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Grounding: Your Key to Breaking Free From Worry

Let's rewind to my counselor training days. I was learning about different self-care tools to help my clients cope with stress and anxiety. Grounding was one of these tools; I'll admit it didn't quite click with me then. But you know how it goes; life has its own way of teaching us.

So, fast forward a few years, and I was dealing with a boss who, to put it nicely,  was the worst. The night before a meeting with him, my anxiety was on overdrive. I couldn't sleep, and I found myself caught in what I like to call the 'worry spiral.' I'd stress about the meeting, then dive into worst-case scenarios to "prepare myself,"  only to find that this would heighten my anxiety even more. The loop just kept on playing, and I needed an escape route.

What I didn't realize at the time was that grounding, the same concept I initially struggled to understand, would soon become my secret weapon. You see, the thing about worry is that it gets us stuck in a place that we have no control over - the future.  But, instead of getting lost in the maze of "what-ifs," grounding exercises gently shift our focus away from the chaos of tomorrow and bring us back to the calm of today. It’s like having a friendly voice to tell you, "Hey, slow down, take a deep breath, and come back to the here and now, babe." 

So, if you're tired of being stuck in the "worry spiral," I'm here to shout from the rooftops that grounding is where it's at. Keep reading to check out a few of my all-time favorite grounding tricks – give 'em a try, and don't forget to let me know how it goes!

1. Get in Touch with Your Senses

Grounding is all about tuning into your senses to stay present. By looking, touching, listening, smelling, and tasting, you're essentially distracting your mind from racing thoughts and worries. Focusing on your surroundings and physical sensations helps shift your focus away from the mental noise. So, when those worries start creeping in, use this quick technique to refocus and get grounded:

3 Minute Grounding Exercise

  • Look around: Identify five things you can see right now.

  • Touch it: Find four things you can touch and focus on feeling their texture.

  • Listen in: Name three things you can hear in your surroundings.

  • Smell the moment: Tune in to two scents you can smell right where you are.

  • Taste the present: Grab a quick bite or sip of something and savor the taste.

2. Breathe It Out

Most of us underestimate the power of a nice deep breath. We're all out here in a hurry, taking quick, shallow breaths that don't do anything to calm stress and overwhelm. But here’s a straightforward solution – let’s take a minute to pause and focus on your breathing. It's a simple yet effective way to reset your mind and stop the worry spiral in its tracks.

 One-Minute Breathing Exercise

  • Inhale slowly for a count of 4.

  • Hold for a count of 4.

  • Exhale for a count of 4.

  • Repeat 4x

If you need an extra boost or a quick getaway, check out my 5-minute reset meditation. It's like a mini vacation for your mind and body.

3. Playlist Power

Music is like a best friend who's always got your back, especially when worry has you feeling some type of way. So here's the game plan: before stress and anxiety even think about creeping in, cultivate a playlist filled with affirming, upbeat, and feel-good tunes. It's like your personal mood-boosting toolkit. Then, when you catch yourself spiraling, all you gotta do is press play. Let the music work magic, lifting your spirits and bringing a warm, stress-free glow into your day.

4. Tap into Faith

There’s something about worry and stress that makes us feel tiny -  like we have zero power or control over our situation. But here's the deal:  I've found that tapping into a higher power, call it God or whatever suits your vibe, can be a game-changer.

No, I'm not gettin' all deep and "woo woo" on you, but when I’m knee-deep in overwhelm, having a real talk with God? That's what gets me through. Now, you might have your own name for that higher power, or maybe you've never been sold on the whole thing. Either way, I've been there, right where you are.

But let me tell you, as someone who used to wrestle with anxiety every single day, having those heart-to-heart convos shifted everything. It's like finding a lifeline in the middle of chaos. So, whether you're already on a spiritual journey or just curious, don't sleep on the power of connecting with a higher source.

5. Let It Out

Sometimes, you just have to let it out, whether through journaling, talking to a friend, or even crying if you need to. Feel your feelings, sis. Don’t know where to begin? Check out the reflection questions below to get started. 

Let’s Reflect!

It’s time to reflect on your personal relationship with worry. Grab your favorite journal, and answer the following:

  • Think about a time when you were caught in a "worry spiral." What triggered it, and how did it affect your thoughts and emotions?

  • Why do you think it’s important to return to the present when worry comes around? How might grounding exercises help you?

  • Create your own playlist of feel-good tunes. What songs would you include? Write about the emotions and memories these songs bring up for you.

Written by Tash Jaye  

Read the original article at Tash Jaye Blogs or click here for FREE fillable grounding journal prompts. 

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