3 Grounding Techniques to Help Calm Your Nervous System

Deep breathing
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

When stressors overload our nervous system, grounding techniques can be invaluable tools for bringing us back to a state of calm and presence. They are simple practices that can help reduce anxiety and enhance your connection to the present moment. Here are three effective grounding techniques to try. 

The 5-4-3-2-1 Sensory Awareness Exercise

The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a grounding method that utilizes all five senses to anchor you in the present. The process is simple: all you need to do is identify five things you can see, four you can feel, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. This exercise shifts your focus from anxiety to your immediate surroundings, calming the nervous system.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing helps by activating your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a state of calm. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Hold your breath for a moment. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process for a few minutes, focusing solely on your breathing.

Mindful Walking

Lastly, mindful walking combines physical activity with mindfulness, grounding you through the act of walking and the awareness of your environment. As you walk, expand your awareness to include the sounds around you, the temperature of the air, and the sights you pass. It’s simple and effective.