When grounding, paying attention to our senses is a great place to start.  We all know the basic 5 (taste, texture, smell, sound and sight), but did you know we have three more?  Our vestibular system connects to our body movement.  Proprioception is the sense of where are our body parts are at any given time.  The interoception describes our awareness of things like hunger or needing to use the restroom.  So, if we are outside walking and become anxious, we can start to focus on how our foot feels as it places on the ground. We can focus on the rhythm of the walk or start counting the number of steps.  At home, we tend to have more options, such as a textured blanket or rug that creates a certain feeling under bare feet.  You can also run your hands under some water or pay attention to the smell of your favorite candle burning.  Let’s break down even further two grounding skills that can be used when out or at home.

Breathing!  As well as ‘in the moment’ techniques we can also implement techniques that help moderate our breathing.  One skill is where we start at the tips of our toes and work all the way up to the top of our head clenching and unclenching each set of muscles.  As you clench a muscle or muscle group you will want to breathe in.  As you release the muscle, you will want to breath out.  You can also engage in Yoga and meditation which will cue you to utilize breath work as you move throughout the session. 

A Grounding Box.  These boxes contain different activities or tools we can use to ground in a moment of need.  It can be a box that lives at home or a portable box that can easily be packed in a bag or purse for on-the-go moments.  When we are in an intense feeling, it can be hard to recall the things we can do to ground ourselves.  This is where the box can be really helpful.  Some boxes clients have put together include fiddle toys, favorite gum or mints or cards to remind them to breath or relax muscles.  A list on any smart device will also do!

Remembering to use the stuff that works also requires that we pay attention to what works and when it works best.  If you have a trustworthy support system, connect them to some of your skills. This will give them the ability to remind you.  You can also set reminders on your phone so that you can have a visual or auditory reminder.  Remember, it is really hard to remember to implement skills when stressed out.  Progress, not perfection!

Follow your footsteps.  Catch your breath.  Chew that Bubblemint gum.