Grounding techniques for PTSD

Grounding techniques for PTSD

What is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition, can be brought on by a terrifying event, whether one is experiencing it or witnessing it. A few possible symptoms include nightmares, intense anxiety, flashbacks, and irrational thoughts about the incident.

The vast majority of those who go through traumatic experiences may initially have trouble adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms worsen, last for weeks, months, or even years, and impair your ability to carry out daily tasks, you may have PTSD.

Symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder?

Interference: Interfering thoughts, such as persistent, uncontrollable memories, upsetting dreams, or flashbacks to the traumatic event. Some people may experience flashbacks that are so vivid they think they are seeing or reliving the traumatic event.

Avoidance: Avoiding the traumatic event’s reminders may involve avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that could bring back unpleasant memories. It’s common for people to try to forget or not think about the traumatic experience. They might be reluctant to discuss what happened or their feelings regarding it.

Changes in cognition and mood: Inability to recall significant details of the traumatic event, negative thoughts and feelings that lead to persistent and distorted beliefs about oneself or others, distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the event that lead to placing blame on oneself or others, ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame, a great deal less interest in once-enjoyed activities, feeling distant or cut off from others, or not being able to experience positive emotions.

Changes in arousal and reactivity: Arousal and reactive symptoms can include being frustrated and expressing anger, acting recklessly or self-destructively, being weirdly overly aware of one’s surroundings, being easily startled, or having trouble focusing or sleeping.

Grounding techniques for PTSD

What is Grounding?

A simple set of methods known as “grounding” can help you break free from emotional pain such as anxiety, anger, and sadness, self-harm. Essentially, it is a technique for getting your attention off of the challenging emotions you are going through. Other words for grounding include focusing, diverting attention, creating a safe space, and maintaining a healthy detachment. Although grounding does not address the issue that is causing your unpleasant emotions, it does offer a short-term solution to take charge of your emotions and stop things from getting worse.

In order to eventually go back and deal with the issue that initially caused the unpleasant emotions, you must first ground yourself. This gives you time to collect your thoughts and relax. Furthermore, it’s anonymous and possible to ground someone at any time.

Ways of Grounding

There are three different types of grounding. You might discover that one of these works better for you than the others or that they are all useful.

(1) Mental (focusing your mind)

(2) Physical (focusing your senses)

(3) Relaxing (talking to yourself in a very kind way)

The five senses are brought to life through the use of grounding techniques for PTSD, which help to calm your brain and bring you back to the present. They can assist with immediate symptoms as well as alter your brain’s response over time.

How Grounding Works?

The five senses—sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight—are frequently used in grounding exercises to help you become fully present in the moment. For instance, grounding techniques like singing, massaging lotion into your hands, and sucking on sour candies all produce sensations that are hard to ignore or use as a diversion from your thoughts.

This enables you to instantly and directly connect with the present. The likelihood that you will experience a flashback or dissociation is also decreased by grounding. How you centre yourself is very individual. What functions well for one individual may cause anxiety or flashbacks in another.

Grounding Methods

Do something—or a few things—that will focus all of your attention on the present moment in order to connect with the here and now. To ensure that you are aware of everything going on around you while you are grounding, keep your eyes open.

Try some of these grounding strategies if you feel like you’re starting to drift into a flashback or a dissociative state.


  • Try your hand at a crossword, Sudoku, word search, or other puzzle.
  • Around you, note every piece of furniture.
  • Play a distracting game on your computer, tablet, or phone.
  • Play your preferred film or television programme.
  • Get a book or magazine to read.
  • Make a mental list of everything you can notice, including the sounds you can hear, the sights and patterns you can see. Speaking this aloud is also beneficial.


  • Smell one of the essential oils that bring back pleasant memories for you, such as freshly cut grass, rain, clean laundry, or sugar cookies.
  • Melt some scented wax or light a candle.
  • Smell some strong peppermint, which has the added benefit of being calming.


  • Make a call to a close friend or relative.
  • Play some soothing natural sounds like birds chirping or the crashing of waves.
  • Whether it’s a favourite children’s book, a blog post, or a book, read it aloud.
  • Talk aloud about what you perceive and hear, as well as your thoughts and actions.
  • Boost the volume of the radio or your preferred song.


  • Take a bite of a lime or a lemon.
  • Allow a piece of chocolate to melt in your mouth, and as you roll it around with your tongue, take note of how it tastes and feels.
  • Suck on a mint or chew cinnamon- or peppermint-flavored gum.
  • Take a bite of some hot salsa or pepper.


  • If you have a dog or cat, pet it and cuddle with it.
  • Taste a warm or cold beverage.
  • Pick up a piece of clothing, a blanket, or a towel, knead it in your hands, or place it against your cheek. Pay attention to the sensations.
  • Hold an ice cube in your hand and watch it melt.
  • Release some bubble wrap.
  • Submerge your hands in a running faucet.
  • Note the texture of the carpet or a piece of furniture by lightly rubbing it with your hand.
  • A hot or cold shower will do.


  • Dance
  • Take a walk or a run.
  • To show someone you care, write them a letter or a card.
  • Take a seat somewhere else for a change of scenery.
  • Extend your neck, legs, and arms.
  • Take ten deep, slow breaths.
  • Write about your feelings in a journal or keep a list of writing prompts nearby so you can choose what to write about.

Therapy for PTSD

You can find PTSD treatment providers in your Google search if you aren’t receiving treatment for your PTSD but would like to go through a website, TalktoAngel. Additionally, TalktoAngel provides a variety of resources on the relationship between trauma and detachment, coping mechanisms for dissociation, and contact information for therapists who specialize in treating trauma and dissociation.

Visit TalktoAngel to talk to the best mental health professionals online. Regardless of your search criteria, you will find “Top psychologist in india” or “Online psychological counselling”.

About the Author

You may also like these