This blog gives a list of powerful physical grounding tools. All of us could sometimes do with a little grounding! Although grounding does not solve the problem that is contributing to your unpleasant emotions, it does provide a temporary way to gain control over your feelings and prevent things from getting worse. Grounding anchors you, gives you a chance to calm down, and allows you to eventually return and address the problem that is triggering the unpleasant emotions to begin with. And grounding can be done anytime, anywhere, and no one has to know.
(My previous blog looked at mental grounding tools.)
Start with your body
Generally when trying to ground yourself, the first thing to do is to attempt to get back into your body and then work upward to the brain rather than vice versa. Exercise, again with an emphasis on the physicality of your exertions, is an incredibly effective way to get back into your body. Whether simply jumping up and down or going for a long walk or run really feeling the sensations of exercise on your body can bring you back from a place of panic.
Ten powerful physical grounding tools:
- Dig your heels into the floor— literally “grounding” them! Notice the tension centered in your heels as you do this. Remind yourself that you are connected to the ground.
- Focus on your whole body – for example the weight of your body in the chair; wiggling your toes in your socks; the feel of your back against the chair – the connection you have with the chair, your clothing and the ground.
- Carry a favourite object in your pocket —a small object (a small stone, piece of cloth or jewellery) that you can touch whenever you feel triggered.
- Focus on one particular sensation like holding an ice cube and noticing what it feels like or smelling an essential oil or running cool or warm water over your hands.
- Touch various objects around you: a pen, keys, your clothing, the table, the walls. Notice textures, colours, materials, weight, temperature. Compare objects you touch: Is one colder? Lighter?
- Try “Box Breathing,” in which you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and so on until you feel grounded.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This is an exercise that involves progressively tensing and relaxation muscle groups throughout your entire body. You will tense each muscle group vigorously, but without straining, and then suddenly release the tension and feel the muscle relax. You will tense each muscle for about 5 seconds then simply let go and move on to the next muscle group – you might start with your toes and move right up your legs, lower and upper body, finishing with scrunching up all the muscles of your face!
- Stretch every part of you! Extend your fingers, arms or legs as far as you can; roll your head around.
- Walk slowly, noticing each footstep, saying “left,” “right” with each step.
- Eat something and describe the flavours in detail to yourself.
Need some advice and support?
If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in this article, or indeed any other emotional issues or life challenges and would like to talk things over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!