Sometimes our emotions can get so big that we feel overwhelmed and out of control of them. Maybe these feelings arise from a change in routine like transitioning from summer vacation to a new school year. Maybe moving to a new town could cause some anxiety and worry. Sometimes there is no specific event or reason and feelings of worry just happen. One way to manage these feelings is by using grounding exercises. Grounding exercises are not only helpful for children, but can also be useful for adults and caregivers who may also struggle with anxious thoughts.
The nice thing about grounding exercises is that they only require two things:
Somewhere quiet and comfortable
At least 5 minutes of uninterrupted alone time or one-on-one time for activities led by a caregiver
Here are two grounding exercises that are effective for people of all ages!
This grounding exercise uses the senses to calm anxiety and bring you back to the present. First, try to focus on your breath. If your breaths are coming out short and fast, take a moment to try slowing them down. Once you have found your breath, you can start the 5-4-3-2-1 Senses grounding activity.
These are the steps:
Doing this will ground you or your child in the present and is especially helpful for racing anxious thoughts.
Room search is another effective grounding technique. All you need to do is choose a broad category and search the room for any object that falls into that category.
This technique turns attention away from worries and instead refocuses attention on the present moment.
Both of these grounding activities can be led by a caregiver for a younger child or done independently by older children or adults. If feelings of anxiety and panic are something your child struggles with often or you need help supporting your child through these types of feelings, reach out to the Hearts Connected team for a consultation!