Grounding is often used as a way of coping with flashbacks when you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Panic attacks. Because of its focus on being present in the moment, grounding can be considered a variant of mindfulness. It can also be a method of distraction to get you out of your head and away from upsetting thoughts, memories, or feelings.
How does Grounding Techniques work?
So let see how Grounding Techique work.We all know the importance of our nervous system in managing our emotions. Both the sympathetic or the alerting, activating response our bodies and parasympathetic or the calming resorting part of our nervous system. And in order to be healthy, you need to have a parasympathetically dominant nervous system. One of the ways to create that is by intentionally grounding body in our senses.
Grounding techniques often use the five senses—sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—to immediately connect you with the here and now. This helps you directly and instantaneously connect with the present moment. At the same time, grounding reduces the likelihood that you will slip into a flashback or dissociation.
Grounding is highly personal. What may work for one person may trigger anxiety or flashbacks in another. You may need to do some trial and error before you figure out what grounding techniques work best for you. Here are 10 ultimate grounding techniques to cope up with PTSD and panic attacks.
1) 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique
- 5: Observe FIVE things you see around you. Maybe it is a plane, a flower or maybe it is a spot on the ceiling, however big or small, position 5 things you see.
- 4: Observe FOUR things you can touch around you. Maybe this is your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, etc.
- 3: Observe THREE things you hear. This needs to be external, do not focus on your thoughts; maybe you can hear a car, a dog or maybe you hear your tummy rumbling, internal noises that make external sounds can count.
- 2: Observe TWO things you can smell: This one might be hard if you are not in a stimulating environment if you cannot automatically sniff something out, walk nearby to find a scent. Or you can literally put some perfume on your hand and sniff it.
- 1. Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like, gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch? Focus on your mouth as the last step and take in what you can taste.
2) Memory Game
When you are feeling anxious, you need to try to mould yourself to the present moment, by using memory can help with Grounding.
- Name as many types of colours you can.
- How many cities or countries you have visited.
- Repeat the numbers backward.
3) Touch and describe an object
- Find an object around you
- Try to describe it as if you are explaining it to someone who has never seen it before.
- Repeat until you feel calm.
4) Square Breathing
Most people either breathe too fast or hold their breath when they are trying to calm down from a panic attack. Square breathing is a simple way to focus your attention to your breath and Ground yourself.
- With your index finger, slowly trace the shape of a square in front of you, keeping your eyes on that finger.
- While tracing one side breath for 3 seconds.
- With the next side, hold your breath for 1 second.
- With the third side, breathe out for 3 seconds.
- With the final side, hold for 1 second.
5) Abdominal Breathing
- Place one hand on our stomach and another hand on your chest.
- Breath slowly and deeply into your belly, trying to raise your hand kept on your belly (your belly needs to fill up first and not your chest).
- Try keeping your hand on the chest still breathing only into the stomach.
- Slowly breath out feeling the hand on your stomach lower like the ball is deflating.
- repeat this 10-15 times.
- You can practice this while sitting or lying down.
Grounding techniques can be done anywhere!
The best thing about Grounding Techniques is that they can be done anywhere. Grounding Techniques are like SOS for people suffering from PTSD or Panic attacks or any other mental issues. Whether you are at home or out in public or at school, college or office you can take 5 minutes for self and use Grounding.
Although, Grounding Technique work differently from person to person, though people can always try what suits them best as there are no harm or side effects of Grounding. For more Grounding Techniques keep follow my next article on 10 ultimate Grounding Techniques to cope up with PTSD and Panic Attacks Part II.