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Grounding Techniques

What is grounding and why should you do it?

Grounding is the type of meditation that helps put you back in touch with the present moment by focusing attention on the physical world around you.

Grounding techniques are competing and work well to counteract the intense, negative sensations of anxiety, panic, trauma, and stress.

These techniques help redirect their attention away from events and thoughts triggering their symptoms toward a 'safer' space where they can react in a more meaningful, controlled manner.

One of the primary difficulties is the act of staying focused during your mindfulness actives.

If you have ever tried a meditation session, then you have probably experienced one of many of these common experiences: a wandering mind, boredom, or what’s known as the monkey mind. In all of these experiences, your thoughts are no longer directed toward the task of mindfulness but focused elsewhere instead.

Monkey mind describes an especially agitated state where attention jumps rapidly from one thing to the next, like an excited monkey. Mind-wandering happens at a slower pace.

If you haven’t experienced monkey mind while meditating, you may have experienced something similar during periods of extreme stress or anxiety where you feel like your thoughts are racing and you can’t concentrate.

Drifting Thoughts

The most important technique is being aware of what your mind is doing. If you are not aware that your mind is drifting or you have lost your train of thought, then you will not be able to implement the four basic grounding techniques.

Object Focus

Choose an object to intentionally direct your attention toward. This object doesn’t have to be external, it can be useful within that moment…your breath, your body, or external stimuli

Body Scan

Focus on different parts of your body. Scanning your body from toe to head or by following the sensations that you are experiencing.

Breath Focus

Maintain your focus on controlled inhalation and exhalation while counting your breaths. Beginning shifting your focus to your breath, inhale for 3, exhale for 3.

Awareness to stimuli

Find a small stone and run your fingers over the stone; concentrating on texture, temperature, and shape.

You can also press your feet into the ground, feeling your feet connect to the ground. How the ground exerts a constant pressure back.

Sit in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, slowly inhaling through your nose for 3 seconds. Exhaling for the same in a controlled manner. Feeling the air entering your nose, and exhaling out your mouth. Concentrating on your breath, counting your inhalation and exhaling. Keeping this up for 3 minutes.

Techniques for managing anxiety

Anxiety typically presents with a feeling of restlessness, becoming tired quickly, struggling to concentrate, feeling irritable, having sleep disturbances.

  • breathing exercises

  • remaining oriented within your surroundings.

  • coloring

  • positive affirmations

Techniques for managing panic attacks

Some grounding techniques are used in conjunction with mindfulness activities, and can be extremely useful for managing anxiety and panic attacks: Grounding techniques result in heightened attention and focus, rather than the feedback loop that occurs with anxiety.

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