Grounding Techniques to Help Manage Anxiety and Stress

Grounding Techniques to Help Manage Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety can be crippling for many people. In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to avoid day-to-day stressors.

Fortunately, there are several techniques that can help people manage their stress and anxiety levels.

One of the most effective techniques is called grounding. Grounding is a set of practices that help an individual focus on the present moment and become more aware of their surroundings.

Luckily, there are some very effective, scientifically proven ways to come back to reality even in our most distressing moments: they’re called grounding techniques. 

What Are Grounding Techniques?

Grounding is a technique that can assist you in distancing yourself from flashbacks, unwanted memories, and negative feelings or challenging emotions.

Anxiety floods your body with stress-targeting hormones that can make you feel physically sick over long exposures, you can also experience an anxiety attack.

Grounding techniques are helpful to relieve your anxiety In this case, it is important that you acknowledge how you feel and know how to react to your bodily stress. 

Grounding techniques can be used to help create space from distressing feelings in almost any situation, but they’re especially useful for improving:

  • Anxiety Attacks
  • Panic Attack
  • Dissociation
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Well-being
  • Mood
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) 

Physical Grounding Techniques

These techniques help you move through distress by utilizing your five senses or tangible objects (things you can touch).

1. Pick Up or Touch Items Near You

Look for something to touch and concentrate on how it feels. This can be done with anything, such as a pencil, a book, a massage ball, or another object. Describe the texture of the item, its weight, etc.

One effective grounding technique many people find helpful is a massage ball, such as Njoe Massage Ball.

This tool helps to provide sensory stimulation while helping you stay connected with the present moment, allowing you to manage stress and anxiety effectively.

vibrating massage ball

See how an Njoie massage ball can help you achieve relief from your aches and pains.

2. Immerse Your Hands In Water

Consider the temperature of the water and how it feels on your fingertips, palms, and backs of your hands. Is it the same in every part of your hand?

Warm water should be used first, followed by cold water. Next, try cold water first, followed by warm water. Is it more comfortable to switch from cold to warm water than from warm to cold?

3. Walk In A Safe Place

Go outdoors or in a safe place like an indoor mall. Notice the colors and sounds around you. Pay attention to the texture of each step and how your feet feel against the ground.

4. Focus On Your Body

Notice how your body moves when you walk and take a few moments to observe your breathing. Pay attention to your body as it moves through each step and how every muscle feels.

5. Play With Ice Cubes

Pick up an ice cube and focus on how it feels in your hands. Focus on the cold temperature, its shape, and the way it feels as you move it around.

These are just a few of the physical grounding techniques that can help you manage your anxiety and stress. By focusing on tangible items and sensations, you can become present at the moment and better manage your feelings.

6. Breathing Exercises 

Finally, take some time to focus on your breath. Notice how it feels when you inhale and exhale and pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest with each breath.

 Lean back in the chair and imagine all of the negative emotions spilling out of your feet and onto the floor and relax every muscle on the way down. Bring attention to your breath: Breathing exercises help you take control of your heart rate and your muscle tension.

This will help bring you back to the present moment and reduce any feelings of anxiety or stress that might be coming up.

These mental grounding exercises can be used in any situation and can help you refocus your attention away from anxious thoughts or emotions.

Mental Grounding Techniques

Mental grounding techniques are used to become more present in the moment by focusing on thoughts or images.

1. Count Backward

Counting backward from 100 can help you bring your focus back to the present. This is especially helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

2. Imagine A Safe Place

Think of a place you feel safe and secure. This can be indoors or outdoors, but it should be somewhere that brings you comfort. Imagine all the details of the place and how you feel there.

3. Write Down Your Thoughts

When feeling overwhelmed, take some time to write down your thoughts. This can help you get all the emotions out on paper and can also help you gain perspective.

Try to also journal your feelings so that you can identify the source of your unease. If you’re dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, depression, or any other condition that could benefit from grounding techniques and mindfulness, you can speak to a mental health professional and pick up additional tips and tricks by speaking with a licensed online therapist.

4. Practice Affirmations And Reframing

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you stay grounded in the present moment. Reframing is about looking at a difficult situation from a different perspective. Try saying something like “I am strong and I can handle this” or “This feeling will pass; it won’t last forever”.

5. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique 

These grounding techniques work as one of the simplest and most popular grounding techniques available.

It involves focusing on five things that you can see, four things that you can touch, three things that you can hear, two things that you can smell, and one thing that you can taste.

By doing this exercise, you will be able to focus on your senses and stay grounded in the present moment instead of worrying about the future or ruminating on past events. 

Soothing Grounding Techniques

Soothing grounding techniques are used to bring a sense of calm and relaxation.

1. Listen To Calming Music

Listen to calming music, such as classical or instrumental tunes. This will help you relax and focus on the present moment.

2. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique used to relieve stress and tension in your muscles. Start by tensing each muscle group for a few seconds, then releasing it and feeling the tension leave your body.

3. Take A Warm Bath or Shower

Taking a warm bath or shower can help you relax and become grounded in the present moment. Feel the warmth of the water on your skin and focus on how it feels against your body.

4. Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be used to create a calming atmosphere. Try lavender, chamomile, or any other essential oil that helps you relax. You could also use a scented candle or some incense to create the same effect.

These soothing grounding techniques can help you relax and bring your focus back to the present moment. They are especially helpful when feeling overwhelmed or anxious, as they will help you feel more in control of your emotions.


Grounding techniques are an effective way to manage anxiety symptoms when they become too overwhelming for us to handle alone at the moment without any external help or support.

Using breathing exercises as well as naming three things around us can help bring our attention back to reality.

Progressive muscle relaxation can help release any unnecessary tension from our bodies altogether.

Chenie Taton