Grounding using 5 senses
Grounding techniques use the five senses—sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—to closely connect you with the here and now.
How it works
Grounding techniques use the five senses—sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—to closely connect you with the here and now. For example, singing or humming a tune, rubbing lotion on your body, or drinking a cold beverage are all grounding techniques that create sensations that are hard to disregard or distract you from the thoughts in your mind. This helps you immediately connect with the present moment. At a similar time, grounding helps to stop automatic negative thoughts. Grounding techniques are very personal and what might work for one person may not work for another.
How do I do it?
If you find yourself having negative thoughts about past events or worrying about what might happen in the future here are some grounding techniques that you can use:
- Focus on the ticking clock on the wall or listen to birds outside
- Listen to hear your own breath
- Blast your favourite song
- Read a book out loud
- Run your hands through hot or cold water
- Pop some bubble wrap
- Feel the texture of a piece of furniture
- Hold and let an ice cube melt in your hands
- Put on your favourite movie/tv show
- Read a book
- Picture a serene scene in your head
- Look at what is around you in your environment
- Complete a puzzle
- Put some essential oils (peppermint, lavender, citrus) onto a cotton ball and keep it near you
- Light a scented candle
- Pick some fresh flowers
- Suck on your favourite sweet
- Eat something sour and then sweet
- Eat a piece of dark chocolate
- Drink your favourite beverage
The best thing about using grounding techniques as a coping mechanism is that much of these techniques can be done in any environment without anyone knowing.
5 4 3 2 1 exercise
Apps that can help
Teduh: Grounding Guidance (iPhone only)
Teduh aims to help people with symptoms of depression and mild anxiety, using the grounding technique method.Teduh: Grounding Guidance (iPhone only) at the Apple app store