Grounding is a technique that is used to bring yourself back into the present moment, and bring you back into the room when you are in stressful situations and feel cravings to self-harm. Grounding is a part of mindfulness and is a great way for you to manage your cravings in a time of crisis.
Grounding is fairly simple, you focus on each of your senses and use them to analyse your surroundings to bring you back into the present moment. To begin your grounding, try to relax as much as you can, so that you will be able to concentrate and hold your own attention for the 10 minutes that this technique takes.
Firstly sit down so that you are comfortable and focus on the following:
Sight: Look around you and in your head say the things that are around you. Now pay attention to one thing in the room, this could be your wall, a chest of drawers or anything really and begin to think about this object. Tell yourself the colour of the object, what it is made out of and whether you can notice any imperfections in the object.
Hearing: Take 10 deep breaths and listen to the air as you inhale and exhale. Pay attention to the sound of the air rushing into your lungs and listen to it as it leaves your body. Now listen to your surrounding and pay attention to each noise around you. Try to think of what the noise could be coming from.
Touch: Run your hand along something and take note of how it feels to your touch. Does it feel rough or does it feel smooth? Is it a solid object or is it soft? Does it feel warm to the touch or does it feel cold?
Taste: Place a square of chocolate in your mouth and let it melt on your tonuge. As it begins to melt, pay attention to the flavour and try to taste the ingredients of the chocolate.
Smell: Smell a perfume or aftershave and try to think about the different scents that were combined to make this smell. Does it have woody notes? Can you detect floral notes? Or is the perfume more citrus based?
Grounding is a brilliant way to both distract yourself from the urges to self-harm and also calm your mind to reduce the intensity of your cravings. Give it a try and see if it works for you!