Grounding techniques are strategies to help get us out of our heads and reconnect us to the present moment. They help to east us from physical or emotional distress by bringing our brains and bodies back into the immediate environment. Here are 3 quick grounding techniques to use as needed for those times when you don’t have a lot of time to take a hot shower or go on a nature walk.
1 – Focus on a strong sensation. Choose one of your five senses to activate by exposing yourself to a strong physical sensation, sight, sound, smell, or taste. A strong sensation brings us into the here and now because you will likely find yourself concentrating on what you are experiencing rather than problematic thoughts about the past or future.
2 – Count backward from 100 by 7s. Since this is a challenging task, it forces your mind to focus on the task at hand. Don’t rush or force yourself to get all the way to 0. The priority here is to be in the present moment long enough to calm your body down.
3 – Think in a category. Choose a broad category, such as “types of cars,” “ice cream flavors,” “dog breeds,” or “movies.” Take a few minutes to mentally list as many things from each category as you can without getting distracted or moving on to a new topic.
Arielle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida and Georgia, as well as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She specializes in working with anxiety, depression, and relationship concerns.