Pebble in my pocket
During very anxious times, the escalation of negative thoughts can be difficult to interrupt. They are disorientating, frightening and can kick start a panic episode very quickly, leaving you feeling out of control.
A good way to ground yourself quickly at these times is to hold a small yet significant object, ideally that you can keep in your pocket. Choosing something that means something to you is ideal. Otherwise, something simple like a smooth, flat pebble can bring your focus from inside to outside your head. The act of touching that object can break into the chaos of thoughts and feelings.
I used to suffer with disorientating anxiety in the night. I would wake suddenly feeling anxious which would quickly accelerate to panic symptoms. I found that keeping a flat palm sized piece of black tourmaline under my pillow helped to dissipate these symptoms when they started. In healing Tourmaline connects to the base chakra and grounds energy, dispersing stress and tension. It represented a shift in energy to me. By reaching under my pillow and holding the stone I could slowly calm down and return to a resting state. I also carried one in my bag in case I needed to reach for something to ground myself during the day.
You can choose a symbolic or meaningful object. Something that makes you feel calm and peaceful. A talisman need only contain the protection from your intention and focus once held in your hand. A literal weight to ground you in the present moment.
Returning to that grounding object when you can feel tossed about by your thoughts and feelings can be an effective way to remain centered despite the negative emotion.