Coping with Emotional Overwhelm


We all get overwhelmed by waves of big, difficult emotions from time to time. Here’s my favourite grounding tool to cope with emotional overwhelm, be it anxiety, anger, fear, grief, or when I’m blanking out and not feeling anything at all. It’s very effective in bringing our brain and body out of a fight/flight/freeze reaction to a triggering event. But it’s also fun to do anytime, especially in nature, and is great for kids too!

Name 5 things you can see

Take your time noticing the details of each thing. Let yourself get really absorbed in the textures, colours, shapes, and movement of each one.

Name 4 things you can touch

Close your eyes if you feel comfortable and let yourself explore how each thing feels different to touch.

Name 3 things you can hear

Close your eyes if you feel comfortable, and let yourself become completely absorbed in the sounds around you. Notice how they come and go. Notice the silence in between.

Name 2 things you can smell

Whether it smells good or bad, let yourself become absorbed in what you notice.

Name 1 thing you can taste

Choose something that you like, and let yourself really savour it. Notice the texture of it in your mouth. Notice how it feels to bite down on it and how the taste changes.


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  

Viktor E. Frankl