I want to share a strategy I’ve learned through therapy. This has helped me during times of anxiety and disassociation.
The following exercise is considered a ‘grounding‘ exercise. The purpose is to tell my brain and my body where we are and that we are safe. My therapist says it’s a mindfulness strategy. I use this strategy to reduce my anxiety and try to do it before anything occurs that I know causes me anxiety.
Maybe it’s a conversation with a manager or someone higher up and I want to make sure I’m present in the moment.
I’ll use it before I talk to my boyfriend about something that bothered me.
Whenever I’m “rambling” and my boyfriend notices he prompts me to do this exercise ❤
During each therapy session, I usually do this exercise as well because let’s face it – therapy is intense!
This is what I do that helps me. Maybe it can help you?
- List 5 things you can see (sometimes I get specific, for example, point out 5 things you see that are the color blue)
- 4 things you can touch (maybe it’s the floor underneath my feet, the chair I’m sitting on, etc.)
- 3 things you can hear (anything inside the room or outside)
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste (swallowing can help with this sense)
Once I’m done doing this exercise I end it with a statement. The statement is different depending on the situation and how I’m feeling.
- Here are a few examples I’ve used in the past:
- I am here in my room and I am safe.
- I am in control of what I want to do and what happens to me.
- I know I’m scared and worried but I got this.
- My thoughts are just thoughts.