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Stress and anxiety is bound to creep into your life no matter the mitigation. When it does, you can prepare yourself with simple and quick techniques to sooth the impact and recover quicker.
How Can Grounding Techniques Help Manage Feelings?
Grounding is a practice that can help you manage experiences such as flashbacks, unwanted memories or negative emotions. These techniques involve focusing on the present to distract yourself from anxiety and other challenging emotions.
Physical Grounding Techniques
Physically grounding yourself involves using your senses to help you navigate feelings of distress. A technique to physically ground yourself is to put your hands in water and focus on the temperature of the liquid or switch from cold water to warm water and back while focusing on the present moment.
Other physical grounding exercises include deep breathing, savoring food or drink, picking up nearby objects and moving your body (e.g., walking, running in place or doing jumping jacks).
Mental Grounding Techniques
You can mentally ground yourself with exercises that prevent mental distractions and help redirect your thoughts to the present.
Such exercises include memory games, category-thinking (e.g., listing all the types of cake you can think of), reciting a song or book passage you know by heart, and visualizing a daily task you enjoy.
Soothing Grounding Techniques
Soothing techniques can be used to comfort yourself in times of high anxiety or distress. These techniques are intended to promote good feelings that reduce or distract from negative emotions.
You can practice soothing techniques by picturing the face of someone you love, repeating compassionate phrases about yourself, spending time with your pet, visualizing your favorite place or listing positive things.
Grounding techniques can help you manage unpleasant experiences like distress, anxiety, traumatic nightmares and flashbacks. Try these exercises to reduce distress when you first start to feel negative emotions.
Try These Mood-boosting Activities
Negative emotions and disappointments can easily derail your activities. Although it’s common to be in a bad mood occasionally, letting negative emotions take over your day can leave you feeling worse. Instead of ignoring a bad mood, try a mood-boosting activity.
- Walking outdoors is a great activity for improving your mood. Spending time outdoors and being in sunlight have both been proven to boost mood. Additionally, walking can release endorphins, which ease stress and discomfort.
- Find ways to laugh, such as watching funny videos, sharing jokes with a friend, going online or watching comedians.
- Try aromatherapy to de-stress. Smells can trigger positive memories and help relieve anxiety or stress. Find your favorite scented soap, smell something that reminds you of a loved one or sample a new essential oil.
- Play cheerful and upbeat music. This can help boost your mood, ease tension, reduce anxiety and even improve certain brain functions, such as memory.
- Do something nice for somebody else, such as a co-worker or friend. Being compassionate to others can make them feel better and may improve your mood as well. Consider small favors, such as doing chores for your housemate or partner, walking a neighbor’s dog or helping a stranger with their groceries.
- Talk to people in your life who uplift you. A short call or time spent with a loved one can help you reduce tension. As a bonus, your loved one may be able to make you laugh, take your mind off your troubles or remind you that you’re not alone.
The next time you’re in a bad mood, try one of these free mood-boosting activities to reduce stress and lessen the impact of negative emotions.