Grounding Techniques For High Anxiety in PTSD Recovery

February 18, 2016 Jami DeLoe

Grounding techniques for anxiety and PTSD can be simple and effective. Use these grounding techniques for anxiety to avoid frustration and panic. Take a look.

Grounding techniques for anxiety can be very helpful in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery. The anxiety that those of us with PTSD suffer can be frightening and frustrating; whether it comes in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or full-blown panic attacks. Using grounding techniques for anxiety in PTSD recovery to remind ourselves that we are alright, and in no imminent danger, is one way to help.

What Are Grounding Techniques for Anxiety?

Grounding techniques for anxiety are a way to bring yourself back to reality when anxiety kicks in. It is a form of mindfulness that helps to anchor you to the present moment, rather than remaining in a state of anxiety, flashbacks, or dissociation. Grounding techniques use the five senses to connect you to the here and now, calming the anxiety symptoms brought on by PTSD, and allowing you to recognize what is real and what isn't. There are many different types of grounding techniques, some are physical and some are mental. It may take trying several different techniques to find the ones that work best for you (Top 21 Anxiety Grounding Techniques). Once you do, though, you will have an additional tool that you can use to combat anxiety and lessen your other symptoms in PTSD recovery.

Examples of Grounding Techniques for Anxiety in PTSD Recovery

Grounding techniques to combat anxiety can be simple and effective. PTSD recovery can include panic attacks, so use these grounding technique tips. Take a look.

Grounding yourself during an anxiety attack can be anything that utilizes one of senses. It can be as simple as observing something that is going on around you, taking a deep breath, and paying attention to how it feels as you inhale. Listening to music is another example. Anything that will help you to root yourself in the present can work. Here is a list of some ideas that may help you:

  • Speak out loud. You can use affirmations that help calm you, or even just pick up a book or magazine and start reading aloud. Pay attention to the sound of your own voice.
  • Call a friend. What you talk about doesn't matter. Hearing a familiar voice and interacting will help you recognize that you are safe.
  • Move your body. Clap your hands or stomp your feet and pay attention to the physical sensations.
  • Eat something. Try having something spicy, sour, or cold. How does it taste?
  • Pet your dog or other pet. Say their name out loud and talk to them. Pets have a calming effect.
  • Use your "safe place." If you have chosen a safe place to go emotionally in your work with a therapist, go there. It will help you feel safe and secure.
  • Write in your journal. Jot down what you are feeling and what is making you anxious. Often just the act of putting pen to paper can lessen anxiety.
  • Check your pulse. Finding your pulse and imagining the blood coursing through your body can be helpful.
  • Go outside. Pay attention to how it feels. Is it warm or cold? Can you hear birds chirping, traffic, or dogs barking? Listen and observe.

These are just a few things that can help you feel more grounded to combat anxiety in PTSD recovery. What things do you use to calm your anxiety?

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APA Reference
DeLoe, J. (2016, February 18). Grounding Techniques For High Anxiety in PTSD Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Jami DeLoe

Jami DeLoe is a freelance writer and addiction blogger. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and addiction recovery and is a recovering alcoholic herself. Find Jami DeLoe on her blog, Sober GraceTwitter, and Facebook.

February, 23 2016 at 11:48 pm

How can these techniques help me, when I try to get a further education, but have been stopped for the second time now, by severe claustrophobia, which started when I was held in a jail with almost no oxygene and almost died from lack of air?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 20 2018 at 8:41 pm

I find that singing to myself categorically reduces my symptoms of PTSD. However my circunstances are considerably different A great book that is helping me understand my PTSD better is called The Body Keeps The Score Brain Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk and may be helpful.

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