Whether you’re struggling with anxiety and stress, dealing with depression or going through the stages of grief and loss grounding can help.
How do I know this… Because I’ve used it and it’s worked for me although, as I say regularly, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.
In brief grounding is an exercise to help bring you to the present moment and in doing so can help you to focus on the here and now rather than the thing which is causing you distress. Of course, the root cause of your distress does need to be addressed but that’s not what this blog is about. This is about getting you help now.
There are lots of different ways you can ground yourself but I thought that I would offer up 5 specific ones which you can try if you wish.
So... here we go!
This is the most obvious one and a tool that can be used wherever you are and at any time and nobody even has to know what you are doing.
If you are feeling particularly stressed or anxious and there is a need for calm remember to breathe out for longer than you breathe in i.e. breathe in for the count of five and out to the count of eight. Remember to adjust that to what works for you, so long as you make the out breath longer, it will help to calm the nervous system.
Colour Your World
Colour can be used in many ways.
One of those ways may be to look around you and find things/objects in a specific colour. For instance, you might be looking for objects which are the colour blue and they may include a lampshade, tissue box, ornament, trousers, skirt, lampshade, pen, sticker, or maybe something from outside such as a car, pram, the sky or a shop front window dressing. Then question…How dark is that shade of blue, is it a bright blue, what shape is it, is it solid, is it cold, is it warm, is it soft? You can, of course add more or less questions if you wish.
The other way to use colour is to bring colour to the breath. Choose a colour such as blue for calm and imagine that colour coming in on your in- breath and filling your body with the colour blue and say to yourself… “I breathe in calm” And then on the out breath you might say “I release all tension”.
If you have a particular issue happening right now then you might choose to use the colour blue for the in-breath and on the out-breath releasing the colour red for anger. Saying on the in breath “I breathe in calm” and on the out breath “I release all anger”.
Using colour can be particularly helpful with depression as you neither have to go anywhere nor do anything other than focus and ground your mind and in doing so it can take help to take you away from some of the darkness.
Mindful 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
This one is all about using all of your senses to ground you into the present moment.
Look for 5 things you can see. What are they, what’s their texture, colour, shape or size.
Listen for 4 things you can hear. Is it your breathing, a clock, a car outside, a dog in the distance. Notice the layers of your hearing.
Find 3 things you can touch. Perhaps this is your hair, skin, clothing or the chair you are sitting on. Notice the texture, is it cold, is it hot, is it smooth?
What 2 things can you smell. Maybe this is the furniture, the carpet, your hair, or perhaps your breath. Does it smell sweet, fresh or stale?
Lastly, what’s the one thing you can taste? This might be something from your last meal or perhaps your toothpaste. Is it fresh, stale or perhaps salty or sweet.
Create a grounding image – A safe place of tranquility and calm
This is a visual image which you can use as a space to go to where you are distracted and soothed. This may be a place such as a beach with palm trees and a tree swing with gentle lapping water or a place where you are doing activities such as wall climbing or running across a rugged landscape. What can you smell, what can you see? Use all your senses. You Can also create a bubble which goes all the way around your safe place. It is a shield of safety to protect you and your place of calm? No one can come here unless you invite them. You can go to this place on a regular basis so that it becomes an easy place for you to escape to and also to feel safe in. What ever you create it’s your choice, it’s your place and you are in control.
Do some mental exercises and train your brain at the same time!
There are so many of these which you can choose such as;
Counting backwards from 100 to 0
Learn song lyrics
Describing one of your favourite activities/hobbies step-by-step
Categories – choose a category such as Animals, vehicles, vegetables, books, films Or TV shows and the name as many items as you can from your category.
Once again I hope that you have found some of this useful and when you’ve got an idea of what grounding techniques are and how they work you can probably come up with a few of your own. If you do that, I’d love to hear what works for you so that we can share with others - my email details are at the bottom of this page.
Counselling with me not only helps with grounding techniques but can also help with getting to the route cause of what’s going for you as well as helping you to deal with overwhelming feelings, unnecessary worrying and high alert anxiety.
To make an appointment or enquiry you can call me on 07478754839 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't Struggle Alone!