Drop your anchor and don't get swept away in the tides of overwhelming thoughts and emotions
WHAT IS GROUNDING
A skill that helps you manage difficult situations
Just like a ship dropping anchor to hold itself steady in a storm, Grounding can help when you’re at risk of being swept away by tides of overwhelming thoughts, feelings, memories and sensations.
Grounding can also be used to disrupt unhelpful thoughts and impulsive or problematic behaviours.
It’s a way of noticing and accepting a current challenge, while at the same time expanding your focus and awareness so you can concentrate on what’s most important.
HOW CAN GROUNDING HELP ME?
Build an automatic response to deal with stressful times
If practiced regularly - even when things are going well – Grounding techniques can become an automatic response when you’re faced with challenging and unexpected situations.
These could be being caught in traffic, kept waiting in a queue, or simply any time unpleasant thoughts and feelings show up in your life.
Grounding isn’t complicated, it doesn’t require any special equipment, doesn’t take long and can be practiced anywhere.
Grounding is as simple as A.C.E.
A: Acknowledge Your Thoughts and Feelings;
This means to silently and kindly notice whatever it is you’re thinking or feeling. You might say to yourself: “Here is stress”, or: “I’m feeling sadness.”
See if you can notice where you feel this emotion in your body, for example: a tight knot in your chest, a rock in your stomach, shaky or tingling fingers, or perhaps a dry mouth.
You might also notice urges to do or say something impulsive that’s not particularly helpful.
C: Come Back into Your Body;
Connect with your physical body by pushing your heels down into the floor, straightening your spine and dropping/rolling your shoulders.
You might clench and release or wriggle your fingers. Exhale slowly and fully, noticing all the air leaving your lungs, then allowing them to automatically re-fill with fresh air.
E: Engage in What You’re Doing;
Now look around you and notice where you are. What else is happening around you? What things can you see? Hear? Smell? Feel?
When you’re ready, re-focus your attention on the activity you’re doing.
You can continue running through these steps for as long as needed to help calm yourself.
WHEN SHOULD I PRACTICE GROUNDING?
Practice Grounding everyday
The idea of Grounding is not to make the problem go away, rather it’s meant to make room for it and to connect you to the present moment.
This enables you to make more effective choices about how you wish to respond in adverse circumstances.
By practicing several times a day, even when things are going well, and paying attention to how that feels, Grounding will soon become a helpful, automatic habit when you’re faced with challenging situations.