How grounding techniques can change your life!

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Have you heard of grounding before? You probably have, but do you actually know what it is and how to use it?. Maybe you’ve heard a teacher or therapist use the word before.

Grounding techniques are used as a coping mechanism and to help bring you back into the present moment.

It is very helpful when you are suffering from flashbacks or dissociation.

*you can read about my mental health story here*

What does grounding use?

It uses the 5 senses

  • Sound
  • Taste
  • Touch
  • Sight
  • Smell

Focus on

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste.

Are you still with me? If not, that’s okay, I shall try to make this make sense. Grounding skills are used to bring you back into the present moment/timeframe.

Some grounding examples

I’m going to use my personal experiences as examples of how to use the grounding technique. I am very open about my mental illness struggles, so don’t be afraid to ask questions down in the comments. I am a open book.

*Disclaimer, I am NOT a professional mental health worker, I am someone who struggles with mental illness and wants to share my experiences in hopes that it helps someone else*

  1. I tend to get anxiety/panic attacks while I’m in my bathroom (weird I know). So, while sitting on the toilet (so I am stable) I touch the side of my bathtub. I turn on the faucet and listen to the water trickle. It also helps to look around so that I can see I’m in my own washroom and safe.
  2. Another example for touch is I hug my stuffed Pikachu. He’s soft, sorta fuzzy, and if need be I can slam him on my bed repeatedly (not causing harm to Pikachu or my bed).
This is my Pikachu

3. Another example for touch would be holding a ice cube. The colder the better. The “shocking” cold helps bring you back to the present pretty quickly.

I find spotify helpful

4. I have Spotify on my phone (I use the free version). On it I have a collection of soothing music. Mostly nature sounds, ie running rivers, chirping birds. I focus solely on what I can hear. I personally don’t enjoy jazz music so there’s none of that on it. Haha

I’m not big on using taste to cope. Mostly because during the times I use these methods tasting something isn’t really a option.

To double dip a bit here, a good one for “taste” is actually chewing on crushed ice. It’s both cold and crunchy, so it makes for a great distraction.

5. While focusing on things I can see it can be as simple as “I see my bedroom floor“, or “I see my pillow” or your partner.

6. Focus on your breathing. Breath in deeply, hold for 3-5 seconds and breathe out. If you can, breathe in through your nose and just focus on how it feels to breath.

keep this in mind

When using a breathing technique keep in mind you want deep breaths. Short and shallow breathing may cause hyperventilating which would definitely not help the situation.

If possible take note of your triggers. This way you can better cope with them in the future.

I hope this post comes off as helpful. Let me know down in the comments below some coping or grounding techniques you use.

Also let me know if there is something you would find helpful to read about on my blog. Please remember that yes, sometimes life just sucks, but the bad times don’t last forever.

Feel free to email anytime if you need someone to talk to or just someone who will listen.

You can email me at- [email protected]

Till next time,

Tanya xoxo

45 thoughts on “How grounding techniques can change your life!”

  1. First: I love your Pikachu.
    Second: I think this is incredibly helpful, esp. When our brains get anxious. Grounding is such an important technique.

    1. First, thank you, I also love my Pikachu.
      Second, I was hoping this would be helpful for thank you for saying that <3

  2. Great Post. I have never specifically heard of ”grounding” in this context so I’m grateful for the information and education. I love learning new things that will help me survive this crazy world and the anxiety it produces. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    1. No problem Angie. These techniques have been helpful for me personally and I’m hoping they will do the same for others 🙂

      1. I use it in a magical sense. When I am grounding, I am exchanging energy with nature. It is cleansing my being, getting rid of overly energized remnants that might cause physical discomfort later and/or feeding my personal energy.

  3. I understand how ground can be beneficial for some people, but for me, it’s the worst thing I can do. Grounding almost instantly triggers a psychotic episode in me, because my anxiety disorders and psychotic episodes are rooted in my bodily senses. So to focus on them is to intensify all the triggers that can cause me to have a psychotic episode.

    So be careful with grounding if you have an anxiety disorder that is related to your bodily sensations, as you might have a tough time with it

      1. I’m not sure I know anything that might be help those who are having flashbacks or are dissociating, I only really know what works for my particular issues, unfortunately

          1. I can tell when mine is building up as it’s triggered by my anxiety, so good anxiety management help avoid it. The only time recently that it’s triggered is due to trying grounding in a uni class

  4. Grounding : I knew it had a specific word. My old CPN taught me this technique years ago, but I’d completely forgotten what it was called. I’ve been calling it the fab 5 for years 🤦‍♀️
    You’ve described the technique really well, and I think this will be useful for everybody. It works great for children having temper tantrums too.

  5. Great tips! I frequently use grounding techniques and find they are quite useful. It helps with my anxiety but also just connecting and calming to bring focus and centering. Excellent way to start the day.
    PS: I love your Pikachu!

    1. I’m glad it helps you! I find using the techniques lessen the duration of my anxiety attacks.
      Thanks! I have way to much fun dressing my Pikachu up in outfits. Haha, it may sound silly to some but he’s been a huge comfort for me

    1. Thanks Jen, my goal is to help people feel not alone so I always try my best to be extremely honest <3

    1. No problem Dustin, it does actually help with dissociation for me anyway. I dissociate and have used it before

  6. This post is helpful, thank you! I also use similar techniques to relieve anxiety. For example, if I am walking I focus on the movements my body is making, the texture of the ground, etc. Or when sitting still I touch my hair or an object. The main thing is to focus on SOMETHING in the present moment rather than on the thoughts that are making me anxious. I’ve never tried holding an ice cube or crunching ice, mainly because I don’t usually have an ice cube on hand 🤣 But I imagine it would work!

    1. Those are great ways of doing grounding Sophie!. It’s individual to each person. What may work for one may not help another. Thanks for reading! <3

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