Six Different Types of Grounding Exercises for Anxiety & Intense Emotions
By Lexi Schmidt, PhD, LP
When we're in the middle of an anxiety attack or flashback, our frontal lobe goes out the window. It feels impossible to focus or think clearly about anything and sometimes our thoughts come so quickly and jumbled we can't keep track of them. Things may seem like they are happening around us in a blur, or someone has been talking for several minutes and we have no clue what they just said. Sometimes we feel paralyzed or frozen, unable to move or say or do anything. This can happen with other intense or extreme emotions, too, like when we feel hurt or abandoned, hopeless, frightened, or lost.
Grounding is an excellent tool for these kinds of situations, and is one that can be used just about anywhere. By bringing our mind and our body back to the present moment, we can sometimes allow ourselves the space for our brain to slow down and feel a bit more centered, at least enough so we can let someone know what's going on or that we need help, or figure out what to do next. There are many different ways of grounding, which is part of why it's such a great skill -- even if you don't find one of the options below helpful there are many others you can try. You can also create your own ways of grounding, by finding anything to focus your senses on and anchor you in the present moment