The Finding My Psych Health and Wellness Podcast

The Finding My Psych Health and Wellness Podcast

Grounding Exercises For Acute Anxiety (Trauma & Cognitive Psychology)

October 17, 2021

“The most important moment is now!”

check out our 5 grounding exercises

Grounding Exercises For Anxiety

A listener reached out inquiring about managing moments of acute anxiety and feeling overwhelmed at work. Today, we discuss the power of “Grounding,” an approach that interrupts the mental and physiological response to anxiety. We provide five powerful techniques that are easy to remember, approaches that are also good for managing the life-long symptoms associated with trauma.

Episode Outline

Welcome to Episode 54: Grounding Exercises

  1. What We Do:
    • Behavioural Medicine and Health Psychology
    • Providing easily accessible content designed to help you design your own transformative experience.

  2. Today:
    • Today I review a series of easy to follow grounding exercises rooted in Cognitive Psychology.
    • Useful for acute anxiety, when you feel overwhelmed, and an ongoing approach to trauma.

  3. Services Review:
    • Finding My Psych offers three core services focused on promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
      • Foundations: Wellness Planning Workshop
      • Walking For Vitality: Powering Up
      • Running For Fitness: 5k Build-Up

What is Grounding?

  1. From the field of Cognitive Psychology – Sometimes attributed to, “Mindfulness Psychology”.
  2. Best used when feeling overwhelmed and stuck in a spiral of anxiety.
  3. Works well as a long term tool for managing symptoms associated with trauma.
  4. Really effective for addressing symptoms associated with the modern, “digital funnel.”
  5. Not a form of avoidance – Designed to slow down your mind and physiology so you can take goal focused action later.

Grounding Techniques

  1. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique
    • 5 things you can see.
    • 4 things you can feel.
    • 3 things you can hear.
    • 2 things you can smell.
    • 1 thing you can taste.

  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    • Focused muscle groups moving from head to toe.
    • Interrupts the adrenal response associated with acute anxiety.
    • Adds focused breathing.

  3. Exercise
    • Effective for both for acute anxiety and managing generalized anxiety.
    • e.g., Brisk Walk and Running

  4. Savouring Exercise
    • Shower

  5. Math – YUP!
    • Count backwards from 100 by 2s.
    • Count from 0 to 100 by threes.
    • Think of a two digit number and choose three ways to make that number.

Grounding – Caveat

  1. Psychotherapy (Insight Building)
  2. Talking it out with a friend – Seeking Advice
  3. Follow Doctors Advice: Grounding is not a substitute for medication management when indicated.