Feeling overwhelmed?

Anxiety can make you feel like you’re spiralling out of control. But there’s a way to find calm within the chaos with grounding techniques. Try these out if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

1. Connect with the ground

Try to consciously feel the firm and gentle support beneath your feet. Imagine your feet sinking into the earth as you stand or sit. This connection helps you feel rooted and stable, like a tree firmly planted in the ground.

2. Move your body

If you’re feeling stuck, shake it off. Give your body a good shake, just like a dog shaking off water.

Feel the tension and stress leaving your body with each shake.

Alternatively try doing a few jumping jacks, stretching, and pushing against the wall are also good ways to release pent-up energy and regain a sense of physical presence.

3. Put your hands under cold water

Try to focus on the sensations that you feel. As the cold water flows over your hands, notice the coolness and the tingling it brings. Is it pleasant? Does it give you goosebumps?

This simple act of focusing on sensation can jolt you into the present moment.

Try to focus on the sensation that you feel. Is it pleasant? Does it give you goose bumps?

4. Breath deeply through your belly

Take a moment to explore the wonders of diaphragmatic breathing. Place your hands on your abdomen, just below your ribcage. As you inhale deeply, let your diaphragm descend, pushing your hands outward. This is where the magic happens.

Diaphragmatic breathing not only calms your racing thoughts but also nourishes your body with a surge of fresh, invigorating air. It’s like a breath of life flowing through you. As you practice this technique, visualise how it engages your diaphragm, lowering it to make space for deeper, fuller breaths. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen.

Feel the cool, crisp air entering your nostrils, traveling down to fill your lungs and replenishing every cell in your body. Each inhalation brings clarity, while each exhalation carries away stress and tension.

5. Five, four, three, two, one technique – Notice

Wherever you are right now, take a break and notice. Look around and acknowledge:

5 things you see, appreciating the colors, shapes, and details.

4 things you feel, whether it’s the texture of an object or the warmth of your clothing.

3 things you hear, picking up on the sounds around you, both near and far.

2 things you smell, even if they are faint or subtle.

1 thing you can taste, even if it’s just the lingering flavour in your mouth.

This exercise grounds you by engaging your senses and bringing you into the present moment.

6. Use touch

Rub your palms together; clap your hands. Listen to the sound. Feel the sensation. Or

use your hands to gently tap or massage different parts of your body. Feel the soothing sensation of your own touch as you connect with your body. This self-massage can alleviate tension and promote relaxation.

7. Notice your posture

How are you holding yourself? How do your shoulders feel? Shoulders can hold lots of tension. Take a moment to become aware of any tension in your shoulders and see if you can release it.

Some of the exercises mentioned above can help: maybe try conscious deep breathing to relax your shoulders and back as well as to improve your posture. Visualise your spine aligning, and your shoulders naturally relaxing and dropping away from your ears.

8. Feel the vibrations – Try voo breathing

Slowly breathe in through your nose. As you exhale, make the sound ‘voo.’ Feel the vibrations in your throat and chest as the sound resonates. Experiment and try with the sounds of ‘Aaaah’ and ‘Ooooh.’ These vocalisations can help release pent-up emotions and bring a sense of calmness and grounding.

Other grounding techniques:

  • Try a butterfly hug by crossing your arms (as if giving yourself a hug) and alternately tapping your left and right upper arm. Breathe and gently tap for a minute or two.
  • Name your favourites. What are your three favorite colours? Favorite foods? Favorite animals?
  • List all the things you need to make a sandwich. Be as detailed as possible. If you’re hungry, make a sandwich. Take your time and savour eating