I recently shared my story with a group of people, and we started discussing what happens when one dissociates—leaves one’s body—and how one can learn how to ground oneself again. Which led to a conversation about what grounding is.
Grounding is getting into your body. Rooting down.
When you are grounded you are present. You can observe the world around you. You can take things as they come with ease. You can respond instead of react.
It’s something trauma victims have to practice regularly and something everyone could use more of.
As a trauma victim, it took me a long time to learn how to ground myself. To get back into my body that I was forever trying to escape. A body that, because of my trauma, didn’t feel safe. A body I had to learn to feel safe in again.
Grounding can be done any time you need it, you just need to know what to do. Here are some ways to ground yourself:
- Meditate. It can be something as simple as deep breathing that will get you back into your body. The idea is to practice every day and to use it when you’re feeling overwhelmed or triggered. Focus on getting your breath to all parts of your body. And breathe.
- Practice yoga or use resistance bands. Start with simple movements and build from there. Consider taking a class. Do free online classes.
- Observe the world around you. Notice what you see, smell, hear, touch. Record your observations in a journal. Click here for more about observing.
- Engage your senses. Think of all five senses. Use foods, essential oils, candles, music, etc.
- Use a weighted blanket. This one is a quick and easy fix to an unregulated nervous system. I grab my blanket multiple times a day some days in order to reset. It’s relaxing too.
However you ground yourself, may you be present and safe in your body.
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