When I Start to Feel Anxious, Here’s How I Ground Myself

Larry Stansbury
3 min readMay 31, 2021
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

I remember my first anxiety attack happened when I was in college. I was part of a friend group where we were all trying to get into this prestigious program. Some were doing whatever it takes to be in it, like trying to destroy one’s reputation to their friend group, getting one kicked out of school, etc. One friend did all of these things to me and made people believe I was a horrible person. I thought I lost all of my friends, and every time I saw that former friend, my back was sweating. I hesitated every word in conversation and was worried all the time. I had to watch my every move. I was overgeneralizing, and this interfered with my schoolwork and extracurricular activities. All I could think about was what that friend would do next.

Ever since that incident, there were a couple of times where I had several panic attacks. From confrontations with friends, fear of getting laid off from a job, there were many moments where I felt alone in the process. I couldn’t afford to go see a therapist nor had my friends know what I was going through at the time.

This has led on for a few years and although I still have anxiety, I am able to manage it by using techniques when I start to feel anxious. Here’s how I ground myself.

I had to breathe deeply and put my mind to ease for the future.

You can start feeling better when you do deep-breathing exercises. This is one of the best ways you can do to lower stress in the body. This exercise will send a message to your brain to calm down and relax. When you focus on your breathing techniques, this will bring attention to the present without allowing your mind to drift back to the past. This will allow you to have positive thoughts about the future.

I walk to find some peace in myself.

After many bad instances with former friends, I was figuring out how I could handle my anxiety. One solution came to mind: walking. I love walking. I’ve always appreciated my walks. By strolling around nature and what’s around me, I realized that walking calms my nerves and ultimately saves me from getting anxiety attacks. Walking is a self-reflection, it shows me that I can be myself and don’t need to apologize for the past. I am able to accept my flaws and move forward.

I put candles in my room to make me feel happier.

Candles build a calm atmosphere in your room and house. The smell of candles, especially eucalyptus and lavender, can have a very positive effect on reducing your stress levels. Candles help boost my energy throughout the day. They also help activate our sense of smell and positively impact our mental and emotional state. They have an uplifting effect on both the mind and body and improve our overall well-being.

I write in my journal to express my feelings.

I enjoy journaling because I can express my feelings and thoughts for the day. It’s like when you were in high school, and you kept a diary under your pillow. Your diary is a place to confess your feelings and struggles without any judgment or punishment. I purchased The Five-Minute Journal, and it’s the best because I can focus on the good parts of my life. It likely felt good to get those negative feelings out of my head and put them down on paper. It seems like the world was more transparent.

Although this is a gradual process, it is very helpful to control my feelings and ground myself.