Since I have been focusing on dissociation in my posts of late, I think it’s only appropriate to start discussing strategies for coping when you find yourself beginning to dissociation, or when you realize you’ve been dissociating.
Grounding is one of the primary coping strategies for when you are feeling disconnected from yourself, your body, your thoughts, etc. It can be a useful skill for when triggers bring you into the past, a feeling of being there-and-then in the traumatic moment.
Grounding skills are a set of strategies to help you connect to the reality of the here-and-now. These skills can help remind us that we are safe in this present moment.
The classic example of doing so is by use of physical grounding. So, take off your shoes and walking on the ground (get it? grounding?) and let yourself just notice what the ground feels like beneath your feet. Notice where the weight of your body falls, is it on your heels? Or your toes?
You can alternate sitting back on your heels and then going up on the balls of your feet and notice the difference in how those two things feel to your feet and your body.
Any of the five sense can be used to ground yourself and I will continue to review other ways of grounding in future posts.