One of my favorite things to do as a therapist is to give my clients resources they can use outside of the therapy room. I call this their “therapy toolbox”. We do our best to fill it with useful tools they can use as the need arises.
Grounding techniques are a great tool to have in your toolbox when you feel flooded, overwhelmed, or triggered.
I have adapted the following four simple grounding techniques from Therapist Aid. The document can be downloaded below (no email address required!) and it goes into greater detail about how to use these grounding techniques. Please download and print this page to keep in your toolbox.
Click here to download the worksheet at Therapist Aid (for educational purposes only)
Using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, you will purposefully take in the details of your surroundings using each of your senses. Strive to notice small details that your mind would usually tune out, such as distant sounds, or the texture of an ordinary object.
Choose at least three of the categories on the pdf above and name as many items as you can in each one. Spend a few minutes on each category to come up with as many items as possible.
The body awareness technique will bring you into the here-and-now by directing your focus to sensations in the body. Pay special attention to the physical sensations created by each step (each step located on the pdf).
Use mental exercises to take your mind off uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. They are discreet and easy to use at nearly any time or place. Experiment to see which work best for you.
As a believer, prayer always grounds me and reminds me to fix my eyes on Jesus.
Experiment with all of these techniques until you find something that works for you!
*Disclaimer: This post contains content for educational purposes only. Please seek professional help as needed.