It’s not a new strategy, but it’s effective. Grounding helps immediately calm us when in a panic, having a panic attack, feeling triggered, having cravings, or are super upset about something. It allows us to reconnect ourselves to the present moment, reduces the risk of going into a dissociative state/having a flashback, and allows us to be aware of our surroundings.
There are many ways people can ground themselves, but the effects are the same in variation. Being grounded allows you to be centered, solid, strong, balanced, less tense, and less stressed. Grounding also will alleviate you from triggers or any cravings you may have while in recovery.
Not only is grounding helpful for becoming calm and collected at the moment, but it also helps with other issues in the long term.
The Benefits of Grounding
Decreases cravings and triggers
Grounding allows you to take control over your cravings at the moment they present themselves. If you are experiencing something that is triggering you while in recovery, using grounding techniques helps stabilize you and assists with easing temptation.
When one grounds themselves, your stress hormone, cortisol, becomes leveled. The hormone helps control your sugar levels, controls your metabolism, and assists with forming memories.
Circulation in your body improves when you are grounded because it opens your veins, allowing you to have better delivery of oxygen and nutrition to your body.
Decreases pain and inflammation
People who suffer from chronic pain or have inflammatory issues can use grounding to help alleviate the pain. Researchers suggest that people who ground themselves daily can see an improvement in their pain within a month.
Try these Grounding Techniques
- Focus on your breathing, breath from your nose, deeply, and exhale.
- Look at something close to you for two seconds and then focus on something from afar for two seconds. Go back and forth from each object.
- Press your feet firmly into the ground this reminds you where you are
- Make a list of everything around you
- Pay attention to the colors, patterns, objects, number of objects, and styles you see
- Touch things such as textures: fabrics, wall coverings, clothing
- Listen to music or sounds and focus on the vibrations
- Cut your fingernails
- Bite into a lemon or lime
- Move your hands along the physical outline of your body
- Change your body’s position: cross your legs or arms, tap your feet, wiggle your fingers
- Run your fingers through your hair
- Change the temperature of your surroundings
- Keep a polished stone, soft or rough piece of cloth, beads, or chain on you to rub, feel
- Stretch out, massaging specific muscles that you know need to loosen up
- Eat something hard or crunchy quickly
- Count something – floor or ceiling tiles, cars, people
- Call out your name
- Read something aloud