Anxiety or anxiety attacks can be a real hassle to manage, especially if they break out in the middle of a meeting, during an exam, when something deviates slightly from your plans or when you are approaching your friends or colleagues.
This may prove as a real hindrance to productivity and relationships. Therefore, it becomes vital that we learn how to manage anxiety so as to establish stability in our day-to-day functioning.
The Basics of Grounding:
Grounding is a simple yet effective self-help technique that can help you to deflect your focus from anxiety and negative emotions and get back your clarity and calm by “grounding” which is essentially using physical actions, objects or sensory stimulation.
The essence of grounding is that it helps you to slowly gain control of your thoughts and senses, which in turn makes you feel less lost, that may again, in turn, help reduce or overcome anxiety and attain a sense of normalcy.
There are many ways of grounding, and it is important to know what works for you. You can easily know this by taking time to observe what action, object, or stimulations generally helps you feel better and at ease.
But don’t get this confused with what is called a distraction! Unlike distracting yourself, grounding is a process that needs you to be conscious of it.
Firstly, it needs you to be aware of your negative state of mind. Then it helps you to gradually come out of it and feel stable again.
This can be compared to a situation where you touch something burning hot. You don’t listen to music to distract yourself from the pain, rather you take a conscious effort of putting your hands under running cold water and feel the relief gradually.
Here’s How To Ground Yourself During Low Phases:
- 5-4-3-2-1 Technique:
Put your head up and look at the things around you. What are they? Name five of them, mainly the ones that you use/see regularly.
- Be Aware Of Your Breathing:
Breathe in and out deeply and slowly. Make sure your tummy rises while inhaling, and contracts while exhaling.
- Hold On To Wet/Cold Items:
For example, try getting hold of a cold can of soda or a wet bottle. Concentrate on how cold it feels in your hands, and notice how your palms react to it (if it sweats, or really dries up).
- Observe The Features Of An Object:
Grab onto the nearest item near you and look at it keenly. List the features of the product one by one. Or simply touch any surface with a really interesting texture and feel it around your palms. Describe to yourself how it feels.
- Focus On A Prevailing Smell:
Try catching a distinctive smell in the air. If it smells like nothing, try concentrating hard and catch a smell that stands out from the rest. What does it smell like? Does it seem familiar?
Find more in the sources given at the end.
There are no hard and fast rules on how you go about grounding. Now that you are aware of it, try going about it next time when you feel anxious. The methods given above are popularly used and may work well. You may also develop a personalized method that will work effectively for you.
A final note before you go-
Grounding is an effective method and provides temporary relief from anxiety, but in no way cures or betters the situation. Do visit a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist if you suffer from severe anxiety or experience anxiety/panic attacks regularly.
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