My favourite grounding exercise
I just thought I would do a really quick blog post today whilst I remembered that I wanted to share this with you. In my training we did not really get much chance to look at mindfulness or grounding techniques, but since going into private practice, I have realised that these techniques can be so useful. Most clients come to me with some forms of stress, depression or anxiety and I find that having some techniques to distract, ground or alleviate some these symptoms can be so helpful and, well, grounding! They are especially helpful with panic attacks, which can be so debilitating.
Having done some further courses since finishing my training I wanted to share with you my favourite (and easiest to remember!) of the techniques that I have used. The reason why I like this one is that all you have to remember is your senses. The order and the number that you use is not really the important part of this, but the use of our senses and the focus on the external, and therefore removal of the focus from our worries and anxieties, is the most important outcome.
So if you look at the image above this depicts it very simply and easily. You need to stop what you are doing and focus on naming 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will work in numerous ways: It will distract from your panic; it will reconnect you with your body; it will control your breathing; and it will give you a focus away from the thing that was causing you stress. I think that I connect with this grounding technique the most because it is uncomplicated and you can remember what you have to do even in times of immense panic. It can also be done in your mind, so even, for instance, at work. No one would even know that you are 'grounding'.
I feel that having some of these techniques is vital, for everyone. We all go through times of stress and we need to be able to find ways of reconnecting with our bodies and removing the panic to stop it from taking control. Stress and panic are so debilitating and finding our own ways of dealing with this the best way that we can is so vital to our mental health and well being.