Grounding Techniques; Post 2

Yesterday’s post touched on the importance of using the practice of grounding when feeling especially anxious or overwhelmed. We explored five ways to use our physical selves to bring our calm back to the situation at hand. Today’s post will feature five mental techniques of grounding:

  • Describe what is around you. Take in your surroundings as a way to help ground yourself. “I am sitting on a blue chair. I can feel the way the chair supports my lower back; my feet are flat on the floor. The dog is lying on her bed. She has her face curled into her paw. The sun is shining, the leaves on the trees are so green. I can faintly hear the birds chirping.”
  • Use math or a repetitive phrase. Counting backwards from 100 by threes (it is harder than you think!), running through times tables. Saying a favourite prayer repetitively until a sense of calm begins to return, choosing a favourite positive affirmation such as “No matter what I will be okay,” or “This too shall pass.”
  • Use your imagination. We all have a place to which we associate a feeling of being calm. Use your imagination to picture yourself there – “I am sitting on the gray sand of York Beach, Maine. The sun is warm on my face, I can see the waves rolling in and crashing on the shore. I can hear the seagulls calling each other, sounds of people in the ocean. I can close my eyes and feel the slight breeze on my face, the scent of salt water in the air.”
  • Listen to a guided meditation. Sometimes we have trouble bringing our mind away from the ruminating cycle of thought and we need to hear someone else’s calm voice.
  • Play a category game. Using the alphabet, think of a person’s name for each letter. Pick any category and try to list as many things as you can – examples such as “zoo animals,” “bands from the eighties,” “places I’ve visited,” etc.

The trick to grounding techniques is to use them. Very often, our anxious moments are so convincing, we are pulled into feeding our fight or flight system versus realizing that we can make a conscious choice to feed our comfort system.

Tomorrow’s post will feature the act of grounding as a preventative measure; as a way to stay ahead of our anxiety instead of chasing it.

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Khachik Simonian on Unsplash

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