Taking time to breathe – how grounding can help combat anxiety
While we are waiting to hear whether Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s planned new project has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, I have been visiting high schools to maintain and build relationships to allow a smooth transition for the new project. Each week I test new ideas which we plan to use in future workshops, and each week I have seen an alarming rise in the number of students having panic attacks on a regular basis.
This got me thinking about techniques I could share with students who could then share with family and friends or even use for themselves to combat these episodes, Inspired by the Wild Ways Well project I came across a technique called grounding. This helps people to slow down, distracts from the immediate feelings of anxiety and panic, and helps them gain focus.
I also suffer from anxiety at times and I find it best to use this technique outside in fresh air, a woodland works for me as I find that habitat is my safe space and that I like to think of myself grounded to the earth. It may be indoors for others, but the technique will work either way.
It is also called the ‘5-4-3-2-1 method’. Here’s why. Your task is to find and name: Five things you can see, four things you hear, three things you feel, two things you smell and one thing you taste. What is great about this technique is you can easily write this short list down on a piece of paper and keep it in your purse or wallet for when you need it.
It isn’t important about the order. What’s important is that you take the time to let yourself be you. No problem is insurmountable, we can deal with issues through learning self-help techniques or we can talk to someone or even join a group such as Wild Ways Well. It’s okay to not be okay.
No problem is insurmountable, we can deal with issues through learning self-help techniques or we can talk to someone or even join a group such as Wild Ways Well. It’s okay to not be okay.