In the early stages of recovery, anxiety can seem overwhelming. As our brains and body heal, we often experience symptoms of anxiety and stress from even the most normal of situations. Grounding is a coping strategy that can work to relieve or lessen these symptoms, making it easier for us to manage our day-to-day activities and continue undeterred on our journey of recovery.
Grounding is a technique that we can use to reduce anxiety by bringing us into the present moment. We can use our senses to become aware of what it occurring in the moment. Sensory awareness allows us to let go of our fears of the future and manage strong emotions that can get in the way of our ability to function normally. Grounding techniques are particularly useful to individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but can also “prevent, dull, or distract from dissociation, flashbacks, switching, panic attacks, self-harm, addiction cravings, or other negative emotions, internal experiences, or impulses,” according to DID Research. The sense of panic that results from anxiety is a reaction to a past action or a future possibility. By effectively connecting an individual with the present through sensory and cognitive awareness, grounding can provide relief from the intensity of anxiety-induced emotions. Dr. Matthew Till, in a 2017 article for Very Well, 5 Grounding Techniques for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, explains, “Grounding techniques often use the five senses (sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight) to immediately connect people with the here and now. For example, listening to loud music, holding onto a piece of ice, or biting into a lemon are all grounding techniques that produce sensations that are difficult to ignore. Therefore, these can directly and instantaneously connect you with the present moment.” When we return to the present moment through grounding, we are able to recognize that our feelings regarding the past or future are not real—we are safe and protected in the present moment. The wonderful thing about grounding is that it can be done anywhere at any time. We simply take a deep breath and begin developing awareness of what we are experiencing, which allows us to gain a sense of relief from our anxieties quickly.
The chaos of addiction doesn’t have to be a part of your life. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a better life of peace and serenity in sobriety. The Lakehouse Recovery Center uses a combination of therapy techniques that have proven to be effective for achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. The strategic balance between effective techniques creates a remarkable and highly effective approach to treating addiction. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 762-3707