Take Your Life Back: Recovering From PTSD & Trauma – Part 4
In this fourth week of our five-part series, we offer a grounding exercise that can help you stop that sense of panic or loss of control. Once again, it will take some time heal. Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to mourn the losses you have experienced.
It is also important not to force this process. Simply take each step with an open heart and mind. It can be challenging, particularly as your emotions arise. Don’t allow these unpleasant feelings derail your efforts. Thank them for showing up and invite them to sit with you as you try this grounding exercise.
Skill 4 (of 5): Grounding Exercise
Try this grounding exercise if you are feeling angry, anxious, hopeless, out of control, upset, frightened,
- 1. Find a room where you can experience this exercise without interruption.
- 2. Sit on a straight-backed chair and plant your feet firmly on the ground.
- 3. Look around the room. Quickly notice five objects. Take note of their shape, color, texture, size.
- 4. Slowly, take a deep inhale then slowly exhale through pursed lips, like you are whistling. Take two more breaths in the same way, feeling the air as it enters our airways and lungs, and again as it exits your mouth. Keep your attention focused on the breath, on the sensation of your body as you slowly breathe, in and out.
- 5. Feel the chair pressed against your back. Notice how it supports you. Feel the earth pressing into your feet. Is your breath deeper, calmer now?
- 6. Glance about the room once more. How does it look to you now? Has anything changed? Are you safe in this room, in this space, in this moment?
- 7. Return your attention back to your breath and, when ready, slowly stand up
- 8. Feel the earth supporting your feet. Take a moment, then when you are ready, get on with your day.
Place this exercise in your toolbox and repeat it whenever unsettling emotions begin to arise. It is available to you anytime, anywhere.