Having a positive mindset as you go about your day-to-day life isn’t always enough to protect you from the negative energies that exist in this world. You might find yourself facing anxiety or panic attacks due to fears, phobias, mental health issues, or traumatic memories. Asking your angels for advice or gripping hold of a powerful crystal are some of the options available to you, but what about when you want to conquer your own demons? Grounding techniques are mental and spiritual exercises that can cleanse negative energy, settle the mind, and bring you back to a peaceful mindset. We’re going to explore some that work in a variety of situations, including during panic attacks.
Understanding Grounding Activities
Before we dive straight into some of the grounding techniques that are available to you, it’s important to have a grasp of how these activities work. As there are grounding exercises for almost any situation, each one will work in a slightly different way. Most grounding techniques involve anchoring your mind in the present, to avoid worrying about the past or future. But there are multiple approaches to dealing with any given issue. For example, grounding techniques for panic attacks could involve lowering your heart rate, controlling your breathing, and settling the spirit.
However, grounding techniques can also involve burning off excess adrenaline or balancing out your energies. You’ll have to consider which approach best suits your needs, but don’t be afraid to ask your angels for advice, or if you’re feeling brave, you could just try out different methods. We’ll look at each of these grounding exercises one at a time so that we can cover each in detail.
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We’re going to start off by exploring one of the simplest grounding techniques for panic attacks, but it would also work in any situation where you feel outside of your comfort zone. Many people avoid this approach because in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to allow yourself to embrace discomfort. In meditation, you focus on breathing in order to enter a state of mindfulness which anchors you in the present moment. The same approach can be used with negative sensations.
If you’re in an environment where you find uncomfortable, possibly a crowded party or on a plane during turbulence, the worst thing you can do is fight these feelings. Your mind, body, and spirit are trying to make you aware of your discomfort, and so a good grounding exercise is simply to focus on these sensations. Discomfort is often necessary to grow, and so by simply accepting the fact that you do feel discomfort, rather than trying to force yourself back into a place of comfort, you can find yourself feeling a lot more grounded.
There are many grounding exercises for panic attacks, and some will work better for you than others. If accepting your discomfort is out of the question, then focusing your mental state on the present through more positive methods is always an option.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 grounding method involves using each of your 5 senses one at a time. It’s best to take a few slow, deep breaths prior to starting.
First, you think or say 5 things that you can see e.g. a pen, a laptop, a cloud, an old woman, or whatever you can see. Name each thing until you reach 5 in number. Next is 4 things that you can feel e.g. the fabric on your chair, the cold breeze from the air conditioning, the beating of your own heart, or the vibrations from your phone. Then you count 3 things you can hear, followed by 2 things you can smell.
The final item is 1 thing you can taste. If you have something pleasant tasting such as chocolate or candy, then place it in your mouth at this point and savor the taste. Focus on the positive sensations it causes across your taste buds.
The Crystal Ball
Don’t worry, this technique doesn’t actually involve a crystal ball, but it is an example of one of the grounding techniques that requires you to change the way you view your own consciousness. This approach only works if you’re in a situation where you can close your eyes and truly focus your mind. It’s perfect for nervous flyers but won’t work so well if you’re up on stage.
Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Begin to visualize that everything within the sphere of your awareness is now enclosed in a crystal ball. Nothing outside of this ball matters to you, and so you should only focus on what enters inside. Notice as each thought floats into your crystal ball and follow that thought until it floats out the other side. Try not to linger on any thought for too long as your only objective here is to notice the thoughts.
You’ll begin to realize that each thought comes and goes and that there’s no reason to let any particular one impact your life. You can’t control your thoughts, but through practicing this grounding exercise, you’ll realize that thoughts don’t have to control you either. This is also a powerful exercise to use while meditating, particularly once you’ve already entered a meditative state.
If you haven’t heard of box breathing, then you’ll be amazed by it. You can use box breathing in a variety of situations and its certainly an example of one of the grounding techniques for panic attacks. But you can also use it during meditation or to help you sleep in the evening. The purpose of box breathing is to control the flow of your breath in order to focus your mind.
Grounding techniques often combine physical and mental stimuli in order to benefit the spirit, and this is a perfect example of that. Start by breathing into the count of 4, then hold your breath for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4, and repeat. If you’re having a panic attack, do this until the symptoms subside. Focus on the counting of 1, 2, 3, and 4, while also focusing on the direction of breath.
You may find it difficult to start this technique during a panic attack, but if you can only breath into the count of 3 before taking a breath, then simply use the number 3 instead of 4, and once your breathing steadies you can add an extra count. Grounding techniques can almost always be adapted to suit your individual situation.