5 Grounding techniques to stay present

In this post I list 5 grounding techniques to help you stay present. If you’re someone who experiences anxiety, you may find that your anxiety can affect your ability to remain in the here and now.

If we’re in an anxiety-provoking situation, real or imagined, then our body may go into fight/flight/freeze mode. At this point, our mind is communicating with the body that it’s under threat and gets ready to defend itself.

This is a mechanism which we have inherited from our caveman ancestors.

It’s worth noting, that the mind cannot tell the difference between a real situation, or one we imagine. I’m an over-thinker, and I’ve imagined many worse-case scenarios which have left me feeling anxious, breathless, and even where I wanted to cry.

This is why techniques like mindfulness can help to keep us in the here and now, to stop our minds from spiralling into “what ifs” which can generate strong physiological reactions in our bodies.

1. Focus on what you can hear around you

Bring your attention to what you can hear around you. Are there people talking? Can you hear the sound of traffic? Birds singing?

If it helps to hone in on one particular sound then focus on that. Notice the volume, rhythm, and pitch of the sounds.

2. Focus on the things that you can see

Look around you – what can you see? Notice the items around you; their colours, shapes, and textures.

You might want to count items as a way of focusing your mind, for example, counting the number of items which are a certain colour or style.

 

Also, I’ve made a short YouTube video on this topic, which you can watch here:

3. Push your feet into the floor

This is a technique which is very discreet and no one would know you’re doing it.

Bring your attention to your feet and push them into the floor. This will help bring your focus to your body and its contact with the environment.

4. Mindful breathing

Bring your focus to your breathing. There’s no need to start breathing deeply, but just focus on the natural rhythm of your breathing. This might have the impact of slowly down your breathing anyway.

If you do slow down your breathing, this can trigger responses in your body which help to “turn down” the threat system where our body might be going into fight or flight.

5. Carry a grounding object with you

You could carry something in your pocket like a stone or crystal; something which fits easily in the palm of your hand so you can hold it when necessary.

Alternatively, you might want to carry something of personal significance with you – as long as it brings you comfort.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful to get you started with grounding techniques. Are there any techniques you use that I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!