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Grounding exercises to manage anxiety

Dr. Claire Conlon

Tips to promote control over anxiety

Refocus your attention! Concentrate really hard on something in your environment: colours, shapes and textures of objects you feel. Titles of books on shelf, a passage from a book. Describe these things to yourself in your head in detail

Find a ‘grounding object’- a comforting, tangible object which you carry around with you and squeeze when you space out to bring you back to the present. A small item/soft toy, key ring, stress ball..

Develop a grounding image. Rehearse a soothing image, one which helps you to feel in control and safe.

Develop a grounding phrase, a few words or a tune which is affirming and a reminder that you are surviving in the present. Phrase from ‘I am ok’ to ‘i am ok, I am strong, I am safe and I am here in this moment’.

• In addition, you can remind yourself of where you are, what day and date is it and that you are safe.

Try to find a grounding position, a physical position in which you feel safe and/or strong. Superwoman pose

• Some find curling up is comforting other prefer a more upright stance with shoulders back. You need to discover what works for you.

• Find some mindfulness exercise that works for you, looking at apps such as the ‘CALM’ app on iTunes that allow access to relaxation and meditation exercises that works.

• If the symptoms persist it is very important to seek support from your GP and they can direct you to local services that might be useful.

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