5 Effective Grounding Techniques To Relieve Anxiety Quickly (+Herbal Remedies)

 

Written by: Shelby Torrese - Mar. 9, 2020

grounding techniques  

It shows up at the most inopportune times. It creeps in when we least expect it, and takes over the mind as if we have no say in the matter. I first experienced anxiety right after college. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky gal, so it really caught me off guard. I was driving to an interview (one that I was really excited for, by the way) and out of nowhere, my mind darted south. They might not like you. You’re really not that qualified. What if you never get a job you want? I couldn’t believe it. Getting roasted by your own self is the strangest, most difficult thing to deal with. When I later shared this with my sister, she knew what it was right away. Anxiety. She shared that she’s dealt with it, too, and the only thing that worked for her were grounding techniques.

Grounding techniques are ways of bringing our mind to the present moment, rather than letting it wander off to a made-up future or an over-with past. Anxiety has a way of warping time and life as we know it, pulling our mind out of the present moment. When we can anchor ourselves in the present, we can then live our lives to the fullest.

grounding techniques for anxiety

What Is Anxiety? 


Generalized anxiety disorder, most commonly known as anxiety, is a disorder that causes people to worry about any given thing, sometimes numerous things, for a period of 6 months or more. Day-to-day worries, like making sure the kids are fed and the oven gets turned off, are not necessarily signs of anxiety. The word gets thrown around a bit more than warranted these days, but it’s just as important to notate what anxiety isn’t. Anxiety is the sense of worry about the same thing, without a resolution, for an extended period of time. It tends to affect women more than men, and can sometimes feel like fear. [1, 2]

What Causes Anxiety?


The causes of anxiety vary person-to-person. There is no one event or life experience that will induce anxiety, nor is there a perfected formula as to who will suffer from it. A common cause of anxiety is simply genetics. If you have a family history of anxiety disorder, there is a higher likelihood that you will experience it as well. There is also a laundry list of triggering life events that can cause us to feel anxious. This may include stressors such as moving and job transitions, abuse such as emotional or physical terror, loss of a loved one, and even pregnancy.

How To Deal With Anxiety


There is good news and bad news when it comes to dealing with anxiety. The good news is that it is possible. You do not have to deal with anxiety forever, nor does it have to be a pain in your life. The bad news? It is all up to you. Not such bad news, huh? Still, that means that there is no one else that can tackle your anxiety except y-o-u. It’s in your hands. I have a few anxiety tips that will help to ease the suffering and help you live your life—one being grounding techniques for anxiety, which is outlined below. Meditation, physical activity, and hobbies all also help with day-to-day anxiety. When you sit in front of a screen or are driving all day, those activities serve as a pretty conducive time for anxiety. If you can fill downtime with a positive mindset, or grounding techniques, you can diminish anxiety almost immediately. [3]

grounding techniques for anxiety

5 Quick Grounding Techniques For Anxiety Relief


The best anxiety tips I’ve ever gotten to manage my anxiety revolve around incorporating grounding techniques into my life. Grounding techniques are ways to ground, or provide a foundation for yourself into the present moment. It’s a way of getting out of our head or mind, and into our body. A lot of anxiety stems from the mind, naturally, so in order to pull ourselves out of it, getting grounded into our place in time and space has proven helpful for reducing side effects of anxiety. I love the 5-4-3-2-1 technique I’m about to go through, but grounding techniques for anxiety can be as simple as reminding yourself of the time of day, what city and state you’re in, or even just the year, month, day. 

The reason the 5-4-3-2-1 technique is so helpful for anxiety is that it, again, connects us back to our body, particularly through the five senses. Our senses remind us of the present moment. It separates us from our worries because anxiety is worrying about how we, or others, will think, feel, and act. Our senses give us a glimpse into what we are actually thinking, feeling, and doing.

  • 5. Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you—Starting with sight, begin to acknowledge five things you can see around you. This can be a ladybug on your arm, or the trees blowing in the wind. Try and find a sense of peace in your findings. Maybe you see a baby laughing, and it makes you smile, too. Widen your perspective as you do this step. Avoid looking at one landscape or area, and if possible, look left and right, even up and down to see your five things. 
  • 4. Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you—After noticing five things around you, bring your energy and focus back inward and touch four things around you. Again, this can either be the warmth of your own skin or the cool grass beneath you. Bonus points for being in nature! Having skin to earth contact is a powerful grounding tool in and of itself. [4]
  • 3. Acknowledge THREE things you hear—Step 3 is to listen. Listen up and hear what’s around you. I love this step the most because I can listen for things very immediate and close to me, and also try and listen for something very far away. It helps to remind me that I have control over what I listen to.
  • 2. Acknowledge TWO things you can smell—Hopefully, this step is a pleasant experience, but either way, try and smell two things! It can be food nearby, your hair or clothes, even just the freshness or saltiness of the air around you. 
  • 1. Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste—Without eating, acknowledge one thing you can taste. This can be residual coffee on your tongue, toothpaste or mouthwash, garlic, anything. This final step is what seals the final sense technique in. With this final step, start to notice how little you worried for the past few minutes and the peace you’re at with how present you now are to yourself. [5]

Best Herbal Remedies For Anxiety

1. CBD oil


It’s all the rage these days, but not without reason! CBD oil has been studied and proven to help with a variety of ailments and disorders, including anxiety! This is a versatile ingredient, and can be added to just about any of your favorite beverages without any distinguishable flavor profile. CBD has been shown to reduce chronic pain and even help with insomnia, and serves as one of the most helpful grounding techniques for anxiety. [6, 7]

2. Calming herbal tea


Herbs have been used for centuries for calming everything from anxiety to battle wounds. When steeped as a tea, there are a few top-performing teas for stress and anxiety. In no particular order, they are: chamomile, lavender, rooibos, peppermint, lemon balm, and valerian root tea. They each offer a delicious and unique, relaxing taste. My favorite anxiety-relieving tea, though, is a combination of all six. SkinnyFit Zzztox tea is a blend of each stress-reducing tea, along with hints of vanilla and cornflower. It helps me settle my mind and anxiety jitters at any given time of day, and also serves as a nice relief after a long day.  

anxiety tips

3. Meditation


Meditation is one of my absolute favorite (and most challenging) anxiety tips. It’s another way of grounding, as it’s a practice that brings the mind and body to the present moment. If you’re already ruling out meditation because you don’t know-how, it’s simple. Soften the eyes. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. That’s it! Just sit and breathe. It may not be perfectly quiet or calm when you do it, you may even be doing it on your commute to work. That’s okay. Just like anxiety shows up at the most inopportune times, meditation can serve as a relief at any given moment. If you need some additional guidance on getting started with meditation, check out this beginner’s guide to meditation!

The Bottom Line On Anxiety Relief 


I know that anxiety is a silent beast. It creeps in without warning and makes you feel out of control. Rest assured there are solutions to dealing with it. If you put even just one of my anxiety tips to use, you will likely notice a huge difference. Also, keep in mind that dealing with anxiety is a process! It won’t be better in one day or one practice, and the techniques may take a while to get comfortable with. Again, that is okay. If you ever feel like you need support, reach out and ask. It’s much more likely that a friend or family member will want to help or lend an ear than they are to reject your vulnerability. If anxiety becomes a daunting, life-impacting distraction, professional help is also an incredible way of helping to navigate living with anxiety. Mental health is just as important as our physical health, and if you ever feel the need to seek professional advice, do it! Your body and mind will thank you. For dealing with anxiety on your own, remember you always have the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown in your back pocket.

 

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