Tools to Calm Anxiety & Ground Yourself

We have left 2020 behind, and we are embracing a new year.

So, why do we still have so much anxiety and stress that 2020 seemed to generate?

The turning of a new year doesn't mean that all our hardships or worry are behind us. Even, if say this pandemic were resolved tomorrow, we would still have residual stress and anxiety from a year of hardship & many unknowns.

This anxiety and stress can creep up at any time even if it's not related to a situation. These feelings or energies can especially erupt when you least expect it.

Let's say you're ready for work and drinking your coffee, when suddenly your dog comes racing past you to get to the door, knocks your knees, and coffee spills onto you and everywhere. Even though this was an accident - your heart spikes and your instantly become frustrated and anxious that now you have to change your outfit and rush to work.

While this situation "isn't a big deal" it may be given more gravitas because of residing anxiety in the body and mind. Maybe you're worried about a project at work. Maybe you didn't sleep well because you have much on your mind.

Whatever the residual anxiety is, if it isn't acknowledged and addressed - it will come bubbling up in any situation where a "curve ball" is thrown in,

You know you doggy didn't mean to cause a situation, but you're anger and anxiety are accentuated because of unresolved - or unprocessed - events/emotions.

So, how do we handle these moments of anxiety? How do we navigate moments where we get overwhelmed from 0-60 in .05 seconds?

Here are some grounding techniques that help calm the body during moments of overwhelm, irritation, or anxiety:


The first thing to almost always do is stop and BREATHE.

When we mindfully breathe, we allow our mind to shift from the flurry of thought and connect the mind to the body and present moment. Slow, intentional breath, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and brings our reasonable brain "back online". Meaning, intentional breathing helps us manage triggers and promotes psychological resiliency in rocky situations. This kind of breath work empowers us while simultaneously calming us. It gives us more agency over our body and experience.

PRACTICE: When feeling charged with any situation, allow yourself a deep inhale through the nose and a full exhale out the mouth. Repeat this 5 times. Then take notice of how you feel. Maybe a greater sense of calm? That triggering situation isn't so big anymore? If still feeling anxious, continue with "box breathing" 4 counts inhale - 4 counts exhale. Come back to this breath whenever needed.