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How to Ground Yourself during an Anxiety Attack | Anxiety Treatment Wisconsin

grounding-methods 05 Jun 2018

BY: Sherman Counseling

Anxiety Treatment / Blog

Grounding is an effective way to calm anxiety during a panic attack. In this process, you identify objects around you to help your brain recognize where you are. This creates a sense of comfort because you know where you are and you feel more in control of the situation. Combine this with anxiety attack breathing exercises, and you should be feeling better in no time. Here are some grounding techniques you may learn in anxiety treatment.

The 54321 Ground Method for Anxiety Attacks

The most common grounding technique for anxiety attacks is the 54321 method. In this, you identify…

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Taste is sometimes hard to identify, so you could substitute that by thinking of your favorite thing to taste. Some versions of the 54321 grounding method say to name one thing you like about yourself. Regardless of how you approach this, the goal is to identify elements in the world around you. As your mind begins to focus on these things, it will be less focused on the sudden rush of anxiety. This will help slow your heart rate, control your breathing, and make you feel better overall.

Talk Yourself through the Anxiety Attack

Another form of grounding involves self-therapy. When you feel the anxiety attack coming on, talk to yourself (either out oud or in your head). Tell yourself that you are having an anxiety attack and that it is going to be OK. You have gone through this before, and you can get through it again. You are strong enough to handle your emotions, and the anxiety attack will not last long. Keep repeating these positive statements until you feel yourself calming down.

Play a Game with Yourself

You could get your mind off the anxiety attack by playing a quick game. Ask yourself a question that has several answers:

  • Name as many states as you can
  • Name as many dog breeds as you can
  • Name as many cities as you can
  • Recite the alphabet backwards
  • Practice simple times tables

You may respond better to some questions than others, but the idea is to make yourself think about something other than anxiety. All grounding methods for anxiety attacks are mind over matter, but they do work.

If you need help finding the right grounding technique for you, talk to an anxiety therapist. Sherman Counseling provides affordable anxiety treatment in Wisconsin, and we have several locations for your convenience. Give us a call at 920-733-2065 to learn more.

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