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.

People gathered together

Introducing the ELTC.earth Survey -Examining the Emotional Impacts of Climate Change. As an early-stage business we want to gather a global perspective of people’s emotional reactions to the effects of climate change to inform our product development initiatives and inform society about the mental health challenges of the climate crisis.

We are committed to making a positive impact on the world. Our goal is to create products and services that will empower people to manage their emotional response and maintain high levels of emotional resilience in the face of climate change. Eco-anxiety is real for many people. [ELTC]

We believe that by helping people to better cope with stress and difficult situations, we can make a real difference in the world. The goal of this survey is to assess levels of climate or eco-anxiety across populations of people to inform what solutions we will provide.

Why Gather Quantitative Data?

Quantitative data is numerical information that can be analysed and used to make data-driven decisions. By conducting surveys and gathering quantitative data, we can gain valuable insights about our customers and their needs.

To achieve our objectives of improving the wellbeing of people suffering eco-anxiety, we are gathering quantitative data to help us understand who are and who are not potential customers. It will show us the depth of emotions felt and what most impacts those emotions for people. It will also inform us about the needs of our customers and enable us to  dig deeper, identifying the capabilities that will deliver the most benefit to them.

What Are the Benefits?

There are many benefits to using quantitative data in product development. For one, it allows us to understand our target market and their preferences in a more concrete and objective way. We can also use the data to measure the effectiveness of our engagement with our potential customers and track the overall performance of our product. Additionally, quantitative data can be used to forecast future trends and make strategic decisions about the direction of our product development.

One of the most important ways we will use the quantitative data we collect is to identify how many people might need our services. We will engage directly with people who are willing to speak with us as an outcome of the data gathering exercise. This will give us the insight to develop a product that truly meets the needs of our customers.

People brainstorming and analysing data

We want you on this journey with us

We understand that your time is valuable and we are grateful for your participation in our survey. Your feedback is important to us and we take it seriously. We use this information to improve our products and services, and create a better experience for you, our valued customer.

Survey References:

Some questions in this survey have been adapted from those described in The Hogg Eco-Anxiety Scale: Development and validation of a multidimensional scale. [HOGG]
This paper was hugely beneficial in identifying a series of questions that might enable us to align our results with those of academic studies performed around the world since this scale was originally put forward.

Data Protection:

We take our obligation to data privacy and protection very seriously. This survey is anonymous.  We capture and store the absolute minimum of personal  information from you and none of it makes you identifiable.

As a general rule, ELTC.earth does not collect or share personal information. There are a few specific cases (detailed below) where we capture email addresses and a single instance where we collect names.

You can view the full ELTC.earth privacy policy here

Citations and References

Citations and references are your security that the information you get on ELTC.earth will be accurate and trustworthy

Surely cutting down a tree will have a bigger environmental impact than choosing a plastic one for Christmas? It may seem counterintuitive to suggest otherwise. In most circumstances, however, that is the case. Read further to understand why.

Real or Fake: Weighing Up The Alternatives

Many of us concerned with what we can do to reduce our emissions feel concerned around Christmas time. It’s a time of celebration, a time where we splurge and enjoy ourselves but we’re also conscious about the potential for long term impact. So, we weigh up our options and try to do what’s best. What about our Christmas tree? Should we choose a real or fake Christmas tree?

Like me, I’m sure many of you would have thought that it would be the responsible thing to do for the planet to buy a fake Christmas tree and reuse it year after year. The reality is that if we take sufficient care about how we discard it, a natural tree actually might be the better option.

According to sources like The Carbon Trust [CARBON] and OmniCalculator [OMNI] it is in fact the case that a natural tree comes out on top, if not for the lower carbon emissions on a case by case basis but for the long term impact.  Let’s take a closer look.

Buy Local, Dispose of with Consideration

If you buy a locally grown and provided tree it can be anything from 2.5 CO2e to 4.5kg CO2e. This is quite low. In fact, the emissions are about the same as half an average Irish person’s [NDC] weekly consumption of milk [OWID]. The majority of the emissions are when the tree is discarded. If you choose to discard it in landfill, instead of chipping it or using as mulch, the emissions can increase to between 16kg CO2e and 21kg CO2e because it releases methane as it decomposes.

A mass-produced fake tree, comprised of steel and plastic, shipped from China or some other distant location will likely be in excess of 40kg CO2e [CARBON]. Only if you retain and use the tree for at least 8 -10 years would it be preferable, from the point of view of its carbon emissions, to have a fake tree.

