Get Grounded

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.

Photo by Pixabay on

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!

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

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