Grounding techniques help to shift the focus away from distressing voices to other sensory information, whether that is inside or outside your body. They are things you can do to bring yourself into contact with the present moment and feel ‘grounded’ in the world.
Examples you might like to try:
- The 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can feel, and one thing you can taste.
- Take ten slow deep breaths. Focus your attention fully on each breath, on the way in and on the way out. Say the numbers of breaths to yourself each time you exhale.
- Splash some water on your face. Notice how it feels. Notice how the towel feels as you dry.
- Go for a walk and really concentrate on the way your feel feels on the ground.
I find being around my dogs really helpful as dogs seem to have an understanding humans don’t and I can say what I want to them they tend to always listen and agree.
I keep horses. I care and look after them. They need me. I need them. Very sensitive creatures. I’m very calm round them.
Find out more
The Living Well website. Living Well is an Australian organization dedicated to the provision of a supportive, accessible and respectful service for men who have experienced child sexual abuse. Their website includes a comprehensive list of grounding strategies that are not just useful for those who have experienced trauma, but for anyone struggling with anxiety or other difficult experiences.
Read this excerpt from Elisabeth Svanholmer (2016). Feeling the ground beneath my feet. Living life gently.