Grounding techniques can be a great way to help you get out of your own head and be more present in the moment. When we feel intense emotions, it can be difficult to think about anything else. Grounding techniques counteract this by using this our sense to stay in the present.
In general, grounding techniques can be an effective tool in helping yourself feel more calm and relaxed, which can then allow you to process information and make more informed decisions. You may also use other coping skills at this time.
For example, you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion after a very rough day. It feels impossible to think as your emotions feel intense and your mind is racing. You put an ice cube in your mouth and focus on the cold sensation. This brings you back to the present moment because it is hard to think of anything other than the coldness in your mouth.
EXAMPLES OF USING YOUR SENSES
- Listen to music. Focus on the lyrics and think about what the artist is saying
- Be silent and listen to the sounds in your room. Think about what you hear. It might be the sound of wind. A clock ticking. People talking outside your room.
- Go outside and breathe in fresh air. Focus on the smell.
- Get food that smells great and focus on how it smells
- Eat something slowly. Think carefully about how the food feels in your mouth
- Chew gum. Enjoy the taste and think about the gum moving around in your mouth
- Put cold water on your face
- Think about a part of your body you do not generally focus on. How do the bottom of your feet feel
- Clench and unclench your fist
- Choose an object that you can touch when you are in distress that you can keep with you during the day. Touch it if you feel emotionally overwhelmed.
- Look around your room. Think of a color. Find 3 things that are that color and describe them to yourself.
- Look out a window. Find something to count, such as people, birds, trees, bricks, etc.
There are many more options you can try and you might find it fun to explore some on your own. The best test for this is to figure out which ones make you feel good just thinking about them.