What Are Grounding Techniques, and Why Should You Use Them?
In simple terms, it brings you back into the here and now. Have you ever experienced a time when your thoughts became overwhelming and it felt like you just couldn’t get them to stop? Or perhaps a flashback that has left you shaken? Grounding is designed to help bring you out of those situations. It will use your 5 senses, as well as your physical body and surroundings, to connect you back to your present.
You may have heard of the ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response, usually activated in dangerous situations. However, the brain cannot identify the difference between a real, or not real threat. So, if your brain is stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts, and you’re having an emotional reaction to something, there’s a chance your body has also reacted to them. You might find your heart rate has increased, your palms may be sweaty and you may even find you struggle to breath. This is because your body is in that ‘fight/flight/freeze’ mode, sensing a danger that does not exist. Grounding techniques are designed to help let your brain know that there is no threat, by helping you to focus on calming the body, and moving the thoughts back to the present moment.
A common one you may have heard about is Box Breathing. As you’re doing this, it may help to visualise drawing a box as you do it, as this will help focus the mind too. It goes like this:
· Breathe in for 4 counts
· Hold for 4 counts
· Breathe out for 4 counts
· Hold empty for 4 counts.
Look out for my next blog which will give you even more grounding techniques!