grounding techniques to calm the mind

Grounding techniques are invaluable when you find yourself in distress or overwhelmed by emotions that can feel debilitating. They provide a quick and effective way to bring calmness to the moment, allowing you to regain control and find relief. What’s more, these techniques can be discreetly practiced without requiring any special tools. Let’s explore the power of grounding and how it can benefit your well-being.

There are three main grounding strategies: physical, soothing and mental. It’s important to try different techniques and see which ones work best for you, as we are all unique individuals. Let your body guide you on this journey of self-discovery!

Here are our top strategies to help you stay grounded and cultivate a deeper connection with yourself, nature, and at the same time others, while embracing the present moment.

physical grounding techniques

Physical Strategies

Physical Strategies engage your senses allowing you to regain a feeling of calm.

1. Focus the Senses. The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

Find a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose (count to 3) and exhaling through your mouth (to the count of 3) Focus on and feel each breath as it happens.

Open your eyes and name, either aloud or to yourself:

Alternatively, you can ask yourself the following questions:

The key is to remain fully present, noticing the sensations and observations as they unfold. When you’re finished, take a deep breath and allow yourself to relax.

2. Touch an object

Keep a small stone, gem, or any textured or interesting appearance object in your pocket or purse to have on the go if needed. Or simply find and touch an object within arm’s reach. Take a moment to observe it closely—notice its patterns, colors, textures, and weight. Does it sparkle, reflect the light, or cast a shadow? Allow yourself to become immersed in this observation, feeling yourself returning to the present moment.

3. Take a walk outside

Connect to nature by noticing your surroundings and describe them one element at a time—the color of tree leaves, the sky, the flowers on the sidewalk. Pay attention to the sounds around you, the feel of the air on your skin. This conscious effort to focus your senses allows you to appreciate the wonders of nature and restore balance that keeps you grounded in the present moment.

Walking or standing barefoot on the Earth is known as earthing, and can be particularly beneficial. As you stand or walk mindfully, try taking a few deep breaths and imagine sending any negativity down into the Earth to be composted, and drawing up whatever you need to replenish you.

4. Breathing practice

There are many variations of breathing practices for calming and grounding, so experiment with what works for you. A simple one to try is 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8. Any breathing practice that focuses on making the exhalation longer than the inhalation, will help to regulate your nervous system and bring you back to calm. Try this for just a few minutes and notice the difference in how you feel.

soothing grounding techniques

Soothing Strategies

Soothing Strategies encourage you to talk to yourself with kindness and compassion allowing you to ground in moments of turmoil.

1. Positive self-talk

Using affirmations or coping statements can help calm racing thoughts. You can prepare a coping statement in advance and carry it with you, or practice saying it out loud or to yourself. Any statement that recognises the temporary nature of lingering negative emotions is helpful, like “Everything shall pass. There will come a time when I can face it without fear and anxious thoughts.”


You could simply use positive statement to change your state of mind, in different kind of situations, for example:

– “I am safe and okay in the present moment.”

– “Every experience is an opportunity for growth.”

– “I can always leave if I’m not comfortable.”

– “I acknowledge my underlying emotions, but they are temporary. This moment is just passing.”

– “This is hard, but I know I can cope with hard things”

Inner parenting is a powerful practice that can be used in many ways. To help calm yourself, try talking to your anxious self as if it were a separate part of you – your inner child. You can do this aloud or inside your head. Soothe this part of you and say kind things, acknowledging their emotions and reassuring them that they can cope. You might like to rock yourself a little or give yourself a hug.  

2. Visualise

Visualising a place that brings you comfort, peace, and joy is another soothing technique. Close your eyes and imagine yourself there, using your senses to fully experience the moment. Describe the details you see, the sounds you hear, and the scents you can smell. Are you standing, sitting, or lying down? Allow yourself to feel the textures and immerse in the sensations of that place.

3. Connect with Pets

Pets have a special way of grounding us. Take the time to focus on your pet’s features—notice their unique characteristics, the softness of their fur, the sensation of their tongue on your hand, the colour of their eyes, and their adorable head tilts or ear movements. Devote your attention exclusively to them and feel the calmness and joy returning.

mental grounding techniques

Mental strategies

Mental strategies help shift your focus to higher-level thinking, enabling you to cope with overwhelming emotions.

1. List things you are grateful for

Take a moment to list four things that bring you joy and for which you are grateful. Visualise them and let the positive emotions wash over you.

2. Describe objects and colours

Look around your environment and describe various objects and their colours. For example, a calm blue lake, a red wooden chair, a stormy turquoise sea, a black coffee mug, or a moist brown brownie. This exercise redirects your mind to observe and engage with the world around you.

3. Number subtraction

Subtract 7 from 100 and continue from there! Or choose any other number and keep subtracting.

4. Look into the distance

Subtract 7 from 100 and continue from there! Or choose any other number and keep subtracting.


Grounding techniques are practical and powerful tools that can help you reconnect with the present moment, getting out of our racing minds and back into our bodies. Through these practices we can enhance our  self-awareness and well-being. The more we practise them, the more we will strengthen our ability to manage our emotions in the longer term. Give them a try and let us know about your experience. Together, we can take care of ourselves while nurturing a healthier planet.

Article co-written with Kath Allen, PhD, and environmental leadership coach. You can connect with her here

Disclaimer: We are a content provider supporting health, wellness and life purpose. Our products or services, while based in psychological sciences, should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. That can only be provided by your doctor or another healthcare professional. You are recommended to seek professional advice if you feel you need personalised advice, diagnosis or treatment related to your mental or physical health.

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