Many people experience unwanted emotions or thoughts associated with anxiety or trauma triggers. These can be overwhelming and cause individuals to feel like they have lost control over their thought processes. However, there are coping techniques that can help bring individuals back into the present moment and regain a sense of control. One such technique is the 5-step process that involves breathing and grounding exercises.
To begin, it’s important to focus on breathing. Like the breathing techniques used in yoga, slow, deep, and long breaths can help maintain a sense of calm or return to a calmer state. Start with deep breathing, inhaling for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds, and exhaling for 5 seconds. Repeat this pattern until thoughts slow down or until necessary. It is recommended to complete at least 5 rounds of these sets.
After finding your breath, the next step is to ground yourself in the present moment by acknowledging external factors. This can be achieved by following the numbered steps below:
5: Notice FIVE things around you that you can see. These can be anything, from a bird to a pencil, or even a spot on the ceiling. Take time to observe these objects and focus on their details.
4: Notice FOUR things around you that you can touch. These can be anything, such as your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, etc. Take time to feel these objects and focus on their textures.
3: Notice THREE things around you that you can hear. These should be external sounds, not your own thoughts. It could be a clock ticking, a car passing by, or even your stomach rumbling. Take time to listen to these sounds and focus on their volume and pitch.
2: Notice TWO things around you that you can smell. If you can’t immediately smell anything, move to a nearby area to find a scent. This could be the smell of soap in your bathroom, nature outside, or even a pencil or pillow. Take time to inhale these scents and focus on their quality.
1: Notice ONE thing around you that you can taste. Pay attention to what your mouth tastes like, whether it’s gum, coffee, or the sandwich you had for lunch. Take time to savour this taste and focus on its flavour and texture.
By following these five steps, individuals can ground themselves in the present moment and stop being overwhelmed by their thoughts. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy suggests that our thoughts are directly linked to how we feel, and by using tools like this, we can regain control and develop healthier thought patterns. When experiencing anxiety or triggered trauma, staying present-focused is crucial for finding symptom relief. This coping technique can help individuals stay grounded, present, and healthy.
Remember, this technique may not produce immediate results, but it can significantly reduce unwanted emotions or thoughts associated with anxiety or trauma triggers. Practice these exercises regularly and they will become easier over time. By incorporating this technique into your daily routine, you can develop a sense of control over your thoughts and emotions, leading to a happier and healthier life.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, trauma, or any other mental health issues, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the rise of online telehealth, getting therapy has become more accessible and convenient than ever before. Telehealth allows individuals to have virtual therapy sessions from the comfort of their own homes, making it easier to fit therapy into busy schedules or to access care in remote areas. Additionally, online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy, and there are a variety of platforms available to connect individuals with licensed therapists. By combining therapeutic techniques like grounding exercises and mindfulness with the guidance of a trained professional, individuals can gain the tools and support they need to overcome their mental health challenges and lead fulfilling lives.
In conclusion, taking steps towards finding symptom reduction and relief can be a difficult journey, but with the right tools, it can be achieved. The five-step technique mentioned above, starting with slow and deep breathing, can help maintain a sense of calm or return to a calmer state. Following this, going through the numbers from five to one can help ground oneself in the present moment and stop the flood of overwhelming thoughts. By using cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, we can gain control over our thought processes and lead to healthier thought patterns. Remembering to stay present-focused in moments of anxiety or triggered trauma is crucial to finding symptom relief. I hope that this coping technique can help you or someone you know stay present, stay grounded, and stay healthy.