Anxiety often is experienced with many symptoms in the upper body and head in the form of brain fog, lightheadedness or dizziness, or in changes in breathing and heart rate.
Grounding shifts your focus away from those sensations and away from anxious thinking in your mind, such as worry, rumination, overwhelm or a racing mind.
It also helps when dealing with any strong emotional reactions. Grounding can help you to calm down quickly.
Grounding means to bring your awareness and energy and physiology down to the lower part of your body – and to feel centered and present in your body in the here and now.
Try these grounding techniques for anxiety and panic attacks:
1. Be Here Now. Keep your eyes open, noticing details of your surroundings in the here and now. Look at objects long enough to describe them to yourself in your mind. If you are with another person, looking into another’s eyes can be helpful.
2. Mindful Belly Breathing brings your breath and your energy down to your belly. It calms both your mind and your body (specifically, your parasympathetic nervous system). Get your FREE guided Mindful Belly Breathing audio HERE.
3. Chair grounding: Sit comfortably with both feet on the ground. Notice how your body is supported by your chair. Starting with your back and moving all the way down to your legs, notice which parts of your body are in contact with the chair. How does each part feel against the chair? Let reach part really relax and lean into the chair for support. Neck, upper back, lower back, arms, hips and bottom, tights, lower legs. Then feel your feel firmly on the floor. Notice which parts of your feet feel most connected to the floor. Feel your whole body being supported.
4. Visualize Roots: With eyes open, sit or stand with both feet firmly on the ground. Imagine you are a tree. Visualize and feel roots growing from the bottom of each foot and running down deep into the center of the Earth, where it connects you to Mother Earth and firmly grounds and supports you. Notice how your feet are firmly and solidly supported by the ground.
5. Hydrate by sipping water. As you’re drinking, bring your mind to the present moment by saying to yourself: “I’m drinking this water and I’m aware that I’m drinking this water.”
6. Hold an object: Pick up any object (I like stones and crystals) and hold it in your hand. Bring your full attention to it and notice all the details of it. Feel the weight of it and the texture of it in your hand. Move it around and notice how all different parts of it look. Observe it and feel it intently, with all of your focus. Observe every little detail that you never noticed before.
7. Notice with your senses. While sitting quietly, look around for and name:
5 things you can see
4 things you can physically feel (go ahead and touch)
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you appreciate