How to use grounding when feeling anxious

How to use grounding when feeling anxious

How to use grounding when feeling anxious

If anxiety is a regular part of your life, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you keep it in check. Grounding is an effective way to calm anxiety during a panic attack. In this process, you identify objects around you to help your brain recognise where you are. This creates a sense of comfort because you know where you are and you feel more in control of the situation. Here is how to use grounding when feeling anxious.

There is only one way to reconnect to the present: through the body. The body can only ever be in one place, and that’s the here-and-now. While your mind can untether and run itself ragged on any number of anxious thoughts, your body is never anywhere else but here, with your breath.

If we want to calm anxious thoughts and reorient to the present, we must do so via our five senses.  By bringing your mind to the sights, sounds, and smells around you can bring you back to a calmer state, mentally and physically.

How to use grounding when feeling anxious

Step 1: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you.

When you’re very overwhelmed, try to think of what you are seeing right in front of you. You can say what you see out loud, in your head, or even write it down. Pay attention to the colors, textures, and the points of contact on the walls or trees or the building you see in front of you.

Step 2: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you.

Touching your own wrist or arm is a good place to kickstart the touch sense, either by rubbing your arm or giving it a squeeze. Also, try to identify how different body parts are feeling. Are your shoulders engaged and up by your ears? Is your jaw clenched? Can you release these muscles? Are your feet planted on the floor? What does the texture of the floor feel like?

Step 3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear.

If you’re in a quiet spot, try tuning into calm-inducing sounds that can help bring you back to the present moment. Music can also bring you into the present. Press play on a calming song and try to separate what instruments you hear in the melody.

Step 4: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell.

You might keep a candle by your bed or eat a snack when you feel anxiety approaching or are having trouble coming back from a panicked state. Try keeping calming essential oils (i.e. lavender) by your bed if you find yourself having trouble falling asleep. Take a sniff when you feel any anxiety or stress trying to settle in for the night.

Step 5: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste.

Acknowledge one thing around you that you can taste. It doesn’t necessarily have to be food, as toothpaste and minty floss you use in the morning or at night are easy sources. Coffee, tea, and other drinks you have to get through the day also work.


Once your anxiety has passed, it’s important to give yourself permission to relax now that this spell is behind you. Bringing some kindness and compassion to yourself and taking a few moments to do something pleasant would be a good idea.

Keep track of which techniques are helpful (and which ones aren’t) so you can use them again in the future. Different strategies work for different people, and there is no “wrong” way to ground yourself. The main aim is to keep your mind and body connected and working together. Ultimately, figuring out what you need when you’re anxious is an ongoing journey.



Disclaimer: All content on the The Local Choice Pharmacy is created and published online for informational purposes only. It does not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.