Five Ways to Ground Yourself

by Dr. Nichelle Chandler
March 27, 2024

Feeling a bit off? Wondering how you can regain some balance?

Grounding techniques are used to help individuals stay connected to the present moment, manage overwhelming emotions, and reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, or dissociation. They involve focusing attention on the here and now, rather than getting caught up in past memories or future worries. Here are five grounding techniques I often use to help my clients manage stress and anxiety.

  1. Sensory Grounding:
    • This involves using the senses to bring attention to the present moment. For example:
      • Focusing on the sensation of your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
      • Noticing the feeling of your feet on the ground or the texture of an object in your hand.
      • Listening to calming music or nature sounds.
      • Noticing the sights and sounds around you, such as the colors in the room or the sounds of birds outside.
  2. Mindfulness Meditation:
    • Mindfulness practices encourage individuals to observe their thoughts and emotions without judgment, allowing them to stay grounded in the present moment. This might involve guided meditations, body scans, or simply bringing awareness to everyday activities like eating or walking.
  3. Physical Grounding:
    • Engaging in physical activities can help anchor individuals in the present moment and alleviate stress. This might include:
      • Going for a walk or engaging in other forms of exercise.
      • Stretching or practicing yoga to connect with the body.
      • Taking a warm bath or shower to soothe the senses.
  4. Cognitive Grounding:
    • Cognitive techniques involve shifting attention away from distressing thoughts or memories by focusing on something neutral or positive. Examples include:
      • Counting backward from 100 in increments of three.
      • Naming items of a specific color in the environment.
      • Reciting a favorite poem, prayer, or affirmation.
  5. Social Grounding:
    • Connecting with others can provide a sense of safety and support, helping individuals feel grounded during times of distress. This might involve:
      • Talking to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings.
      • Participating in group therapy or support groups.
      • Engaging in activities with loved ones, such as cooking together or playing games.

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