Anxiety/Panic Attack Grounding Technique #36
This is a widely used method for quickly calming yourself, or someone else when having a panic/anxiety attack. It is important that you focus on the questions and do not pause. Don’t stop until you have reached the end.
Answer these five questions out-loud:
- Name five objects that you can see
- Name four things that you can hear (Even without clear sounds, listen for things like the silent hum of cars or people far away, a computer fan, etc)
- Name three things that you can feel (like you may be sitting in a chair that you can feel, or holding a drink)
- Name two things that you can taste. There’s always some left over tastes on our tongues, just focus…
- Name one thing that you can smell.
Take your time on all of these questions. The more detailed your answers are, the better.
This method works by giving you a set of simple tasks. If you let yourself focus on the tasks, by the time you have finished, you should have been distracted for at least a few seconds (but more likely a minute or two). While distracted with these questions that you will have put a little thought into, your adrenaline levels will go down and you will feel more in control and less panicked when you finish the technique. This only works as well as you let it so don’t speed through the questions. Take your time to think about the questions and try to give detailed answers. Like instead of ‘I hear water dripping, a car, etc’ identify it more like ‘I hear water dripping in the kitchen sink, I hear cars being driven outside’.
This is a great way to help your friends, family, etc if they are having a panic attack. I find it works even better when someone else asks the questions. The person having the attack now needs to tell someone their answers which automatically takes more of their attention. There’s nothing wrong with asking a friend to go through the questions with you by the way.