Grounding is a technique that helps keep someone in the present. They help reorient a person to the here-and-now and in reality. Grounding skills can be helpful in managing overwhelming feelings or intense anxiety. They help someone to regain their mental focus from an often intensely emotional state.
Grounding skills occur within two specific approaches: Sensory Awareness and Cognitive Awareness
1. Sensory Awareness
Grounding Exercises #1:
a) Begin by tracing your hand on a piece of paper and label each finger as one of the five senses. Then take each finger and identify something special and safe representing each of those five senses. For example: Thumb represents sight and a label for sight might be butterflies or my middle finger represents the smell sense and it could be represented by lilacs.
After writing and drawing all this on paper, post it on your refrigerator or other safe places in the home where it could be easily seen and memorize it.
Whenever you get triggered, breathe deeply and slowly, and put your hand in front of your face where you can really see it – stare at your hand and then look at each finger and try to do the five senses exercise from memory.
b) Bead pin: Roll bead between your fingers- Elements- Earth:-feel the textures around you. Air:- a pranayama such as box/square breath. Water:- work your tongue in your mouth feeling inner cheeks, teeth, palate then swallow and Fire:- fire up your imagination by bringing your favorite place/person to mind. Space:-Exhale loudly
Grounding Exercises #2:
Keep your eyes open, look around the room, notice your surroundings, notice details.
Hold/squeeze a pillow, stuffed animal or a ball.
Place a cool cloth/water on your face and feet, or hold something cool such as a chilled water bottle.
Drink cold (lightly flavoured) water
Tree sap based essential oils on the feet at night and to inhale during the day.
Stamp your feet until they are awakened.
Tennis ball routine to increase your connection to the earth (Heel/Talus/length of soul to toe mounds/ side to side across toe mounds/ flex toes against ball -wall
Sage/incense four corner of the room you are in.
Sweep your skin with your hands/cloth/brush downwards towards the feet.
Om tuning fork over the chakras
Listen to soothing music
Put your feet firmly on the ground-take off shoes and socks
FOCUS on someone’s voice or a neutral conversation.
Chanting: Om, Sat Nam etc
Mudras: Bhu, Adhi, Chinmaya
Sensory Awareness Grounding Exercise #3: 54321
Name 5 things you can see in the room with you
Name 4 things you can feel ( “chair on my back or feet on the floor)
Name 3 things you can hear right now
Name 2 things you can smell now
Name 1 good thing about yourself.
Cognitive Awareness Grounding Exercise:
Re-orient yourself in place and time by asking yourself some or all of these questions:
- Where am I?
- What is today?
- What is the date?
- What is the month?
- What is the year?
- How old am I?
- What season is it?