Calm Your Mind with the Practice of Grounding

Makenzie Parks, LCSW

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we experience heightened emotion. We might be feeling anxious, panicked, or upset. When our emotions feel out of control, one effective way to calm our minds is to use the self-soothing exercise known as grounding. The mental health practice of grounding helps us to get out of our head and refocus us on what is happening in the present. We can do this using the five senses.

Here are basic instructions for grounding. First, pause for a moment and notice your surroundings. Next, find:

  • Five things you can see
  • Four things you can touch
  • Three things you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • One thing you can taste

As you open your senses, try to focus your attention on each sensation. Notice how this simple exercise helps you return to the present moment and calm your mind. The next time you feel overwhelmed by emotion, try this exercise. Even if you can only do an abbreviated version (focusing on 3 things you can hear) it can help!

If you would like to schedule an appointment to learn more tips for managing anxiety and panic, reach out to Work/Life Connections-EAP for support. Call 615.936.1327 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our EAP counselors.