Below are fundamental grounding techniques to help alleviate and/or reduce anxiety or stress.
Repeat up to 3 times only
Breath in: 4 seconds
Hold: 8 seconds
Breath out: 7 seconds
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.
4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.
3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.
2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favorite smells.
1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.
Adapted from the Book, “True Refuse” by Tara Branch
R | Recognize What is Happening: As you reflect on the situation, as yourself, “What is happeneing inside me right now?” What senstations are you most aware of? What emotions? Is your mind filled with churning thoughts? Take a moment to become aware of your “felt sense” of the situation as a whole. Can you feel how the experience is living in your heart and body, as well as in your mind?
A | Allow Life to Be Just As It Is: Send a message to your heart to “let be” this entire experience. Find in yourself the willingness to pause and accept that in these moments, “what is… is.” You might want to whisper the words “yes” or “I consent.” You might find yourself saying yes to a huge inner no, to a body and mind painfully contracted in resistance. You might be saying yes to the part of you that is saying, “I hate this!” That’s a natural part of the process. Just notice what is true without judging or pushing away, or controlling anything.
I | Investigate With Intimate Attention: Now begin to explore what you are experiencing more closely, calling on your natural interest and curiousity about your inner life. You might ask yourself, “What about this wants my attention?” or “What most wants my acceptance?” Notice what you feel in your body. What emotions are you aware of as you do this? Fear, anger, sadness, shame?
N | Non-Identification Resting In Natural Awareness: This means to embrace your feelings, but to let go of identifying yourself with fear, anger, or hurt. Sometimes people will saying “I’m anxious” or “I’m an anxious person.” The truth is that feelings come and go, so you FEEL anxious, you are not an anxious person.