It is never easy to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing a traumatic event in your life. The flashbacks, discomfort, uneasiness, and oftentimes sheer terror can leave lasting detrimental impacts on one’s quality of life. As devastating as this condition can be, the good news is that with PTSD targeted therapy, optimal support, and grounding, you can overcome this life hurdle.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding, sometimes called “earthing,” is a therapeutic method that gives people the ability to reconnect with the earth. It calms and balances physical, mental, and emotional energies and helps you stay in the present moment instead of fearing what happened in the past. This is especially helpful for people who have PTSD who frequently find themselves reliving their trauma.
Why Grounding Is Used
Grounding is a fundamental element to learn coping skills and finding safety during a triggered PTSD episode. It illuminates self-awareness and gives people the ability to realise their surroundings using their senses, reinstating the fact that they are no longer in the past. This method is so powerful that it is typically implemented in the first stages of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Establishing grounding techniques helps pull someone out of a flashback episode during any time of the day or night and gives them the ability to take control back. With effective grounding techniques, they will be able to remove themselves from the past trauma and remember where they are now, safely in the present.
Ways to Implement Grounding
When it comes to grounding, there are many ways people and therapists go about it. When feeling triggered the most common ways of implementing specific grounding actions is to use on the senses: smell, touch, sound, taste, and sight. Some examples of that include:
- Smell – Wherever you are, look for something that has a prominent scent, such as the citrus of a lemon, or a scented candle.
- Touch – Try holding onto an ice cube, touching a soft piece of clothing, or even popping bubble wrap can do the trick.
- Sound – Sounds work wonders at snapping you out of a trauma trigger. Put on some soft music, or open your window to listen to either the birds or cars going by. You can also call a family member or friend.
- Taste – Remember smelling that lemon? Try taking a bite into it. You can also go with something sweeter like chocolate and let it melt in your mouth to raise present-day awareness.
- Sight – Take a look around you and point out five things you see and describe in detail. You can also pick a color, such as blue, and count how many items in your home you see that are that color.
Getting Your Life Back
First off, if you are seeking help for your PTSD, that is a great start. Knowing that you need help and utilising the resources around you to better your life is admirable and worth celebrating. With that being said, when you seek therapy for your PTSD, do not be surprised when you go over grounding methods in the first stage. This sets the tone and the ability for you to control your triggers so you can get on the best track for a full recovery. We need to be sure that you can do this in the moment to safely be able to proceed with later parts of the therapy that process the trauma.
If you are still having difficulty grasping grounding techniques, unsure where to begin, or are looking for someone to start your therapy, please contact Quest Psychology Services to gain qualified, professional guidance to assist you in reaching your coping and recovery goals.