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  • Jessie Hebert

How to Practice Grounding

Updated: Jan 2

Practicing grounding can help fight anxiety and stress, and can bring you back to the present moment. This healthy coping skill is useful for when you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed. For more information about grounding, click here.


You can find some grounding techniques to practice below. There are multiple different options so that you can choose techniques that you are able to do and are comfortable doing.


The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

This popular technique uses all five senses to shift attention to the present moment. If you have sensory impairments, you can skip the number(s) that you aren't able to do or substitute them by identifying more things with your other senses. To learn more about the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, click here. Here are the steps:

1. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

2. What are 5 things that you can see?

3. What are 4 things that you can feel?

4. What are 3 things that you can hear?

5. What are 2 things that you can smell?

6. What is 1 thing that you can taste?

7. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

8. Repeat as many times as you'd like or until you feel more calm and grounded.


The Counting Technique

In this technique, you count different objects to refocus on your surroundings. You can substitute any of the steps with other items that you can count. Here are the steps:

1. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

2. How many windows are in the room?

3. How many electrical outlets do you see?

4. Name a colour. How many different shades of that colour can you see?

5. How many entrances are there to the room?

6. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

7. Repeat until you feel less anxious and more focused.


The "Describe Your Surroundings" Technique

This method uses descriptions of your surroundings to stay grounded and in touch with the present moment. Here are the steps:

1. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

2. What colour are the walls? Do they have a pattern on them?

3. What material is the floor made of? Is it smooth or textured? Soft or hard? Dirty

or clean?

4. What colour are your pants? Your shirt? What is the texture like?

5. Is it bright or dark where you are?

6. Is it cold or warm where you are?

7. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

8. Repeat as many times as you'd like or until you feel more calm.


The List Technique

The list method can prevent rumination (thinking about things over and over) and can help combat being overwhelmed by bringing your mind back to the present moment. You can substitute any of the steps with other lists you can make. Here are the steps:

1. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

2. List 5 of your favourite TV shows.

3. List 5 types of flowers.

4. List 5 of your favourite foods.

5. List 5 types of animals.

6. List 5 types of shapes.

7. Take 5 slow and deep breaths.

8. Repeat as many times as you'd like or until you feel more calm.


The Safety Statement Technique

This technique helps you reassure yourself that you are safe. To do this technique, choose a statement from below (or make up your own positive statement), and repeat it either out loud or in your head until you feel more calm and secure. Here are some statements to choose from:

1. "I am here. I am safe. I am strong."

2. "This is tough, but I will make it through."

3. "This feeling will not last forever. I will be okay."

4. "I am worthy of good things."

5. "I am doing my best."


Physical Grounding Techniques

The following techniques use physical actions or sensations to bring you back to the present. You can use as many of the techniques as you'd like, for as long as you'd like, until you feel more calm.

1. Chew flavoured gum or eat something that has a strong flavour. Focus on the

flavour of what you're eating/chewing.

2. Put your hands in water. Focus on the temperature and feeling of the water.

3. Take slow, deep breaths. Focus on the feeling of your lungs inflating and

deflating with each breath.

4. Take a walk while focusing on each step you take. Focus on the feeling of your

feet on the ground, and notice your surroundings.


Be patient, everything is coming together.

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