Do you lead a busy life that makes you constantly swing between overwhelm and tired?
Do you wish there was a magic wand you could wave and achieve a state of calm?
Then I have good news for you. Pretty much like a magic wand but in the form of 5 grounding techniques that will take you from overwhelm to calm in literally minutes.
These grounding techniques are simple skills you can learn and develop so that you can deal with overstimulation and anxiety. As you keep practicing them, you can get back on track from just about any emotional state.
No matter why you feel overwhelmed, try one of these grounding techniques to soothe and calm you.
5 grounding techniques to soothe you when you are overwhelmed
1. Hold something in your hand.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick up an object. The more interesting the object, the better it will work for this exercise. Nearly anything will work: A pen, a flashlight, a pebble, a cup, paperweight – anything is fine.
Hold the object in your hand. And without looking at it, feel it in your hand. Focus on the texture.
Move the object around in your hand and visualize its shape as you’re feeling it. Try to form a mental picture based on what you’re feeling.
Describe the texture and shape to yourself.
Also read: Overcoming Overwhelm
Another great grounding technique that forces you to focus on your senses. But this time you’re going to use all of them.
Take a look around you and describe something you see. Do this aloud if you like. Describe its physical appearance in detail for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this until you have described at least five items.
Now, describe four things you feel. This can be an object in your vicinity. It can also be a physical sensation, such as the chair beneath you, the temperature of the air on your skin, or your itchy nose.
Next, describe three things you can hear. You might have to close your eyes and really concentrate, but you can always find at least three sounds in your environment if you try.
What are two things you can smell? Pick something up and smell it if necessary.
What does your mouth taste like right now? Go ahead and drink or eat something if you want.
3. Call a trusted friend.
This is my favorite grounding technique. One of the best ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed is to reach out to a friend and have a chat. Avoid calling someone who always whines about stuff. Call a friend who will lift your spirits and makes you feel better every time you talk to her.
4. Focus on your breath.
Feel the air go in and out of your body. You can only think about one thing at a time. If your attention is on your breath, it can’t be on whatever is making you feel overwhelmed.
5. Distract yourself.
If the above grounding techniques don’t work, distract yourself. Play a quick game on your phone. Read a few pages of a book. Watch a video of a squirrel water-skiing. Dance around the room. Do whatever it takes without harming yourself.
Avoid using food, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as distractions. Also, keep track of how much time you’re spending on your distractions.
Remember to use these grounding techniques before your feeling of overwhelm rises to a high level. As soon as you feel your emotions starting to head south, ground yourself.
You know what they say: it is easier to stop a moving train while it’s still moving slowly.
Practice these grounding techniques. Be patient. Focusing your attention purposefully isn’t an easy skill to master, but it’s well worth the time and energy.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?