Grounding is a mindfulness tool that helps us “detach from emotional pain” by “focusing outward on the external world” (Lisa Najavits, Ph.D.). When someone experiences a trigger and needs to pull themselves into the present moment and out of their body sensations, grounding activities help them do this.
Look at the baby bird in the picture above. How many adjectives can you use to describe it? See if you can list 20 different words to describe what you see in the picture.
Notice how this activity shifted your focus out of your body and onto the photograph. Similarly, when someone feels stressed or experiences a trauma trigger, they can choose something in their environment and describe it in detail to focus their brain on the present moment rather than what is going on inside of their body. If someone is visually impaired, they can do a similar activity describing a sound they hear or how an object feels in their hand.
I’ve found grounding activities to be incredibly helpful for those with trauma as well as anyone working on better coping skills to regulate their emotions.
More grounding techniques can be found in my book, I Don’t Want To Be Bad!