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  • Writer's pictureEmily Barrett

Grounding Techniques

Updated: Apr 10

These techniques can be useful during anxious episodes to help calm the body the mind

What is Grounding?

Grounding is a technique that helps bring you back into your body and your physical space when you are feeling anxious or stressed. Different techniques can help you feel more connected to your surroundings and to the present moment, rather than focusing on your worries and fears. Techniques can be short or long, so you can use them at home, at the office, in your car, or any time you notice you need a distraction from your thoughts. Try out these suggestions any time you are feeling anxious or are struggling to focus:

Engaging the Senses

  • The Five Senses: name five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

  • Curl up under a weighted blanket

  • Hold a cube of ice in your hand

  • Take a hot shower

  • Hug a pillow, pet, or stuffed animal

Deep Breathing

  • Square breathing: inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, and hold for 4. Repeat.

  • Straw breathing: inhale for a count of 4 and exhale quickly, like you are blowing through a straw

  • Follow a breathing meditation on an app or Youtube


  • Go for a walk, run, or hike

  • Practice yoga or stretching for a few minutes

  • Ride a bike or rollerblade

  • Go swimming


  • Journal about how you are feeling

  • Write down positive affirmations or say them out loud

  • Tell yourself things you know are true (i.e. I am safe, I am going to be okay, I have people that love me)

Tactile Distractions

  • Use stress balls or fidget toys

  • Cook or bake something you like

  • Complete a simple minute math page

  • Make a craft

  • Work on a project (i.e. painting, knitting, etc.)

  • Tidy up a space

  • Call a friend

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