Anxiety Mental Health Self-Care Self-Help

4 Ways to Ground Yourself if You Are Stressed

Do you ever feel like you are losing control and spiralling into panic? You feel so stressed you don’t know what to do? 

Often when we feel intense stress it’s because our brain and body have taken over and feel threatened and unable to cope. But doing some grounding activities will likely help your body come back to a place of calm and send signals to your brain that you are safe in the present moment and not at threat.

Learning ways to ground yourself will help you be able to self-regulate your emotions when you are feeling overwhelmed. As a counsellor I talk about grounding techniques with clients to find out what works for them. There may be ones that work better for you than others and trying a few out when you are feeling stressed will help you to know what might help.

Here are 4 tips for you to try to help you come back to the here and now and reconnect with yourself when you are feeling stressed:

Take a Break

  • Taking some time out from your thoughts and worries about what’s going on can really help. Remember, it’s OK to take a break. Even if you are very busy, try to make space to do a quick body stretch, drink some water, stroke your pet, listen to your fave song and laugh at an online video. 

Tense and Relax

  • Being able to meditate and completely relax your body doesn’t work for a lot of people, especially when there is so much swimming around in your head. Instead, you might find it works better to tense all your muscles up: clench your fists, curl in your arms and legs, clench your toes and scrunch your face – hold it for a few seconds and then release. Notice how your body feels now. Can you notice it wanting to relax?


  • I call this the countdown game. Treating it as a game can give you an incentive to want to get to the end. Essentially, you name things and count at the same time. There are a few different versions, and you can make your own. I like to start with naming 5 things I can see that are blue, then 4 things I can see that are green, continuing with different colours counting down the numbers until I get to 1. This helps my clients to look around the room and reconnect with what they can see in the present moment. As there is so much focus needed it helps take the brain away from the stressful thoughts. You can switch it up to use different senses and different numbers.


  • We need to breathe to stay alive. When we feel stressed it can be common for our breathing to speed up, causing us to take lots of short breaths, which can result in more panic and headaches. Try to notice your breathing and focus on slowing it right down, taking slow and steady breaths in and out. This will bring oxygen back to the brain and help you feel more grounded.

Being stressed is a normal part of life, but finding strategies to cope, if you feel it is beginning to take over, can really help you take back some control.

Image of the author, Chloe Foster

Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.

Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.


  • Should I leave my bsf?
    So, I have an issue. My now partner of almost 2 years (we’re doing a break rn so kinda my partner), anyways, they don’t like me talking to my ex. The ex in question is my bsf of 8+ years. Me and this ex dated for a year and a few days. I was never […]
  • Hi :)
    I’d prefer to keep my name confidential, but hi :) My pronouns are she/they, and I’m very gay. I’m 17 and just tryna figure stuff out. Hope i can get advice that helps me :)
  • Confused about sexuality and Christian
    I'm a female currently in a long term relationship with a man. I've only dated men. I have been interested in women but my religion goes against it. I'm not sure how to navigate these feelings. I am unsure about my current relationship in many aspects and would like to date other men and possibly […]
  • Break through!!!!
    Yesterday ended up being great because my dad finally made his opinion clear! He says he would support me if i came out, but he doesn't like it when people force it on others! (which i think doesn't make sense) but all is good now
  • Please help
    Hey. I'm male and i am sure i have romantic attraction for both genders but I am not sure if i'm confident enough to date girls, what should I do?
  • Mental Health Check