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Grounding Exercises for When You’re Feeling Anxious

Team StoryWeavers|April 13, 2022, 19:43 IST| 31

Grounding exercises

Have you been feeling anxious lately? With exams around the corner, the only thought that might be on your mind is acing the finals or clearing a competitive test. This is certainly an important phase in your life and is crucial for your career. But, due to the pressure to perform well, many students take on a lot more stress than they can handle.

Are you familiar with this dreadful feeling during moments of uncertainty, when your heart starts racing and you suddenly find it hard to breathe? In such situations, it’s vital to recognise that these feelings are normal and it happens to the best of us. But, instead of fearing or hiding your experience, it is healthier to talk about it with someone you trust, so that you can find a solution together.

What To Do When You’re Anxious?

When you feel anxious, you often tend to lose touch with the present. You are more focused on worries about the future or are stuck on stressful memories. So, how can you deal with such emotions when they occur?

Let us learn a few simple stress relief exercises called grounding techniques. This will help you manage your anxiety by bringing you back to the here and now.

Count Your Breaths

Focusing on your breathing is an important method of relaxation. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique — inhale quietly through your nose while counting to 4, hold your breath for a count up to 7, and then exhale from your mouth while counting to 8. Repeat this until you feel relaxed and more grounded.

breathing exercise

Image Source: Freepik

Be Aware of Your Body

This technique can help you direct your focus to the sensations in your body. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can attain body awareness:

  1. Take 5 long, deep breaths through your nose, and exhale through your lips.
  2. Stand on the floor with bare feet and wiggle your toes. Curl and uncurl your toes several times. Take a moment to focus and notice the sensations in your feet.
  3. Stomp your feet on the ground a few times. Focus on feeling the sensations in your feet as they make contact with the ground.
  4. Clench your hands into fists, then release them, as though you are releasing all your tension. Repeat this 10 times.
  5. Press both your palms together firmly and hold this position for 15 seconds. Pay attention to the feeling of tension in your arms.
  6. Then, rub your palms together swiftly. Feel the warmth in your hands, and listen to the sound your palms make.
  7. Stretch for 5 seconds by extending your arms over your head, as though you are trying to reach the sky. Then, relax your arms by bringing them back to your sides.
  8. Take 5 deep breaths and focus on the feeling of calmness seeping into your body from head to toe.
body awareness

Image Source: Storyset

Activate Your 5 Senses

The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique is used to observe your surroundings by using each of your senses and will help bring you back to the present. Try to notice the small details that your mind would generally tune out, such as the texture of your walls, or the sounds of leaves rustling outside.

Start by taking a few deep breaths, sit in a comfortable spot, and begin.

  • What are 5 things you can see — Look for small details such as the patterns on your floor, an object you never noticed before, or the way the curtains are moving against the wind.
  • What are 4 things you can touch? — Feel the different textures around you such as the softness of a cushion, the weight of a basketball, or the clothes against your skin.
  • What are 3 things you can hear? — Pay attention to the sounds that your mind has tuned out, like your clock, the birds in the distance, or a neighbour playing music.
  • What are 2 things you can smell? — Try to notice the distinct scents in your environment, like of the flowers in a vase, the coffee on your table, or the rain pouring outside.
  • What is 1 thing you can taste? — Pop a piece of chocolate in your mouth and focus on the flavour. You can try this with fruit or any small snack.
grounding exercises

Image Source: Storyset

Put Your Mind To Work

Mental exercises can take your mind off uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. You can try this technique anywhere. Use the method that works best to calm you down:

  • Name all the objects you see around you.
  • Recite your favourite song or poem that you know by heart, quietly to yourself in your head, and visualise each word.
  • Pick up a book, flip to a random page, and read it backwards, letter-by-letter, for at least a few minutes.
  • Choose any object and describe it in detail — its colour, size, weight, what’s written on it, the scent, texture, etc.
  • Think of any object and “draw” it on the air using your fingers, or visualise drawing it in your mind.
  • Describe all the steps in an activity you know how to do well. For example, how to make a sandwich, how to swing a bat, or how to organise your desk.
  • Count backwards from 100 by 7 — 100, 93, 86, 79, 72, 65, and so on.
  • Name your closest family and friends, their ages, and their favourite activities.
  • Spell out your name and the names of your favourite people, backwards.
mental exercise

Image Source: Storyset

These grounding exercises are some of the many things you can do to feel better when you’re anxious or overwhelmed. If you experience anxiety regularly and are having trouble coping with your feelings, please do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional.

