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Mindfulness techniques to help calm our anxiety

When we feel overwhelmed with so many emotions and thoughts going through our body, we often observe a sense of loss of control. Our mind is racing, and strange physical sensations are happening. It is during these moments that we must learn and practice some mindfulness techniques in order to regain a sense of calm within ourselves. These techniques can be done anywhere and at anytime. It may be difficult at first, but keep trying. Do the best that you can.

Here are a few strategies to help us ground ourselves back to the present moment.

1. The 5 senses:

We must use all of our five senses to help bring our mind back to the present, instead of allowing our overthinking thoughts get out of control. Find a place to sit down, with your feet touching the ground. Close your eyes and try to focus on your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes. Name out loud these things:

5 things you can see (sight - look around you and observe what you see)

4 things you can feel (touch - feel different textures around you)

3 things you can hear (auditory - pay attention to the sounds around you)

2 things you can smell (smell - take a deep breath and identify different smells)

1 thing you can taste (taste - move your tongue around and see if you can identify a taste)

2. Holding onto an object:

Find an object that is of strong importance to you. It could be a rock, a piece of jewelry, a picture, a device, etc. Close your eyes and focus on how it feels in your hands. Open your eyes and explore the different colours, shapes, textures, size, etc. Allow your mind to only focus on the object and keep your breathing under control. Take deep breathes through your nose, until you regain a sense of calm.

3. Find a distraction:

Positive distractions can be helpful in keeping our anxious mind away from the triggers. A distraction can be anything you want, as long as it provides a positive change in how you feel. I encourage you to find something that is helpful for you, but here are a few examples:

  • listening to your favorite music

  • reading a good book

  • cleaning the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom

  • going outside for a walk or run

  • reaching out to family or friends (someone you trust)

  • drawing, doodling, any type of arts and crafts

  • watching tv or a movie

  • taking a bath or shower

These positive distractions can be helpful in the moment, but they do not fix a problem or situation that is causing you stress. I encourage you to reach out to a professional to talk about these things.

4. Move your body:

Being physically active and moving around is one of the best remedy for mental health. Find an activity that will get your heart pumping, blood flowing, and adrenaline going. These activities can be done alone or with people. Most importantly, do something that you enjoy, is fun, and brings positivity back in your life. Try to establish a routine that includes at least 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity in your day.

If you have any questions, concerns, want to learn more about these strategies, or wish to speak with a counsellor, don't hesitate to contact us.

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