But Don't Forget...

It’s not quite that straightforward. Natural trees, grown and harvested specifically for the purpose, actually contribute to reducing carbon. They capture carbon from the air making them net positive through their lifetime. On the other hand a fake tree contributes negatively in two further ways:


All told, if you have a fake tree, don’t replace it with a real one. The carbon emissions from our Christmas tree is relatively negligible in comparison to other aspects of our lives.

When your replica Christmas tree has reached its end of usable life as a tree, look for ways to further reuse it. Perhaps make decorations, such as a Christmas wreath, combining other recycled items. If you are debating whether to switch to plastic this year, the recommendation is not to. 

* The petrochemicals industry directly and other industries supplying them are responsible for ~10% of GHG emissions globally. In the past 25 years emissions associated with petrochemicals have doubled and that trajectory is expected to increase if our plastic use, in particular does not reduce.  [LUCRIS]. Petrochemicals are the long term bet that the oil and gas industry is investing in because they’ve known since the 1970’s the damage that burning fossil fuels is doing. They have actively attempted to hide from and confuse people about the long term damage being caused by fossil fuels and the impact of plastics [GUARDIAN][UNOHC]

Buy a real tree from a local grower, either a potted tree which can continue to grow after it has been part of the festivities or get it chipped/shredded when you’re finished with it. Better still, find a local charity or not for profit organisation and sponsor a tree plant.

What are other recommendations of things you can do during the festive season to ensure you minimise your impact on climate?

Every Little Thing Counts

Decorated Christmas Tree
Citations and References

Christmas Tree Footprint Calculator (omnicalculator.com, 2022) – Accessed on 28 Nov 2022

Petrochemicals and Climate Change – Tracing Globally Growing Emissions and Key Blind Spots in a Fossil-Based Industry (IMES/EESS report; Vol. 126, 2022) – Accessed on 28 Nov 2022

Citations and references are your security that the information you get on ELTC.earth will be accurate and trustworthy

Climate change is not a threat, it’s a reality. It would be easy to think that the climate crisis cannot be addressed. That it is too big a problem. That the challenges created by our ancestors and perpetuated by us, even to this day are unsurmountable. They are not though. We can make a difference.

There are so many opportunities to shape the world we live in, shape our economies, shape our societies and ultimately shape our future in ways that are good. We can do what’s needed to ensure the security of future generations and the planet we depend upon.

We Have Much To Be Optimistic About

In his Ted Talk, Kevin Kelly talks about how The future will be shaped by optimists [TED]. He makes some really good points about how humanity solves problems. While humanity has caused the climate crisis, this was not intentionally done. They were a byproducts introduced as the solutions to earlier problems. He goes on to talk about how people can and do get involved and take the action necessary when faced with big problems.

The Portents are Positive

People all around us recognise the issues and the importance of solving them.

In a survey of almost 27000 EU citizens performed on behalf of the EU Commission prior to the COP26 International Summit in 2021, 90% agree that Greenhouse Gas Emissions should be reduced to make the EU Climate-neutral by 2050 [EUCOMM]

In the same year Pew Research survey of over 16000 people of advanced economies in Asia, Europe and North America 80% of people surveyed are willing to make changes to the way they live and work to help reduce the impacts of climate change [PEW].

In Ireland a survey performed by the Environmental Protection Agency of 4000 people, 90% of people say that the country has a responsibility to act on climate change,over half said they would meet with an elected official or their staff and almost as many said they would write to or phone government officials about climate change [EPA].

It’s Not Just You

“Participants (80% to 90%) underestimated the US population’s concern for climate mitigation policies.”

We may not always realise the extent of people around us who share our desire for change.  In conjunction with the recent US Climate Bill, The Inflation Reduction Act, recent polls by Yale Program on Climate Change indicate that 66% to 80% of people in the US support major climate mitigation policies. However, many participants (80% to 90%) underestimated the US population’s concern for climate mitigation policies [SCIENTAM].

We should all believe in the power of people to rally behind a cause, to solve big problems, to achieve their highest potential. Whether it’s to make a difference in the world or just to make something of themselves. People accomplish great things when they’re given the right opportunity (and sometimes a little help).

We know the technologies needed to mitigate disaster and they are advancing rapidly to replace incumbent technologies. Take for instance the advancement, ubiquity and reduction in cost of renewable energy technology versus fossil fuels. Project Drawdown has assessed that there are potentially between $7 trillion and $13 trillion to be made in locations where Distributed Solar Photovoltaic energy production could be used  versus fossil fuels. This versus a net cost of $517 billion investment to implement those solutions. [PROJDRAW]

We also know the policies to be implemented. Governments this week have been debating the various proposals at COP 27 [FOEI] that need to be implemented. They don’t go far enough but the point is – we know them! We know what needs to be done.

