What are grounding techniques and how can they help in a time of crisis?

At one time or another, we have all found ourselves in a moment of crisis. Enveloped in our own thoughts or memories, our hearts race, our palms sweat, and our emotions become overwhelming.

This emotive response to a stressful situation or memory is entirely normal. We perceive or are reminded of a threat and our body acts accordingly. However, day to day life can be incredibly challenging if we are in a constant state of panic due to flashbacks, memories, or negative thoughts. This is where grounding techniques can work wonders.

Grounding techniques are personal strategies that can allow us to manage the panic, fear or anger brought on by traumatic memories. The purpose of them is to restore a sense of calm and balance, giving us the ability to step away from the bad memory or overwhelming thoughts and anchor ourselves in the present.

One of the many benefits of learning grounding techniques is that they can be done anywhere, and they can be as simple as pinging an elastic band against your wrist or focusing on steady breathing to become calm.

That being said, simple does not necessarily mean easy, and to get the full benefit of these techniques it is recommended that you practice them regularly, so that they are ready to call on in a moment of crisis.

The infographic below provides a brief overview on how to engage the five senses to retain control, grounding yourself in a time of emotional upheaval or a stressful situation. If you’d like more in depth support on grounding techniques and coping with flashbacks, you can find further information here.

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