Grounding Tips

When you are stress and need some instant ways to connect to your immediate surroundings, test out a few of these 25 ways to get grounded fast. Grounding tips help you connect to the here-and-now when it feels like things are out of control.

Grounding Tips

Intrusive thoughts get stuck precisely because you spend so much energy trying to get rid of them.

25 Ways To Get Grounded Fast

  1. Bring up today’s newspaper on the web, notice the date. Read something fun!
  2. Breathe slowly and steadily from your core. Imagine letting fear and worry go, evaporating along with each breath. There are also lots of apps for this.
  3. Trace your hands against the physical outline of your body. Experience your own presence in the world.
  4. Call a friend and have a chat.
  5. If you are feeling ‘stuck’, change how you’re positioned. Wiggle your fingers, tap your feet. Pay attention to the movement: You are in control of what your body is doing, right here and now.
  6. Eat or drink something. Notice the sensations. Is it hot, or cold? Sweet, or sour?
  7. Meditate, only if that’s OK for you. Otherwise use distractions like television or upbeat music to help settle down.
  8. Use your voice. Say your name or pick up a book and read the first paragraph you find out loud.
  9. Look at yourself in the mirror. Smile, even if it’s a fake smile. How does that feel? What can you see? (If negative thoughts come to mind, write them down to look at later but let them go for now. You’re anxious enough as it is.)
  10. Write out what’s going on. Do a brain dump. Keep writing until you start to notice it makes a difference, getting some of the things you’re anxious about on paper.
  11. Take a shower/bath. Notice the sensations of the water.
  12. If you don’t want to go full shower mode, then wet a washcloth as hot as you can stand it and place it over your face, breathing in the lovely warmth and steam. Do it twice.
  13. Write somebody you care about an email or text.
  14. Imagine yourself in a familiar, comfortable place. Feel the safety. Know it. It helps if you have a picture of the place.
  15. Take a look outside. Count the number of trees and street signs.
  16. Watch some birds for a while, especially shore birds if you live in Wilmington, NC, or near a beach anywhere.
  17. Exercise. Jump up and down on the spot. Try some gentle yoga, or ride a bike–even if it’s just around the block a few times.
  18. Try some tense and release progressive relaxation moves.
  19. Hold onto something comforting. Maybe a blanket, pillow or an old stuffed toy.
  20. Laugh. Even if that’s hard. Just the act of laughing about something, anything can break that spinning out of control feeling. Look up funny animal videos on You Tube.
  21. Take a few silly quizzes on BuzzFeed.
  22. When you’re not too stressed, make a list of the things that provoke your anxiety. Take it to your therapist and ask them to help you find ways to desensitize you to some of those things. If you don’t have a therapist, you can contact me here.
  23. If you suffer from PTSD flashbacks, when you’re feeling OK, make a list of the furniture in your home and what room it’s in. Give the list to a friend you can call to help you focus on what’s now and safe. They can quiz you to distract you and help you focus on the here and now.
  24. List 5 really positive things in your life. Put the list where you’ll see it and remember that there’s more to the world than just panic and fear.
  25. Think about the last week. Was there a day you didn’t have so much anxiety? Remember how it felt to be less anxious than you are right now. What was different? What can change?

I know these are not fixes, but they can help you get grounded when you just feel like you’re spinning out. If you need help getting something worked out, you can go to my home page, press the blue button near the bottom and schedule an appointment.