Grounding and how can it help
Grounding is a technique you can use when you feel strong emotions. It can help you feel calmer and more in control.
Why use grounding?
Grounding can help when you feel like strong emotions, such as panic, fear or sadness, are getting out of control. It can help you refocus your thoughts to feel calmer. It can be a useful technique for people who’ve been through trauma.
Some of the things grounding can help with include:
When to use grounding
Grounding is usually most effective when used as soon as you feel strong, unsettling emotions. For example, just after a flashback.
Grounding can be difficult at first but usually gets easier with practice. You could try practising grounding for five minutes each day, so it might be easier for you when you need it.
Flashbacks are sudden memories of the past. These can be extremely powerful and intense; they can sometimes feel like you are back in the exact moment and you are almost ‘reliving’ the experience. When a flashback is happening we are unable to distinguish between the memory and the present time.
Flashbacks can be complicated; they can be of happy, sad, mixed or very distressing memories. If the flashback you are experiencing is of a sad/distressing memory of your sexual abuse you make find the following coping methods helpful:-
Look around and in your mind or say out loud a list of items you can see in the room.
Hold something cold, like a piece of ice, or warm like a cup of coffee (making sure not to burn yourself).
Repeat whatever mantra your find helpful to yourself – I am safe and all is ok. I am safe its not happening now.
Use your senses: Nose – a comforting smell, Taste – a sweet, lemon, Hear – music that you enjoy, Touch – a piece of your favourite fabric, Sight – a picture/scene that gives you happy memories, stamp your feet and clap your hands will bring you into the here and now.
Safe place – imagine a place where you feel safe, take the time to think about that place and how seeing that in your minds eye makes you feel.