Stabilizing Yourself with Grounding ExercisesFeb 28, 2023
“A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree,
one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.”
Trauma can cause a person to feel disconnected from the planet, as if reality is spinning out of control and the world feels upside down. This can be intimidating and even frightening at times. Fortunately, there is an intervention that can help us stabilize ourselves—it is called grounding. Grounding techniques are used in somatic psychology for those who have experienced trauma and it seeks to reconnect the individual with their physical body and the present moment. Let’s explore how grounding can help us find stability in our lives after experiencing trauma.
The Power of Touch
Grounding exercises involve using tactile sensations to connect with the present moment. The primary way we do this is through touch—using our hands, feet, or other parts of our body to make contact with something tangible and real such as a wall, tree trunk, or stone. By physically pressing your body against something that exists in the present moment, you are able to connect with reality again after feeling so disconnected.
Photo credit: Margot Richard @Unsplash
Making Contact With The Earth
Another powerful type of grounding exercise involves making contact with the earth itself. We can press our feet into grass or sand, stand on a rock or concrete surface, or even place one hand on a tree trunk or large rock for support. Making contact with the ground helps us remember that although we may have gone through horrible things in life, there is still some stability left in this world that we can rely on when needed most.
Practicing Grounding Exercises
Grounding exercises don’t just have to be done outdoors either; they can be practiced anywhere! For example, one could practice standing still for several minutes while focusing on their breath and bringing awareness to their physical body by noticing where they feel tension or relaxation in different areas of their body. Or you could take some time to focus on your five senses—notice what you hear, see, smell, taste and touch while also taking deep breaths into your belly and out through your nose/mouth. This particular exercise helps bring attention back into the present moment by utilizing both breath work and sensory awareness activities combined together!
It's normal for people who have experienced trauma to feel disconnected from reality at times; however, it doesn't have to stay that way forever! Grounding exercises are an effective intervention used in somatic psychology which helps individuals regain connection with their physical bodies and get back into the present moment so they can find stability once again. There are many ways we can practice grounding such as making contact with something tangible like a wall or tree trunk; pressing our feet into grass or sand; standing on a rock or concrete surface; focusing on our five senses; and even practicing mindful breathing techniques while paying attention to physical sensations throughout our bodies. So next time you feel lost try reaching out for something solid like ground beneath your feet - it might just save you!
After experiencing trauma, one of the best ways to find stability and reconnect with reality is through grounding exercises. These can involve making physical contact with an object like a tree trunk or wall, pressing your feet into grass or sand, focusing on your senses or breathing mindfully, among other techniques. Whatever method you choose, remember that there are many ways to ground and connect. Just choose the one that feels best for you!
Photo credit: Benjamin Child @Unsplash
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