5 4 3 2 1: Grounding Techniques for Anxiety

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if you want to learn some grounding techniques, then this article is for you. 

In this little nugget of therapy, we’re going to teach you how to trigger the parasympathetic response by using a grounding exercise.

We had previously taken up the importance of our nervous system in managing our emotions there’s both the sympathetic or the alerting, activating response in our bodies and the parasympathetic reaction which is the calming, restoring part of our nervous system.

And if we want to be healthy we need to have a parasympathetically dominant nervous system.

Grounding The Body

One of the ways we create that is by intentionally grounding the body in our senses. So here’s a quick exercise on how to do that.

Start to pay attention to the present moment and the circumstances around you.

Go ahead and take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Now you’re going to start by grounding our body in our senses. So, the five senses that we have are essential to managing our emotions.


So let’s start with our sense of touch. So go ahead and touch three things in your environment and as you touch them, describe them in your mind.

So for example you might touch the desk and say this is smooth and cold. Do that with three objects.


The next sense that we’re going to activate is our sense of sight.

So, go ahead and notice three things in your environment that you can see. Describe them in your mind as well.


The last sense that we’re going to use in this grounding exercise is our sense of hearing.

So, try to notice three different sources of sound in your environment and in your mind describe what they sound like.

As you notice this sensory input – your body should become more grounded in the present moment.

This is important because in order for our bodies to feel safe and for our minds to relax, we need to send the message that they are safe.

And in general, the present moment that we are in is actually safe. So, by grounding ourselves in our senses, we can send a message to our body and our brains that we are safe.

Pay attention to the difference you’re feeling in your body as you become centered at this moment.

By becoming more grounded you have impacted your nervous system.


This is a little activity you can do throughout your day to feel a little bit calmer and to trigger that parasympathetic response.

The more frequently you do it the stronger your parasympathetic reaction will be and your nervous system will become dominated by a calm resolve.

Click the link below to access the course, Grounding Skills for Anxiety. 

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