What can I do when I feel overwhelmed by my emotions?

Grounding techniques are really helpful when dealing with overwhelming emotions. Try these activities when you need to bring your attention back to the here and now. You can also print the handy version from the link at the bottom of the page.

Connect with your senses

A helpful technique to stop feeling overwhelmed by strong emotions involves connecting with your senses.

Take one long, slow, deep breath.

Out loud, or in your head, name 3 things that right now you can:

  • See
  • Smell
  • Hear
  • Feel

Then, take 3 long, slow, deep breaths.

Notice body sensations

  • Take one long, slow, deep breath.
  • Push feet into the floor, feeling yourself connect with the solid surface you are standing on.
  • Wiggle your toes, paying attention and noticing the sensations in your feet.
  • If you are sitting, feel the chair under you and the weight of your body and legs pressing down onto it.

Connect with your body

  • Place your right hand on the top of your head and start to trace it around the physical outline of your body.
  • Follow all the way down your leg to your foot, then start tracing up your other leg.
  • Return your hand to the top of your head.
  • Experience what it is like to be present in the world.
Further Resources