Having a Panic Attack? Try this 5 Step Grounding Technique

Having a Panic Attack? Try this 5 Step Grounding Technique~~~( a few have asked to have a bit more information on the Grounding technique~~hope this helps!)

In Grounding…there are 5 steps that may help to reduce symptoms of a panic attack, anxiety, trauma triggers, and/or other unwanted emotions or thoughts. With any type of trigger, emotion, or thought that needs coping skills, it is important to always remember your breathing!!! Always start with deep breathing as the introduction to any coping skill. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Continue this pattern until you find your thoughts slowing down (repeat 3-5x).

Begin the Grounding technique~~
1. What do you see? Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. Maybe it is a bird, maybe it is pencil, maybe it is a spot on the ceiling…. however big or small, state 5 things you see;
2. What can you touch? Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. Maybe this is your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, etc, whatever it may be, list out the 4 things you can feel;
3. What do you hear? Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This needs to be external…do not focus on your thoughts; maybe you can hear a clock, a car, a dog park. or maybe you hear your stomach rumbling, internal noises that make external sounds can count, what is audible in the moment is what you list;
4. What do you smell? Acknowledge TWO things you can smell: This one might be hard if you are not in a stimulating environment. If you cannot automatically sniff something out, walk nearby to find a scent. Maybe you walk to your bathroom to smell soap or outside to smell anything in nature, or it even could be as simple as leaning over and smelling a pillow on the couch, or a pencil. Whatever it may be, take in the smells around you;
5. What do you taste? Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like, gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch? Focus on your mouth as the last step and take in what you can taste;

These “5” steps are a way to “ground” yourself in the NOW! Grounding takes you OUT of your HEAD and helps stop the thought flooding. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy it is believed that your thoughts are directly linked to how you feel and although we feel like we lose control of our thought processes, we have tools that can help us gain back a sense of control and lead to healthier thought patterns. In moments of panic…anxiety or triggered trauma it is important to stay present to focus and help find symptom relief. Hopefully this coping technique can help you or someone you know stay present, stay grounded, and stay healthy.
Still need support? Call Suzanne at 973-658-7767

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