Change doesn’t happen without people.

You. Me. Everyone. 

Waves of people can and will change the world for the betterment of everyone and our planet’s sustainability.

We must start now.

Every Little Thing Counts.

Climate Change is the term that’s frequently used to describe the effects of Global Warming.  However, climate change and global warming are not necessarily synonymous. This article explains the terms climate change and global warming and directs you to resources to help you gain a more in-depth understanding if you so desire

Climate Change is the term that’s frequently used to describe the effects of Global Warming.  However, climate change and global warming are not necessarily synonymous. 

So, which is it, Climate Change or Global Warming?

This brief article explains the terms “climate change” and “global warming” and, at the end of the article, directs you to resources to help you gain a more in-depth understanding if you so desire. Our other resources will point you in the direction of what you can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Climate Change

Climate Change refers to the changes in long term weather term patterns that can occur for natural reasons, or as a result of human activity. The standard period of analysis [Stanford] for climate set by the World Meteorological Organization is 30 years. Planet earth is a massive, yet delicate ecosystem. Its climate system [IPCC] is an interactive system consisting of five major components which are influenced by a number of external forces, the most important of which is the sun. 

Dark clouds over mountains
Dark clouds over mountains in Australia

These five major components of our planet’s climate are:

Global Warming

Global Warming refers to the effects of the warming of the planet throughout historic cycles or eras of evolution of life on earth.  Along with climate change the planet has gone through cycles of warmer and colder times and the resulting weather changes associated with those.  For example, as far as we know, earth has gone through at least five significant Ice Ages during the past 2.4 billion years [History].

Icebergs melting at the North Pole
Icebergs melting at the North Pole

Each one of those ice ages has resulted in thaws.  Scientists and mathematicians have been able to deduce and chart the earth’s temperature for many thousands of years, the majority of which has been a result of the earth’s orbit around the sun, axial tilt and solar radiation levels. (The earth should currently be undergoing a temperature cooling cycle [OSS] but due to the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere the opposite is the case.)

Wildfires burning
Cars submerged in water

What we need to be concerned with is the acceleration of global warming as a result of human activities caused by GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) and other pollutants gathering in the atmosphere and absorbing solar radiation and sunlight, resulting in a blanket effect on the earth.  

So, where we can expect certain warming or cooling of the planet as a result of the proximity and effects of the sun (see above), what we need to be concerned with is:

The Science is Clear

While there can be arguments made for the precise timing of certain events because of human activities on the planet or the exact nature of the changes on one part of the planet or the other, there is no doubt in the scientific community about the impacts global warming will have nor about the man-made accelerators of climate change.

It is important to note that no scientific papers have been published that have been peer reviewed and validated by the academic or scientific community and have contradicted the confirmed science of the negative effects of climate change, or, more importantly, the contributing factors to accelerated global warming. The peer review process [Conversation] is critical because it validates the techniques and conclusions that scientific research must follow.

The science is clear on what is accelerating global warming, but the good news is that we still have the opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius by the end of this century, changing the pattern of global warming and the negative effects it would have on our planet.

Find out how you can play your part in ensuring the sustainability of our planet for current and future generations.

If you want to read more about the topics described here check out the references below this article.

Every Little Thing Counts.

People gathered together
Citations and References

Citations and references are your security that the information you get on ELTC.earth will be accurate and trustworthy

The terms “eco-anxiety” or “climate anxiety” refer to the sensation of being overwhelmed, fearful, or anxious as a result of climate change.

People’s daily lives can be disrupted, in extreme cases, by the fear associated with the potential negative effects of climate change. Eco-anxiety can have a serious impact on people’s daily lives, just like any other anxiety disorder.

How Does Eco-Anxiety Affect People's Lives?

People reporting feelings of eco-anxiety can experience “anxiety and stress in their daily lives (moderate effects), with no association with depression. These associations suggest that eco-depression and eco-anxiety may contribute to, or at least co-occur with, poorer mental health.” [Stanley]  They also report less engagement with the movement to address climate change.

