Grounding techniques are techniques that “ground you” or in other words, support you to feel safe, steady and in control. These techniques monitor your heartbeat, breath and deepen your awareness of the present moment.
Grounding techniques are especially powerful for people who struggle with anxiety. When people experience anxiety, the general feeling is that you are no longer in control. It becomes difficult to stay in the present moment and to feel safe in your environment. It becomes especially hard to breathe.
In efforts to feel a sense of calm and control, the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique can be very powerful and useful.
It’s also very simple and activates all of your senses so you can get back in your body and maintain a sense of calm.
Try it out by following the directions below and notice if your anxiety decreases. This can also be practiced in moments when you’re not feeling anxiety. It can be incredibly useful if you just need to maintain a sense of focus or if you need to get back in the present moment because you’re thinking about a lot of memories and thoughts from the past. In any case, it can be a wonderful addition to your well being toolbox.
Find five things you can see. Pay attention to their unique features, their size and color. Try to notice something you have not noticed before. Find four things you can touch around you. Notice the textures and feel the difference between each item. Find three things you can hear. Make some noise if need be. Open the door to hear the cars outside or turn on the music and pay attention to the instruments and words. Find two things you can smell. If need be, move to a different environment or pick up an item around you. Find one thing you can taste. Whether it be food, a drink or a piece of gum, try to notice the flavor.
This video explains the technique more!