How to Know When You are Having Anxiety & Some Grounding Techniques

Do you ever feel nervous, restless or on edge? Perhaps it's a normal state for you, but you're not comfortable, even have some tightness in your chest or labored breathing. Do you start sweating? Trembling? Are you weak or tired? Do you worry or have trouble concentrating?

Things that can cause anxiety are not always the obvious work related stress, yelling, or traffic jams. Sometimes a scent, a memory, a song, or a food can cause the anxiety. Sometimes the anxiety isn't a panic attack, but you drift off and you're "not here."

Here are some common "grounding techniques" to bring you to the current, not dangerous, state. You can use grounding techniques when you have self harm urges, substance triggers, hear voices, dissasociation, become overwhelmed or panic, or if you are in a state of pain. 

1. Try multiplying by 5 until your thoughts are no longer interrupted by worry. Then try another grounding technique. Try two or three today, like multiplying and a little bit of meditation.

2. Mediation. Breath work accompanied by calming music from Youtube, Apple Music, or Spotify or a mediation artist like Deeprak Chopra can be very mindful and help you to focus and feel more grounded. Think about the present. Think about your body touching the chair, the floor, or the bed, wherever YOU are. Your lungs breathing deeply. The music passing through your mind. 

3.Describe what's around you. Describe your desk, describe your bookshelf. Describe your cat, using as many words as possible. 

4.Visualize your anxiety. Put it into action. Picture your anxiety as a tiny mouse eating a slice of cheese, put it into a spaceship and rocket the space ship past the sun, for example.

5.Name as many items in a category as you can. For example, as many brands of sneakers, or as many types of ice cream as you can. Until you run out of steam. Try another kind of grounding technique after this one. I think everyone should always do 2-3.

6. Count from 100 backwards. Count slowly and try not to think about anything else. If you are still thinking, think about puppies, or kittens, think 100 puppies, 99 puppies, and picture the puppies. Until you get to one. If it will help, try meditation afterwards.