Grounding techniques are excellent tools for managing stress and anxiety. By understanding which grounding techniques work best for you and applying those that are most effective, you can stay balanced as you move through your recovery journey.
Consider implementing the following grounding techniques. Keeping an open mind as you practice them can help you discover the ones that resonate most with you. Knowing you can calm yourself through grounding techniques can increase your confidence in situations of high stress.
What Are Grounding Techniques?
Grounding techniques are an important subset of coping skills. They are intended to help you overcome moments you feel distressed or overwhelmed. Using them can help you bring yourself back to a reasonable emotional state.
These techniques are especially helpful for people who experience dissociation. When you are disassociating from your surroundings, using grounding techniques can bring you back to awareness. This can help you stay present and move forward.
How Do Grounding Techniques Aid Recovery?
Grounding techniques are important to incorporate in recovery. After all, they improve your connection with yourself. This can ensure you are attuned to your needs and able to continue moving forward in a healthy way.
Moreover, remember that stress affects addiction. Stress that is not managed well decreases rates of recovery. Addressing your stress can be greatly beneficial.
Who Should Use Grounding Techniques?
Grounding techniques can especially benefit you if you are managing a co-occurring disorder. With co-occurring disorders, you are likely to experience high moments of distress. After all, you may struggle with symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD), another mental health disorder, or both at the same time. You may even have multiple co-occurring disorders.
Practicing grounding techniques can assist you in coping with unpleasant symptoms. This coping method can be extremely useful throughout your recovery journey.
Grounding Techniques to Implement
Some grounding techniques may work better for you than others. When you are first starting to use grounding techniques, try to keep an open mind. As you practice various techniques, notice which ones are resonating with you most. This can help you choose which ones you can apply during moments of heightened distress.
Try the following techniques and observe which practices work best for you.
#1. Sensory Awareness
Grounding techniques involving sensory awareness can take many different approaches. Each of these practices requires you to focus your awareness on one of your senses. This protects your focus from being overwhelmed by the current stress you are experiencing. Each of these sensory awareness practices focuses on a specific sensory output.
Begin by tracing your hand on a blank piece of paper. Assign each of your fingers to one of your senses. With each finger, think of something that brings you joy that resonates with the sense assigned to that finger.
For example, you may designate your index finger as smell. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies may come to mind. Draw a picture of the image that comes to mind with each of your fingers. Alternatively, simply write the word on the paper.
When you are done, go through each sense again. As you trace your finger along the page, imagine you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, or tasting the experience associated with each one.
If you do not have a piece of paper, you can simply use your hand. Assign each finger to a sensory experience. Touch each of your fingers gently as you remember the experience of that sense.
We breathe subconsciously all the time. However, we rarely notice our breathing. Focusing on your breathing patterns can be highly beneficial.
Engaging in breathwork can consciously fill your body with the oxygen it needs to function properly. This can reset your emotions and bring you to a more grounded state.
Simply engaging in deep breathing exercises may be enough for you to reach a grounded state. If not, you may consider trying some of the following breathwork exercises.
- Place a hand on your chest and stomach to feel the movement of your body with each breath. Imagine your diaphragm as a balloon, filling up and releasing air with each breath.
- Use breathing as a form of meditation. Focus all of your thoughts on your breathing patterns. Attempt to slow down your breath. This can reduce anxiety and take your thoughts away from your current stressors.
- Breathe in for a count of four seconds. Hold your breath for four seconds. Exhale for four seconds, then hold your breath again for another four seconds. Repeat this process as long as needed. Be sure to engage in this for a minimum of 10 breathing sets.
#3. Memory Game
Engaging in a memory game is another great way to reduce feelings of anxiety. Memory games can help distract your thought patterns from the stressors within your environment.
You may choose to play a matching card game or a memory game on your phone. Alternatively, you might attempt to memorize a poem or verse of some kind. Memorization takes a high amount of focus to retain information and remember it clearly. This allows you to reset your focus and reach a grounded state.
Engaging in vigorous exercise is another great way to ground yourself. When you are experiencing high levels of emotional turmoil, exercising can help. Increasing your heart rate through exercise is a great way to calm those emotions.
This may sound counterproductive, as many grounding techniques work to lower your heart rate. However, this can work just as well. By increasing your heart rate with physical activity, your mind becomes focused on the movement of your body rather than the emotions you are experiencing.
It can be hard to gain the motivation to engage in physical activity. However, once you begin, you may find many benefits from it.
Grounding yourself is essential during moments of crisis in recovery. When you experience high levels of stress or dissociation, you may want to utilize grounding techniques. Grounding yourself is a great way to reset your emotions and set yourself up to move forward in your recovery journey with a clear state of mind. Improving your sensory awareness, implementing breathwork techniques, playing memory games, and engaging in physical activity are all great ways to ground yourself. You may need to experiment with different techniques to find ones that work well for your needs. To learn more about different grounding techniques to practice and implement into your recovery, reach out to Dream Recovery today at (657) 216-7218.