It isn’t easy to wake up every day with that sinking feeling sitting right there in the pit of your stomach. People suffering from anxiety have their minds running a marathon every minute. One tends to juggle between irrational, obsessive thoughts that feel eerie. Once stuck, it feels hard to break free from those vicious cycles of thoughts. But there are some effective ways to deal with anxiety.
That pounding heartbeat is surely telling you that something’s wrong and needs to be remedied asap. Well, if you are sick of going through those same symptoms, then fret not. Health shots reached out to Dr. Smita Vasudev, Ph.D. (Psychology), Clinical Psychologist, and USA-certified CBT practitioner to know about grounding techniques that work wonders to cope with daily anxiety.
What is grounding?
Anxiety happens when our mind loses sight of the present moment and gets caught in the loop of irrelevant thinking patterns, fears, or worries. Practicing mindfulness is key to shifting your focus back to the present, making you feel more calm and centered. These grounding techniques are helpful in nearly all circumstances and help you pull away from undesirable memories, flashbacks, or any negative emotion.
The grounding techniques
The grounding techniques followed by CBT practitioners are dime a dozen. But, we have listed down two extremely helpful ones that are scientifically proven to help combat anxiety.
1. Activate your 5 sense organs
In this technique, you use various methods to activate your 5 sense organs for mindfulness.
Sight: Play any beautiful you-tube video on any topic like “top 10 best places on earth”. Watch the video consciously for at least 5 minutes being aware of the places represented in the video. You might get distracting thoughts, but you have to practice getting yourself back to the present moment.
Sound: Play any of your favorite songs and try humming alongside while dancing to the beats and tune of the music. Sounds can be great for mental health.
Smell: You can sniff anything, your favorite scented candle, perfume, or any flower in your garden being mindful of its pleasing aroma.
Taste: To activate your sense of taste, you can eat anything. It could be a chocolate, a beverage, chamomile tea, or anything of your liking that enhances your taste and mood.
Touch: You may touch anything to feel more centered and aware of your surroundings. It could be the bed you are lying on, a velvety soft cushion, or your favorite furry soft toy.
Once all your sense organs get activated, you will notice an immediate drop in your anxiety levels.
Feeling yourself in the present will make you feel safe and secure within yourself, and will help you deal with anxiety in a calm way.
2. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique
In this technique to cope with anxiety, you work backward from 5 and use your senses to notice things around you.
* Acknowledge five things that you can see around you.
* Acknowledge and name four things you can touch.
* Acknowledge and name three things you can hear.
* Acknowledge and name two things you can smell.
* Acknowledge and name one thing you can taste.
Make a conscious effort to take note of the little things around you that we otherwise fail to pay attention to. By daily practice, you’ll learn to manage your anxiety with joy and ease.