How Grounding Exercises Improve Cognition and Prevent Depression

grounding techniques

Grounding techniques can help you bring yourself into the present moment. It lets you concentrate more on the surroundings with your senses. Other grounding benefits are avoiding self-destructive behaviors and giving you a positive mindset.

Because of these grounding benefits, more and more people are taking interest in this practice, specifically people in the corporate world. Since they are prone to a lot of stressors, we’ve listed some useful grounding exercises for anxiety and grounding techniques for anger.

Below are grounding exercises that can help your cognitive and sensory awareness:

Sensory Awareness and Effective Grounding Techniques 

These exercises focus on your five senses. Just like meditation, grounding techniques allow you to be “in control” of your thoughts and focus. Because of this, these practices can enhance your emotional health even further. 

Exercise 1
  • Stay your eyes open, look around the area, and observe your surroundings. Narrate the details around you in your head or say it out loud.
  • Hold onto a something soft such as a stuffed animal, pillow, or a ball.
  • Put a cold fabric on your face or carry something cold like a bottle of juice drink.
  • Then, listen to relaxing songs.
  • Lay your feet steadily on the floor and take hold of your chair’s arm.
  • Concentrate on somebody’s voice or a neutral discussion.
  • Carry a remarkable thing that is comforting or calming such as a piece of cloth or smooth pebble. Others find it beneficial to spray some cologne into the pebble or cloth.
Exercise 2


  1. Find five things you can see around you.
  2.  Then, find four things you can touch.
  3. Recognize three things you can hear at the moment.
  4. Focus on two things you can smell or you want to smell now.
  5. Recognize one great thing about yourself.

Note: You can either say the things in your head or say them out loud.

Exercise 3
  • Start by sketching your hand on a piece of paper.
  • Then, mark each finger as one of the five senses (touch, hear, smell, taste, and sight).
  • Next, take each finger and pinpoint something exceptional and harmless signifying each of those five senses. For instance, your thumb represents taste and you may label it with an ice cream or your middle finger represents the sense of touch and you can represent it by a tree.
  • Once you are done writing and drawing all of this on a paper, affix it on your refrigerator or other secured areas in your house where it can be easily notice and remember.
  • Each time you get provoked, breathe slowly and deeply and raise your hand in front of your face where you can really see it.
  • Finally, look at your hand and then stare at every finger. Focus and attempt to conduct the five senses method from your memory.
Cognitive Awareness
Exercise 1

Evaluate yourself about the time and place by questioning yourself with these questions:

  • Where am I right now?
  • What day is today?
  • What is the date?
  • What’s the month?
  • How about what year it is?
  • What’s my age?
  • What season is it now?
  • Who is the current President?
Exercise 2

Other grounding techniques can be performed solely for one person instead of in groups with the same purpose. Below are some examples of these exercises:

  • Put your feet firmly on the ground. This will inform you of where you are currently.
  • Put a rubber band on your wrist. Then, pluck the rubber band and feel the minor pain or tickle on your skin.
  • If you’re standing, find a chair and sit on it. If you’re already sitting, stand up. While doing this, focus on the alteration of motion. This will remind you that you’re in control of the situation.
  • Visualize a large red STOP sign. It can represent an effort to end the traumatic flashback or the memory that causes stress and anxiety.
  • List down all the items you’ll see or feel inside the house. Indicate the specific room you are describing.
  • Take a walk outside your house. Then, take note of the things you see or hear like a car or a bird. Give the specific number of things you will see.
  • Do an activity that you truly enjoy such as playing your favorite video game or watching your favorite movie or TV show.
  • Engage in a physical exercise like jogging, bike riding, or swimming.
  • Slowly perform ten breaths. Concentrate your thought completely on every breath you take when inhaling and exhaling. Determine the number of breath to yourself after you exhale.
  • Clap and rub your hands with each other. Hear the sound it makes, and feel the sensation in both your hands and arms.
Final Thoughts

Shortly put, grounding techniques must be done regularly to be more effective. This is especially true if we’re talking about any aforementioned grounding technique for depression. Of course, tot all of these exercises will help you. Therefore you need to experiment for a short time, thus distinguishing which ones are the most beneficial techniques for you. However, it is still essential to seek professional treatment and ask your doctor’s advice.

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