“Stay grounded” it’s a common phrase we hear. Depending on the situation, this could mean: be present and stop a cycle of negative thoughts, be more realistic and stop idealizing, or establish a connection with the earth. We’re going to focus on the first point, being present and interrupting negative thoughts.
When you are feeling trapped in a thought spiral, it is easy to shut down. You may lose sight of yourself and induce a panic attack; your mind is far off, leaving your body to find some form of self-preservation. Memories, nightmares, or triggering situations can zap your mind right back to a painful space. Grounding is a technique to try and re-establish the mind-body connection; it is a way to bring you back to the here and now.
There is no shortage of techniques available; you can enact them almost anywhere, and there’s an option to fit your lifestyle. I tend to use grounding methods nightly, as I am inundated with thoughts regularly before bed or throughout the night. Since there are so many options, we are going to limit our discussion to three. If you’re new to grounding, these could be easy ways to get started; I would implore you to do more research.
Using diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing), take ten slow, deep breaths. For each breath, inhale for 10 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. As you complete each cycle, on the exhale, say the number to yourself.
Take a sip from a hot or cold drink
Sip, don’t gulp down, a cup of something hot or cold. Focus on how the cup feels in your hand, the shape, texture, and temperature. As you’re drinking, try to describe, in your mind, the taste, how it feels as it travels, and the consistency.
Think of where you’ve lived
If you’ve moved to different locations, try to remember the addresses in chronological order; either say them out loud or to yourself. I use this method most frequently. If you haven’t moved, think of places you’ve traveled to or would like to visit.
Do you use grounding methods? Share what techniques do or do not work for you.
Categories: Mental Health & Wellness