Grounding is a way to bring your focus into the present by redirecting your thoughts into what is happening now. Grounding is done using techniques that help us connect to what we are physically feeling or what is happening in our surroundings. It is a way to stop us from being trapped by the thoughts in our mind that are causing anxiety. When our mind starts racing and grounding brings us back to the here-and-now.
Grounding is a way to stay in the present moment instead of worrying about things that may happen in the future or events that have already happened. It is helpful for managing overwhelming feelings or anxiety. It is a great way to calm down quickly. You can practice the grounding techniques anytime and practicing them will help you to prepare for when you feel anxious. Below I am going to describe a few grounding techniques. The first is a chair exercise. Find yourself a comfortable chair one which your feet touch the floor. Either close your eyes or move your lower your gaze and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly for the count of three, then out slowly. Bring your mind’s focus to your body. Feel your body sitting in that chair. How does it feel? Slowly move your butt right into the back of the seat so the whole length of your back is pressing into the back of the chair. Do you feel the contact between your body and the chair’s surface? If the chair has arms allow yourself to touch them. Is the material smooth or textured? Press your arms down the length of the chair arm, notice how your hands hang off the end. If your chair doesn’t have arms, touch the material on the seat, how does that feel?
Next push your feet into the ground, imagine the energy draining down from your mind, down through your body and out through your feet into the ground. It can be helpful to choose an image of what the energy looks like in your body you. Like I like to visualize a color filling your body as it goes from top to toe. As the energy drains from your head, feel how heavy each body part becomes, your torso feels heavy and now your arms as you relax those muscles. Lastly, feel the heaviness go down your legs, through your feet and down into the ground. Breathe and when you are done and ready you can get up. The second technique uses all your five senses to help you to get back to the present.(if you don't have use of all five senses use the senses you do have and repeat those you have use of) It starts with you sitting comfortably and begin by closing your eyes and taking a couple of deep breathes. Breathe in through your nose (count to 3), out through your mouth (to the count of 3).
Now open your eyes and look around you. Name out loud:
5 – things you can see
4 – things you can feel
3 – things you can hear (traffic noise or birds outside, when you are quiet and actually listening things in your room constantly make a noise but typically we don’t hear them).
2 – things you can smell
1 – thing you can taste (it might be a good idea to keep a piece of chocolate handy in case you are doing this grounding exercise! You can always leave your chair for this one and when you taste whatever it is that you have chosen, take a small bite and let it swill around your mouth for a couple of seconds, really savoring the flavor).
Take a deep breath to end.