Grounding Techniques That Can Bring You Back To The Present: Part 1

2 min


Intense emotions can cloud our thinking. Sometimes they can be so powerful that we lose track of our selves and our surroundings. As a result, we end up like leaves in the wind, acting on impulse without a choice rather than being more mindful of our decisions and our actions.

The Patterns Of Impulsivity

Ever notice how clear your thinking is first thing in the morning? When we wake up with a neutral perspective, free from outside stimulus, we aren’t distracted by emotions. Emotions can shape the nature of our thoughts, and the nature of our thoughts can effect our mood.

Problems can arise when our emotions get out of hand, especially if we don’t have the right mental tools to manage them. If our rational thinking is overridden by impulses, we end up being reactive versus proactive.

Some useful exercises, known as grounding techniques, can help people with anxiety or intense feelings ‘ground’ themselves into the present, instead of being swept away by their thoughts and feelings. Here are some of those exercises.

Sensory Awareness

When feeling riled up with emotions, try finding a quiet place, like your room, and attempt to do the following exercises:

Open your eyes and analyze your surroundings. Look at little details you normally take for granted, like the patterns on your bed sheets or scratches on your desk. 

• Hold something in your hands, like your pillow or a cup of coffee. Try noticing all the little sensations in your hands. For example, notice how the tips of your fingers feel as opposed to your palms.

• Place something cool on your face. Make sure it’s not too cold. Try a glass of water or a wet cloth. Be aware of the cold feeling on your cheeks and see what it does to your mind. Does it annoy or soothe you?

• Listen to music, preferably something soothing. Try following the music with just your mind (or awareness). Let your focus follow the music and don’t worry if you get lost in it, but try to remain conscious of the whole experience.

• Put your feet firmly on the ground and wiggle your toes or stand on your heels. Pay attention to the sensations involved, like the bottom of your feet touching the ground. If you’re wearing shoes, then notice how the tip of your toes are in contact with your socks and shoes. Do you feel that your toes’ mobility are hindered, or do you have enough room in your shoes to move them around?

• Try paying attention to someone’s voice if you’re in public and focus on the sounds, the words and the tone. Can you hear the breathing in between the words they are saying?

We hope you found this article useful! We’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section.

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