Anxiety is something most of us have experienced in our lives. Public speaking, performance reviews, and new job responsibilities are just some of the work-related situations that can cause even the calmest person to feel a little stressed. Relationship issues at home with family, at college or uni with friends and more intimate ones can sometimes overwhelm you and your stress levels can soar and your anxiety heighten.
We have seen a sharp rise in clients seeking help with anxiety during the last year as a direct result of the pandemic. We wanted to give you something that may help when you are feeling stressed or anxious.
This five-step exercise can be very helpful during periods of anxiety or panic by helping to ground you in the present when your mind is bouncing around between various anxious thoughts.
Before starting this exercise, pay attention to your breathing. Slow, deep, long breaths can help you maintain a sense of calm or help you return to a calmer state. Once you find your breath, go through the following steps to help ground yourself:
5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. It could be a phone, a clock, anything in your surroundings.
4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. It could be your hair, whatever you are sitting on, or the ground under your feet.
3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This could be any external sound. If you are near a window can you hear traffic or birds? Focus on things you can hear outside of your body.
2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you are in your office and smell pencil, or maybe you are in your bedroom and smell a pillow. If you need to take a brief walk to find a scent you could smell soap in your bathroom, or nature outside.
1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like—gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch?
This technique is one of many options you could use if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. If anxiety is something that you struggle with regularly, and you continue to have trouble refocusing or coping with these feelings, you can talk to us about how we can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org