.
5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself: Breathing exercises
There are breathing exercises you can begin to quickly ground yourself. If you experience hyperventilating or rapid breathing in times of stress, taking control of your breathing can help you self-regulate. Additionally, practicing breathing exercises in times where you are not currently experiencing panic or anxiety is key.
Setting aside a few minutes each day can provide you with a quiet moment to breathe and practice these exercises. Intentional breathing exercises can be done in the morning, middle of the day, or as you are going to sleep. Simply taking long, deep breaths in, holding for a few seconds, and exhaling slowly is one exercise.
You can practice breathing while sitting, laying down or standing. Place your hands on your upper belly while relaxing your shoulders. Ensure both of your feet are flat on the ground if possible. Do not struggle to deepen your breath, just mindfully take note of where your body is naturally. Focus on relaxing your muscles from head to toe. Notice thoughts that cross your mind without judgment or expectation for addressing them in the current moment.
Be aware of your body’s natural instincts, and notice how your chest and belly move when you are inhaling and exhaling. Take note of how it feels to take a deep breath in, and let a deep breath out. Envision yourself inhaling relief and positivity, and exhaling out stress and negativity.
You might also visualize an ocean wave coming in and out, or imagine healing energy traveling through your body with each breath. You can also experiment with how long to inhale, hold your breath, and exhale. Practicing simple breathing techniques such as these can help you feel most mindful and present in the moment.
Practicing breathing exercises on a regular basis helps you benefit from them more in times of need.
5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself: 5-4-3-2-1 method
The 5-4-3-2-1 method involves using all of your senses. This can help direct you to being present with yourself and engaged with your surroundings. If you are struggling with insomnia, PTSD symptoms, overwhelming stress, or panic, this method can help you slow down and redirect your attention to controlling how your body is responding.
This includes being mindful and aware of:
- 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
This is not a suggestion for you to seek out sensory input in your vicinity (unless you want to), but to instead concentrate on your immediate surroundings. With this, it can take attention away from distressing symptoms you are experiencing, and help you naturally refocus your energy.
Once you’ve identified these items, try to define and describe them in detail. Can you put detailed words to what you see? What colors are associated with it? Within the 4 things, what textures do you notice? For the 3 things, what is producing sounds? Within the 2 things, what is giving off the scent? And finally, what does the 1 thing taste like (i.e. coffee you recently drank, a mint or piece of gum, etc.)?
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA provides you a space to practice the grounding techniques that work best for you. Make sure to also check out our blog on 5 Ways to Cope with Depression.
The 5-4-3-2-1 method uses all five senses to incorporate mindfulness into your present moment.
5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself: Keep a soothing item on you
Keep a soothing item on you that you reach for and smell, hold, or taste. This item can be used in times of stress to comfort yourself. In the moment of feeling overwhelmed or distressed, taking a second to soothe yourself can help ease your tension and anxiety.
When you experience those feelings coming on, take a moment to find your item and sit with it. There may be a scent or a texture that helps soothe you. This could be a mini perfume/cologne bottle, essential oil, herb, a candle, a piece of clothing from home, or a stuffed animal. For example, ending the day by lighting your favorite candle or incense and filling the room with its scent can help you relax.
You can have additions to your keychains or small items to keep in a bag, your car, or your pocket. Being mindful of the item in your hands, and concentrating on the texture or how it feels in your hand can help ground you. Examples of this could be fidget toys, worry stones, small figurines, or another small item like a plush toy or cloth.
One last example would be something you can taste. This can look like a piece of chewing gum, a mint, a flavored mouth spray, or a candy. Take a moment to sit with the flavors and identify them. It’s been suggested to use sour candies to ground yourself, as the tanginess can help more readily pull you into the present moment.
The concept around having a soothing item on you is to be mindful, and fully focus on all the components and small details of it. From there, you can step into the present moment, and feel less stress or anxiety.
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps you find ways to cope with stress and anxiety inside and outside of sessions. Make sure to check out our blog on 5 Ways to Cope with Guilt!
5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself: Practice self-kindness
Practicing self-kindness is one way to quickly ground yourself. This can help you break from negative narratives or thinking patterns. When difficult feelings arise, your first thought may be blaming or criticizing yourself.
If we fall into the rabbit hole of negative thinking, it can be difficult to pull ourselves out of it. We may latch onto what we’re thinking about, begin to panic, and may behave or act in ways due to our sense of urgency or overwhelm.
It’s important to make sure we are guiding ourselves with grace and compassion. We all struggle with our inner critics at times, for our own reasons. It’s normal to experience a negative inner-dialogue, however we don’t need to accept it as absolute truth. We also don’t need to latch onto those thoughts, and can instead pick and choose what supports us best.
Acknowledging that we are deserving of the love and care we give to others is key. We may not feel that we are capable of loving ourselves, however we can get to that place with persistence. Finding things you can say to yourself that leave you feeling good can help you incorporate them more into your daily routines. Imagine you are speaking compassionately and empathetically to a loved one – you deserve the same compassion and empathy.
Trauma counseling in Simi Valley, CA gives you a nonjudgmental space to talk about difficult feelings or traumatic memories. Make sure to check out our blog on 3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk.
Starting each morning with a positive mantra or affirmation can set the right tone for your day.
5 Ways to Quickly Ground Yourself: Move your body deliberately
One final way to quickly ground yourself is through moving your body with intention. This means to move your body with a game plan, and focus closely on what you’re doing and how your body reacts. You can move your body in numerous ways, such as:
- Slow stretching
- Walking, running, or hiking
- Lifting weights
- Rock climbing
- Biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading
And more! When we move our bodies with intention to learn a new skill, build strength, relieve pain or tension, or relax our muscles, we can release nervous energy, tension, and trauma stored in our bodies. We can experience quick relief through movement. At times, you may notice having a trauma response of freezing up, where you feel stuck in place and unable to move with thoughts racing. Intentional movement can help you work through these moments in a safe, grounded manner.
In trauma counseling in Simi Valley, CA, you and your therapist can work together to understand ways you can release trauma or nervous energy stored in your body in healthy ways. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Sit With Uncomfortable Feelings.
You do not have to struggle with feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, or worry alone any longer.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Validate Yourself!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.