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*
- selfcare for bad mental health days
- 8 ways to keep calm under stressful conditions
- 8 productive ways to spend time alone
What does grounding use?
It uses the 5 senses
- 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*
- 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.
- 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).
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,