Grounding Techniques That Can Bring You Back To The Present: Part 2

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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 reacting to everything around us without thinking and choosing our own actions.

A Brief Review

We talked earlier about how emotions can cloud our thinking and why it’s important to ground ourselves in the present to regain control. Practice trains us to deal with events before they happen. You don’t go to piano recitals before you’ve practiced for days or weeks. Similarly, you don’t just enter difficult situations and act perfectly without learning how to manage your emotions.

Grounding techniques are perfect if you want to develop ’emotional intelligence,’ which many people assume is the same as maturity. But you can’t always leave and practice them when you’re feeling emotional at any given moment.

It is important that you don’t rely on these methods as soon as something happens, because even though they might work, the stakes are higher. Practice at your own time, so that it becomes a habit.

In fact, this is how meditation works, too! You practice being mindful when in a quiet room with no distractions. Once you get good at that, you’ll be able to be mindful outside of practice when you’re bombarded with distractions.

With that in mind, let’s get to it! Along with some ‘sensory awareness’ grounding techniques there are also a few ‘cognitive awareness’ grounding techniques that we will discuss.

Grounding Techniques

The 5.4.3.2.1. Game ; A sensory awareness game where you:

• Name 5 things you can see in the room you’re in.

• Name 4 things you can feel (“my feet on the floor” or “my back on the mattress”…etc)

• Name 3 things you can hear right at the moment (“cars outside” or “sound of own breath”…etc)

• Name 2 things you smell currently (if there are no scents nearby, 2 things you like the smell of…etc)

• Name 1 good thing about yourself ( and go up to 5 good things if you want!)

The Cognitive Awareness Grounding Technique ; Re-orient yourself by asking:

• How old am I?
• Where am I?
• What is the month?
• What is today?
• What season is it?

These questions will help remind you where you are and keep you from drifting off. You can even make a personal list for specific situations you think you’ll encounter regularly. For example:

Why am I working if it sucks? Answer: it would suck even more if I was broke.

Why don’t I just leave if I don’t feel good? Answer: I can’t leave now, this is important to me.

This list isn’t necessarily as grounding as the previous questions, but when you wonder why you’re doing something, especially something tedious (like working), your feelings could trick you into thinking that doing something else is better. Reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing will steer you away from instant gratification habits and behavior.

Cactico hopes you found this article helpful and we encourage you to practice both grounding exercises as well as meditation to manage your emotions more efficiently. Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and to add anything you think we missed!

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