Consequently, eco-anxiety or eco-concern can also have an impact on people’s personal and professional lives by limiting their ability to respond to climate change. As a result, the climate-related risks associated with insufficient action increase. Both are inextricably intertwined. According to a survey conducted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)  in 2021, 85% of Irish people are concerned about climate change. [EPA]

In academic and medical studies, terms such as eco-anger, eco-guilt, climate-grief, eco-paralysis, and pre-traumatic stress are being used. According to Coffey et al. (2021), these conditions are becoming more prevalent. [Coffey] 


There is also evidence that eco-anxious people experience cognitive and physical/behavioural impairments such as panic attacks, obsessive thinking, loss of appetite, and insomnia [Castelloe], [Dockett], [Hickman],  [Nobel].

Why do people experience Eco-anxiety?

Climate change is regarded as extremely serious by 74% of EU [EU]  and global [Pew]  survey respondents. As a result, the topic and its implications for humanity have gained widespread attention.

When people consider climate change and, at the same time:

These factors contribute to a cognitive dissonance between the sensation of knowing or needing to do something and the failure to act on that innate knowledge.

Anxious person

How Do We Address Eco-anxiety?

The solution for eco-anxiety is to make a plan and take action

It sounds simple, right? Well, before we decide that, let’s look at some common reasons [Markman] why we don’t take action.

  1. 1. Psychological distance: It’s difficult to relate when the problems are in the future and aren’t likely to affect us right now.
  3. 2. The issue is non-linear: it is difficult to extrapolate into the future and understand how today’s actions will play out in the future
  5. 3. Inadequate sense of urgency about the problem: People are less compelled to act because climate change is not visible in their daily lives.
  7. 4. It is difficult to change ingrained habits and conveniences, regardless of the long-term benefits.
  9. 5. People prioritise short-term benefits over long-term benefits. Making sacrifices now in order to plan for the future necessitates difficult trade-offs. We’re not very good at it!
  11. 6. Inability to find relatable, actionable information: Finding information that helps us act on our desire to change can be difficult.
  13. 7. Distrust of information due to discrediting and greenwashing sources: It is fair to say that outside of scientific and other quality peer-reviewed literature, there is a significant volume of discrediting, misleading and [what is known as] greenwashing as people, businesses and other entities attempt to protect their own interests over those of the broader population.
  15. 8. The scientific community’s negative narrative is causing personal anxiety and withdrawal. Some of the literature is pessimistic.

So, Let's Try Again: Make a Plan and Take Action

ELTC.earth empowers people to combat the effects of eco-anxiety and act on their desire to contribute to a better future for all. 


To begin, ELTC.earth is intended to enlighten and empower people by emphasising the potential for a better future and guiding them through pathways that will enable them to take actions to get there. We address the most common reasons why people do not act in the following ways:

  1. 1. Psychological distance: ELTC.earth draws parallels between your immediate actions and the long-term problems they help to solve.
  3. 2. Non-Linear problem: ELTC.earth attempts to demonstrate equivalency of actions and results, aligning your individual actions to broader actions and their positive impacts.
  5. 3. Sense of Immediacy: ELTC.earth motivates you to continue learning and acting on your chosen actions.
  7. 4. Changing Habits: ELTC.earth promotes personal accountability by allowing you to track your progress and encourage community sharing. Positive peer pressure is extremely effective!
  9. 5. Short-term versus long-term benefits: Once again, we assist you in relating today’s changes (or lack thereof) to longer-term wins, allowing you to close the gap on the future.
  11. 6. Relatable, actionable information: ELTC.earth is jam-packed with clear, actionable information that is relevant to you and your lifestyle. You decide which actions to take.
  13. 7. Information distrust: Be confident that all of the actions, resources, and opinions shared on ELTC.earth are supported by a library of data sourced from academic journals, scientific research, and proven facts – all of which have been peer reviewed and are indisputable.
  15. 8. Negative narrative. Because the statistics and facts point to dire consequences for our planet, science is bound to confronting truths.  However, there is reason to be optimistic. ELTC.earth will concentrate on the advantages of your progress. We will highlight your victories, as well as the victories and advances made by others around the world, to ensure that everyone remains motivated by the possibility rather than paralysed by fear.
Person writing an action list
ELTC.earth climate action tools
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There is no need to feel eco-anxiety.  The good news is we have the power to positively impact climate change and ensure the long term sustainability of our planet and the inhabitants on it.  We have the technology to do it.  We know the policies that need to be implemented.  [Interface] We just need to act.

Citations and References

Climate Takeback Survey (Interface, 2017) – Accessed – 18 Feb 2022

Citations and references are your security that the information you get on ELTC.earth will be accurate and trustworthy