Grounding & your mental health

Grounding techniques can help you feel more in control. They’re especially useful if you experience dissociation during panic attacks.

The following techniques can keep you connected to the present and help you avoid feelings, memories, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts that you don’t feel able to cope with yet.

Mindful activities:

  • breathing slowly
  • listening to sounds around you
  • walking barefoot
  • wrapping yourself in a blanket and feeling it around you
  • touching something or sniffing something with a strong smell.

5 to 1 grounding :

  • Think of 5 things you can see right now
  • 4 things you can hear right now
  • 3 things you can touch, and reach out and touch them, right now
  • 2 things you can smell or like the smell of
  • 1 slow, deep breath.

Then focus on your breathing, before shifting your focus of attention onto something different.

Focus on the sensations you are feeling right now. You might find it helpful to keep a box of things with different textures and smells (for example perfume, a blanket and some smooth stones) ready for when you need it.

What helpful things can you put in your box?


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You may also find the following online resources helpful:

30 Grounding techniques from Healthline.

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