So, the world is tough right now, and it has been for quite some time. There is a lot going on in Ireland with the Coronavirus pandemic and schools shutting down once again, and there’s world news that can be incredibly stressful to consume. Then there are personal issues that everyone faces from family problems, to school stress and issues that just come with being a teen.
If we had to label all of that we’d call it overwhelming.
It can all feel like a bit too much sometimes and that’s totally natural when there is a lot going on. It’s important to let yourself feel your emotions and if you’re overwhelmed, that’s ok.
But if you’re trying to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and stop yourself from panicking, grounding yourself can be a really good thing to do.
Essentially, it’s the process of bringing yourself back down to earth when you’re feeling down or stressed. Grounding yourself is the process of balancing your physical, emotional, mental and energy state and reconnecting them, so that you feel better. It’s about focusing on what is around you and levelling your thoughts so you don’t feel so panicked.
What are some grounding techniques I can try?
An easy way to ground yourself is to think about your five senses and label things around you. So, we have sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing.
So with those five in mind look around you and name things you can see, touch, taste, smell and hear.
Here is an example:
What can I see around me? The rain outside my window/the red couch in my sitting room
What can I touch around me? The soft cotton on my hoodie/the cold hard wall of my house
What can I hear? The wind blowing/The radio playing/the sound of my breath
What can I smell around me? My perfume/fresh air/the food cooking in the oven
What can I taste or remember tasting? My toothpaste from this morning/my tea/the lasagne I had last night
Some like to incorporate a 5,4,3,2,1 approach to this technique, meaning you look for five things you can see, four you can tough and so on.
To begin with, why not try to focus on your breathing and just pick one of each. Once you get more used to the practice you can do the countdown version.
The best thing about this is that really you can do it anywhere. If you’re in your room on your own, or out on a walk, you can say these things out loud if it makes it easier. But even if you’re in school, in a room with family, or on public transport, you can list these things in your head to remind yourself where you are and that you are safe and present.