Grounding (What Works for Me)


I have had a 13 day break from therapy.  The first couple of days were really difficult.  I had a door knob revelation (not planned, not purposeful) regarding something I have not even put into words before, and left my last therapy session in tears and feeling as if all of my skin had been rubbed off.  I was raw…every part of me was in pain and my eyes felt 20 times their normal size because of trying to hold back a flood of tears.  My first thoughts were desperate…I tried really hard to figure out how I could fit in another therapy session when I was leaving the next day.  Of course, that extra therapy session did not happen and I came to figure out that it would be necessary for me to use my grounding techniques to get out of the past and be able to live in the present for the next 13 days.  So here is a list of grounding techniques I use:

  1. Breathing colors.  My favorite color is pink.  I breathe in pink and imagine the pink going to all of the places in me that hurt or need attention.  Then I breathe out toxins and pain and poison in black.  I do this until I can see my entire self filled with pink.  Sometimes this takes 2 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour.
  2. Listening to my favorite loud music.  This leaves me clearly in the present.  I was not allowed loud music when I was young and this is a fairly new phenomena to me.
  3. Coloring.  I color in mandala coloring books..  The shape and the experience is very soothing and grounding to me.
  4. Drawing my own mandalas.
  5. If I am not feeling grounded in the morning, during my shower I make sure to scrub my skin with a peppermint salt scrub.  I also wash my hair with peppermint and lavender shampoo.  Then I use lavender lotion on my skin and peppermint leave in conditioner in my hair, leaving those scents to ground me for the rest of the day.  I often also dab lavender oil on my wrists so I can get a good whiff when necessary.
  6. I use boxing gloves and pound the heck out of a punching bag.  This lets me feel my limbs and my muscles in the present.
  7. If I can, I will go swimming.  The water all around me and the sense of moving my limbs grounds me.
  8. I drink ginger tea or very strong coffee.
  9. I put all of my stuff that I don’t want right now in a box, in a rowboat, that is attached to a very long rope that gets let out into a very large and remote body of water.  Sometimes I do this again and again.
  10. I imagine my spirit guides dealing with what is bothering me.  Maybe my peacock spirit guide eats whatever poison is bothering me (peacocks eat baby cobras and then the peacock feathers can be ground up to make an antidote), I might imagine an owl flying off with the culprit in its talons.
  11. I pay very close attention to my children and make it my intention to to give my children all that I did not have.

These are the ways I ground myself.  There are so many possible ways to ground.  It’s pretty much up to the individual who needs grounding activities to find what works for them.  I have had therapists help me develop personalized grounding techniques.  Ask your therapist for help.  Many cookie cutter techniques did not help me, but ones individualized for me have really helped.


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