12 Ways to Ground Down
Being told to focus on the present is all well and good until you realise your mind is on the loose and the here and now might as well not exist. To tackle this it's good to learn how to ground down; we've gathered our twelve favourite ways to do so.
Grounding techniques are commonly used as a stepping stone to help people return their attention to the present during moments of anxiety, anger, or for those wanting to harness a sense of calm. Most grounding techniques can be done anywhere, at any time, and their purpose is simple; to give the mind a little space to cool down and reset.
Physical Grounding Down
If it’s good enough for Justin Bieber, it’s good enough for us. For this method, use your senses to list 5, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1 thing around you, for instance 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Pick Up Something Close to You
Concentrate on the weight, texture, temperature, and shape of a nearby object, and take a few moments to turn your attention away from anything else other than what you can feel in your hands, listing the qualities in your mind or out loud.
A classic mindfulness move, breathing deeply activates our parasympathetic nervous system and lets our bodies know that we’re relaxed. You’ll be surprised how fast a few deep breaths do their evolutionary thing and wind us right down.
Whether it’s a walk in the park, some stretches, or yoga, turning our attention to our physical bodies or the outside world allows our minds some breathing space, and creates more room for calm.
Mental Grounding Down
Get a photo of a place, and test yourself on all the things you can remember - how many buildings, windows, cars, or people you can see, what they were wearing, or if it’s a landscape, was there anything quirky about it?
Recite a Limerick, Poem, or Tongue Twister
Make up your own, or revisit some classics - they can be as R-Rated as you like. We won’t judge you.
Describe Your Surroundings
Almost like a story-book, describe your surroundings as if setting a scene for a film or novel. Take time to think of adjectives, nouns, and everything in between.
Pick a category, any category, and then list as many things as you can within it. The Periodic Table? Star Signs? Musical Instruments? Animals? Types of Flower? Your Favourite Newsletter? (although there’s only one of those of course). The list goes on!
Soothing Grounding Down
Think of Someone You Love
Whether a human or a four-legged friend, thinking of people we love can remind us of all the good things they make us feel, as well as all the good we have in our lives.
Cuddle a Pet
There is no better way to feel in the moment than the masters of being in the moment themselves. We should all be more like cats and dogs.
Plan an Activity
Holiday planning - whether it’s window shopping or planning a definite trip - can feel so freeing. If a holiday seems too big an event to face in terms of detail, start small by planning your weekend.
Write down three things - big or small - that you are grateful for today. A good cup of coffee, a wonderful social interaction, or a promotion at work.