After a trauma, it’s normal to experience flashbacks, anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Grounding techniques help control these symptoms by turning attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment. Here are a few techniques for grounding that you can use :
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.
- Name all the objects you see.
- Describe the steps in performing an activity you know how to do well. For example, how to shoot a basketball, prepare your favourite meal, or tie a knot.
- Count backwards from 100 to 7.
- Pick up an object and describe it in detail. Describe its colour, texture, size, weight, scent, and any other qualities you notice.
- Spell your full name, and the names of three other people, backwards.
- Name all your family members, their ages, and one of their favourite activities.
- Read something backwards, letter by letter. Practice for at least a few minutes.
- Think of an object and “draw” it in your mind, or in the air with your finger. Try drawing your home, a vehicle, or an animal.