Your question: Why do I like sitting on the floor when I’m anxious?

My reply:

Hi, I hope this message finds you well. My name is Cesar Guedez, a psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. Through this blog I will answer your question of why you like to sit on the floor when you have anxiety, by exploring the relaxing and calming sensation that many feel when they sit on the floor, and by proposing other alternatives that you can apply together to deal with anxiety.

Anxiety is a universal experience. We all feel it to a lesser or greater extent during one or more moments in our lives. Although it may feel undesirable and annoying, anxiety is necessary in small doses, because it is the body’s warning signal that tells us when something or someone threatens to cause us harm, and therefore demands that we respond.

But when anxiety becomes too intense and recurrent, there is a problem. This can have multiple causes, but generally, anxiety appears because of everyday problems such as work stress, academic stress, economic problems, problems in interpersonal relationships and one’s own insecurities and self-esteem problems.

It is curious how people employ different strategies to cope with their anxiety problems. For some, going for a jog decreases their anxiety symptoms, for others, painting and art in general relaxes them, and for others, they find calm when they sit on the floor.

Sitting on the floor when feeling anxious is a common occurrence, and although there is as yet no scientific research to prove its positive effect in reducing anxiety, it is not too far-fetched to imagine that it is calming for many people.

In the face of such a growing problem as anxiety, which chronically affects more than 300 million people worldwide (1), it is necessary to talk about and discuss the experience of different people coping with anxiety.

Sitting on the floor will not always be a magic bullet that will eliminate anxiety symptoms, but it can be a complement to other strategies to help you cope with your anxious symptoms and generally improve your quality of life.

Why sitting on the floor relaxes you?

Anxiety causes a destabilization of the body and mind. That is why you experience symptoms such as tachycardia, sweating, muscle tension, fear and intense worry. Therefore, when we feel anxiety, we look for anything that represents balance and tranquility.

A typical symptom of anxiety is the sensation of dizziness. The vestibular system, located in the inner ear, is responsible for body coordination and balance. When you experience anxiety, the feeling of physical dysregulation affects your entire body, including the vestibular system(1).

It is therefore logical that when feeling dizzy during anxiety, you seek to sit on a stable surface. This gives you the sensation of feeling balanced again, and the stability can slightly decrease the feeling of anxiety.

When you experience anxiety you feel that imminent danger, whether real or imagined, may cause you harm. By sitting on the ground, the perceived threat of that danger decreases, as you feel more stable and secure on the ground.

What other things can you do to reduce anxiety?

Although it may seem like a magical solution, sitting on the floor is not the only thing you should do to deal with anxiety. It is a strategy that may be useful for you momentarily, but in the long run it may no longer be effective.

So, while you can still sit on the floor when you experience anxiety, as long as it is in a safe and secure space, there are other strategies you can implement to alleviate your anxious symptoms.

Breathing and relaxation

While closing your eyes and resting one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, inhale slowly for 4 seconds, and exhale slowly for another 4 seconds. Repeat this exercise for a period of 5 to 10 minutes whenever you feel anxious at any time during the day. Although it may be difficult to concentrate at first, eventually the relaxation and breathing will be extremely helpful in relieving anxiety.

Question your thoughts

Thoughts are not facts even though they feel like facts. One of the most overwhelming things about anxiety is the lack of control you have over the dysfunctional thoughts that trigger anxious symptoms. Therefore, you need to stop to observe and question the thoughts you have when you are going through a period of anxiety.

For example, if the cause of your anxiety is a negative thought associated with your work or studies, you should give a rational response to that thought. You may think “I will have a bad result on today’s exam”, to which you will respond “I prepared as well as I could for this exam, so I will do well” or “I could have prepared better, but regardless of the result, it will serve as a learning experience for a future assessment”.


Physical activity, whether in a gym, playing a sport or from the comfort of your home, will help you deal with the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety, as well as improve your overall fitness.

In my experience…

Sitting down when you feel anxious is a common anthropological response that, like many other people, you apply in an attempt to feel more stable and secure. While it is a strategy that may seem foolproof, the truth is that you should not rely exclusively on it to deal with your anxiety.

There are other strategies you can apply in your daily life to decrease the feeling of anxiety and improve your overall life quality. Sitting on the floor may not always be the most appropriate in certain situations and social spaces, but techniques such as breathing and relaxation and questioning your thoughts will always be useful and applicable when you experience anxiety.

You are not alone in your struggle with anxiety. It is something quite common that does not have to determine your life. By applying these techniques in your own way and at your own pace, you will find gradual improvements, and if you complement it by attending cognitive behavioral therapy, the results will be much more effective. I wish you the best, and hope that you will soon be able to alleviate your feelings of dizziness and anxiety in general.

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