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Grounding Techniques for Stress and Anxiety
Grounding techniques can help you pull away from negative thoughts, challenging emotions, or overwhelming situations. They help you refocus on the here and now, helping you to feel more connected to the physical world. Here are three methods you can try:
1. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique:
This technique will help you focus on your surroundings and distract you from what's causing anxiety or stress.
- 5: Identify five things you can see around you.
- 4: Identify four things you can touch or feel.
- 3: Identify three things you can hear.
- 2: Identify two things you can smell.
- 1: Identify one thing you can taste.
2. Deep Breathing:
Deep, controlled breathing can reduce anxiety and help you feel more relaxed.
- Breathe in deeply for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly for a count of four.
- Repeat until you start to feel more calm.
3. Grounding Object:
Using a grounding object can help you feel connected to the present.
- Find a small object (like a stone, a piece of jewelry, a stress ball) that you can carry around with you.
- Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, hold this object and focus on how it feels in your hand.
- Explore its texture, its weight, its temperature, and any other physical characteristics.
4. Sour Candy Technique:
Tasting something sour can instantly pull your focus back to the present and interrupt spiraling thoughts.
- Keep some sour candies or similar treats on hand for times of stress or anxiety.
- When you feel overwhelmed, have a piece of the sour candy.
- Concentrate on the taste sensation. Is it sour immediately or does it take a moment? How does the taste change over time?
- Use this strong flavor as a way to ground your thoughts back into the present.
Remember, it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but there are strategies to help you regain your focus and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. Don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if these feelings persist or begin to interfere with your daily life.