Anxiety is hard to shake off and can spring up on us at the most inconvenient of times. Sometimes we need to take a step back and focus on where we are and what we are doing. This is what we call ‘grounding’.
Grounding is a technique I have learnt a lot about over my sessions of CBT and by reading self-help books. It is something we can all train our brains to use every day. It makes us more aware of our surroundings and helps us to be more mindful. It is a really helpful to have these skills when you are feeling anxious or if you are experiencing panic.
There are hundreds of different way that we ‘ground’ ourselves; I’d like to share with you one of the ways that I have found most useful.
This grounding technique is particularly useful if you are feeling uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment. I often use it if I am on the tube. The idea is to focus in on each of your 5 senses.
Firstly, your sight. Try and find three items in your view that you can really look at. Think about the shape and colour of the objects.
Secondly, your hearing. Listen to your surroundings and pick three sounds. Think about what the sounds are and how close they are to you. Do they sound like something else? Have you heard the noise before?
Move on to your smell. Try and see if you can smell anything in particular. You might struggle to find 3 here, but give it a go. What can you smell? What does it remind you of?
Touch; find three objects that you can touch. Could be an item of your clothing, it could be the seat you are sat on, it could be something in your pocket. Think about what they feel like; are they warm or cold?
Lastly, your taste. This one might be difficult if there isn’t anything around. Do you have any chewing gum in your bag? Try to chew or drink something slowly, really analysing the taste and texture.
How do you feel now?
Do you feel more familiar and comfortable in your surroundings? Has your breathing steadied?
I would be interested to know if this worked for you and what it was that you found, perhaps leave me a comment below?
I hope that you found that technique useful. There are so many more, I will aim to publish a few more as I go on through these posts.
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