small things to do that make your mind feel clearer
- close all your internet tabs except the one you’re using
- delete all your text messages
- delete negative people from social networks
- throw some things away. just throw them away
- tidy your desk. make a blank surface
- drink 3 glasses of water
- open the curtains
- wash your face and brush your teeth
Describe your environment in detail, using all your senses-for example, “The walls are white; there are five pink chairs; there is a wooden bookshelf against the wall…”Describe objects, sounds, textures, colors, smells, shapes, numbers, and the temperature. You can do this anywhere.
- Play a “categories” game with yourself. Try to think of “types of dogs,” “jazz musicians,” “states that begin with A…”
- Do an age progression. If you have regressed to a younger age (e.g., 8 years old), you can slowly work your way back up until you are back to your current age.
- Describe an everyday activity in great detail. For example, describe the meal that you cook (e.g., “First I peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters…
- Imagine. Use an image: Glide along on skates away from your pain; change the TV channel to get to a better show; think of a wall as a buffer between you and your pain.
- Say a safety statement. “My name is ______; I am safe right now. I am in the present, not in the past.”
- Read something, saying each word to yourself. Or read each letter backward so that you focus on the letters and not on the meaning of the words.
- Use humor. Think of something funny to jolt yourself out of your mood.
- Run cool or warm water over your hands.
- Grab tightly onto your chair as hard as you can.
- Touch various objects around you: a pen, keys, your clothing, the wall….
- Dig your heels into the floor-literally “grounding” them! Notice the tension centered in your heels as you do this. Remind yourself you are connected to the ground.
- Carry a grounding object in your pocket, which you can touch when ever you feel triggered.
- Jump up and down
- Notice your body: the weight of your body in the chair; wiggle your toes in your socks; the feel of your chair against your back…
- Stretch. Roll your head around; extend your fingers…
- Clench and release your fists.
- Walk slowly; notice each footstep, saying “left or “right”…
- Eat something, describing the flavors in detail to your self.
- Focus on your breathing, notice each inhale and exhale.
- Say kind statements, as if you were talking to a small child-for example, “you are a good person going through a hard time. You’ll get through this.”
- Think of favorites. Think of your favorite color, animal, season, food, time of day…
- Picture people you care about (e.g., your children), look at a photograph.
- Remember the words to an inspiring song, quote, or poem.
- Remember a safe place. Describe the place that you find so soothing.
- Say a coping statement: “I can handle this.”
- Plan a safe treat for yourself, such as a certain desert.
- Think of things you are looking forward to in the next week-perhaps time with a friend, going to a movie.
WHAT IF GROUNDING DOES NOT WORK?
GROUNDING DOES WORK! But, like any other skill, you need to practice.
Practice as often as possible, even when you don’t need it.
Try grounding for a loooooonnnnnnngggggg time (20-30 minutes).
Notice which methods you like best.
Create your own methods of grounding.
Start grounding early in a negative mood cycle.
Make up index cards.
Have others assist you in grounding.
Prepare in advance.
Create a tape of a grounding message.
Think about why grounding works.
DON’T GIVE UP!