Grounding in a Time of Crisis
By: Beatriz Cruz, The Gatehouse Placement Student, Social Service Worker Diploma Program
Have you used your grounding techniques today? Grounding is often used in situations where stressful and alarming feelings may arise, which may prove to be extremely helpful for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in their healing journey. Grounding may not come easy at first as it may take some time to figure out which one you find more helpful in what situation. Practicing them outside of times of crisis is also helpful as they may be easier to perform in times of actual distress, and it’s a good self-care reminder too.
There are plenty of grounding techniques to choose from, including physical, mental, and soothing types of grounding, and these all may help with symptoms such as distress, traumatic flashbacks, nightmares, painful emotions such as anger, anxiety, and when feeling the urge to self-harm. In addition, grounding is an available source of comfort anywhere and at any time, especially with mental grounding exercises such as:
- Reciting something like a poem, song, or passage you are already familiar with and visualize each word in your head
- Using mental games such as matching each alphabet letter to a city or object
- Using safety/anchoring statements such as “I am safe, I am at this location and today’s date is…”
In addition to these, there are also physical grounding exercises such as:
- Running cold water over one’s hands/hold a piece of ice
- Carrying a grounding object. It can be anything you find comforting such as a smooth stone, a favourite blanket, or even a keychain
- Stamping feet or pressing them to the floor in order to physically ground oneself
Moreover, soothing techniques for grounding can simply include sitting with a pet, practicing self-kindness by reciting kind statements to oneself or even visualizing one’s favourite place. Grounding is a great tool to have in a time of crisis, however, it is best to use it when one initially senses a crisis coming on, instead of waiting until it gets worse to use these techniques (Raypole, 2022).
You are not alone. You are capable.
Raypole, C. (2022, June 13). Grounding techniques: Exercises for anxiety, PTSD, & more. Healthline. Retrieved February 19, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques
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