BrownGirl are you dealing with chronic anxiety or stress? Having unwanted thoughts, flashbacks, or challenging and negative emotions?
I’m here to tell you that it’s normal to experience unwanted flashbacks, anxiety and other uncomfortable symptoms after going through a traumatic experience. It can all be overwhelming and at times feel like there is nothing we do about it. We may not be able to stop those unwanted thoughts and feelings from ever happening, but we can practice techniques that can help us feel less overwhelmed in the moment.
Grounding is a technique that is useful to create some space from unsettling feelings and helps to refocus on what’s happening in the present moment. Grounding exercises can be quick and done anywhere and at any time. There really isn’t a wrong way to ground yourself. The main objective is to connect your mind and body to the here and now.
When to use grounding techniques
· When you begin to feel anxious or notice the start of a panic/anxiety attack
· When you notice that you are dissociated or don’t feel connected to reality
· When you feel really judgmental of yourself and are having a lot of negative self-talk
Here are some of my favorite grounding techniques
If you’re creative and like to write and draw making your own grounding stone gives you the opportunity to personalize your stone and can be a fun activity. Your grounding stone will have a word that has special meaning to you. In moments when need to refocus, the word will serve as a gentle reminder about what that word means to you.
What are 5 things you can see?
What are 4 things you can feel?
What are 3 things you can hear
What are 2 things you can smell?
What is 1 thing you can taste?
Take a mindful minute to really savor the flavor of your favorite chocolate bar. There are various prompts available to guide you.
Take a few minutes to do a body scan and feel the various sensations from your fingers down to your toes.
Recognize what is happening. (What is happening in this moment? How am I feeling? Where do I feel it in my body?)
Allow life to be just as it is. (It’s okay to let the thoughts or feelings just be here, even if I don’t like it)
Investigate with kindness (Why do I feel this way? Is it really true?)
Non-Identification ( I am having a though or emotion, but I am not that thought or emotion)
Different techniques work for different people. Begin to try various grounding exercise to see which one works best for you.