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Easing Anxiety in a Pandemic: What Is Grounding?

It goes without saying that right now is a VERY scary, uncertain and anxiety-producing time in this world. Even people for whom anxiety has never been a problem may be experiencing some of the following symptoms: hypervigilance, irritability and restlessness as well as heart palpitations, sweating, nausea and insomnia.

In the midst of the fear there are lots of techniques one can use to help lessen the severity of anxiety. The one I am going to talk about today is Grounding. I have personally used it and have recommended it to clients. So what is grounding? Well it's very simple actually. Grounding is the process of bringing your awareness into the here and now by noticing your physical surroundings instead of being trapped by the thoughts in your mind that are causing you to feel anxious. This can be practiced anytime and anywhere.

Let's begin! Bring your awareness to the following:

5 Things You Can SEE:

A tree, a bird, pictures on a wall, the color of the carpeting, items on your desk, the shoes on your feet.

4 Things You Can FEEL:

The wind blowing through your hair, the fabric of the shirt you are wearing, the hardness or softness of the chair you are sitting on.

3 Things You Can HEAR:

Birds chirping in the distance, your neighbors' dog barking, an airplane overhead or the sound of your own breathing.

2 Things You Can SMELL:

Trees, flowers or the freshness of the air. Smells from the kitchen or a piece of fresh fruit. The laundry detergent that your shirt was washed in.

1 Thing You Can TASTE:

Have a small snack and really concentrate on the taste, savoring every delicious bite.

So that's grounding! Just one of many ways to ease feelings of anxiety. Be well, Friends....

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