How to Ground Yourself


When you feel stressed or like life is out of control, what do you do? One way to reduce distress is through grounding yourself. The technique of “grounding” oneself is a coping strategy used to calm your state of being. When you ground yourself, you connect to the present moment, to the Earth, and to your body; it allows you to feel centered and balanced no matter what is going on around you. Here are a few ways to ground yourself…

  1. Use your 5 senses:
    Sit in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the group. Wiggle your toes and feel the ground beneath your feet, as well as your buttocks and back firmly in the chair. Take a few deep cleansing breaths, then try the following:

    • Scan the environment and identify four different colored objects. Name them out loud.

    • Tune in to the world around you and listen for three different sounds. State what you hear.

    • Touch the objects around and think about what they feel like. Say them out loud.

    • Inhale deeply and try to identify the smells around you.

  2. Create a “safe space”:
    Identify a place that in the past where you felt calm, comfortable and safe, such as at the beach or in the park. Close your eyes and use your five senses to build an active image of that scene. With your eyes closed, identify what you see, hear, smell, touch/feel and taste while you’re imagining this safe space in your mind. Spend some time in that space and give it a name like “beach” or “sand.” Using the name at other times can bring you right back to the safe space that you’ve created.

  3. The Hug:
    Put your right palm on your left shoulder and your left palm on your right shoulder so that your arms are crossed over your chest. Choose a sentence that will strengthen you such as “I am ok” or “I can get through this.” Say this sentence to yourself as you repeatedly tap one shoulder and then the other. Keep up the tapping as you repeat your mantra.

It’s normal to feel distressed from time to time. Sometimes, the stress of the moment can make you feel overwhelmed or like things are out of your control. Grounding is a great tool to help reduce the intensity of the moment. By practicing grounding, you can get yourself back to a calmer state of mind in order to deal with whatever challenge you’re facing.