The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the strong it gets abs the more it can expand. – Idowu Koyenikan
Are you find in yourself stuck in a cycle of worry and overthinking? It isn’t hard to do these days with everything that’s going on in the world,
Everyday I see people who are overcome with this anxious habit especially those who have doubt and fear.
If you find you stuck in an uncomfortable thought cycle, perhaps worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. It can be like a breakup, it can spiral very quickly, leading to being upset, anxiety, and whole lot of distress.
Often when we go over and over something that is not going to change the outcome or give us anymore control than we already have (or don’t have) and it certainly isn’t any good for your well-being and mental health.
Many of know this, but it’s so easy to get stuck in it.
You are not broken, believe it or not, your thinking style is a habit – so the good news is it can be changed.
I am going to show you some grounding techniques that I have found simple but powerful. Although they do not dive into the deep healing work that is behind many anxious habits they might allow you a moment to get things in order.
What A￼ Grounding Technique?
A grounding technique is a great tool to break the cycle and bring you to the here and now. They help us come back to the current moment and distract you from unhelpful, overwhelmingly thinking patterns.
A therapist I went to shows this to me years ago, I’ve been using it ever since.
By no means are grounding techniques the end of all our problems m but when practiced they are provide the relief you need. Remember, much if your stress and anxiety is being triggered by your thoughts. A grounding technique helps you move away from those thoughts, gives you space before you react and triggers off your relaxation response which is needed in these moments,
These techniques have helped to keep my behaviors in check – especially when I find I am triggered by a sudden change in plans or a shift in circumstances. Grounding myself can be what stops me getting into that irrational stage where I end up doing and saying things I would later regret and be embarrassed about.
When we experience thoughts, moods, and emotions spiraling; choose yo ground yourself. Here are some techniques that I use to receive the best feedback:
- Name 5 things you can see: a pen, a lamp, or grass.
- Name 4 things you can feel: wind on your face, your elbow on the table.
- Name 3 things you can hear: music, traffic, birds singing.
- Name 2 things you can smell: coffee, flowers.
- Name 1 thing you like about yourself: you’re independent, you like your smile.
Pick a color of your choice ( I usually start with orange. Look around you and find 5 things of that color. Pick another color and repeat, Do this with a least 5 different colors.
The best thing about these techniques is you can do them any where.
When you are in a moment of distress, it can be really hard to remind yourself to do a grounding technique m or even if you do remember, it can be hard to make yourself actually do it. This is normal, so don’t put high expectations on yourself. At the first point you catch yourself spiraling, this is when you can do the grounding technique. Don’t be to hard on yourself if you don’t catch yourself early, just congratulate yourself when you do.
When you are in the cycle of checking your phone, feeling desperate, and feeling your unhealthy coping strategies creep in, the trick is to bring yourself into reality and see the bigger picture. These techniques may not calm you completely but they may make a difference in you totally acting out.
If during or after practice the grounding technique, you find your mind shifts back to overthinking, that’s okay. You might even feel more relaxed and may think about it clearer and see things from a new perspective. If it continues to spiral, repeat the grounding technique. You can also make them last longer. For example if I’m finding it harder to let go of certain thoughts, I might pick a harder color and look for 10 more things, there are one rules here,nits about what makes you feel better.