Treat Yourself Kindly

While you’re studying, ensure that you nurture your mind and body with a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and regular exercise. Always remember that exams are only a stepping stone towards the bright future you deserve. The world is full of ample opportunities, waiting for you to go out and explore them!

Did you find these techniques helpful? What are some of the grounding exercises you would like to try? Tell us in the comments!


Also read:

Will I pass my exam? How to prevent panic before exams

Why Relaxation is Important for Students to Excel in Exams

What Are Mindful Habits? Why Should You Build Them?

About the Author


Vandya is a copywriter by the day and an amateur illustrator by the night. She's a cat mom 24/7. As a certified organisation freak, she lives and breathes in Notion. With a head full of ideas, she is passionate about crafting interesting concepts - for work or play. To kick back at the end of the day, she likes binge-watching shows with an inclination for all things spooky.

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Comments



Rajinder Ahi

April 16, 2022

Thanks


Sanghita Roy

April 20, 2022

Thank you so much byjus for this article. It’s very beneficial for me.😊😊👌👌


Khansa Mukadam

April 20, 2022

Loved it ❤️


Pratibha borse

April 20, 2022

Thank you …… Really works 💯


Dhyaan Vijay

April 20, 2022

Beneficial……..thank you 💟


Aditi

April 20, 2022

Thanks love this article 💗 ❤ 💕 💓


Jatindra Kishore Meher

April 20, 2022

Peace me!


Geethika

April 20, 2022

Thank you so much…it really works 💙💜


Sumit sharma

April 20, 2022

Thanks for these techniques byjus as I felt demotivated and frustrated several time it is beneficial for me 👍👍😇


Arathi Dileep

April 20, 2022

Thank you so much ❤️


Soumya Suman

April 20, 2022

Thank you, it was extremely beneficial, i tried each n every one of them .


Aakanksha

April 20, 2022

Thank u ❤


Jasdeep kaur

April 20, 2022

Thank you so much for making me so calm and happy ☺️ loved these tips…….


Anand

April 20, 2022

Honesty Byju’s is best! 💙


Manish Kumar

April 20, 2022

I am given paper


Merin P Eldho

April 20, 2022

Thank you Byjus💜… It’s very useful


Aastha Bhayal

April 20, 2022

Amazing 😆😆


Aryaa

April 20, 2022

Nothing is more helpfull than these techniques in such a time of super anxiety and when u cannot hold your nerves.All I could say is THANK YOU …


Anushka Gupta

April 20, 2022

Thanku ma’am


Sejan Khan

April 20, 2022

Thanks 😊


Vanita seervi

April 20, 2022

Thank you 😊 byju’s for this article 👌.


Swathi naik A

April 21, 2022

It was awesome really it works so ☺️😊
Thank you byjus 🥰🥰❤️


Purnima das

April 21, 2022

Thank you 💜so much


Shikha yadav

April 21, 2022

Thanku so much ❤️


Dolly Malviya

April 21, 2022

Mind blowing.


Anjali Jankar

April 22, 2022

Thanks


Prasad B Mahamuni

April 22, 2022

Thank you !! It will really help me 😊


Muskan

April 22, 2022

Very good ☺️


Sayandeep Mondal

April 22, 2022

I feel lot of anxiety in a regular basis and treating this for almost 2 years and really I
think I’ve learnt more techniques reading this than in the therapy room .
Thanks a lot.


Soubhij

April 28, 2022

Thankyou byjus fir always supporting me and thanks for the help😊😁


Mritttika Nayak

May 4, 2022

Thank you byju’s


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