Presentation: How to get grounded

Correlates with p. 16 of the Participant resources and workbook.

Grounding is the process to interrupting or changing the altered states of consciousness due to flashbacks, dissociation, flooding, or numbing, through self-awareness and self-compassion.  

As difficult as it may be to be self-aware in one of these states, self-compassion requires one to be observant of this state, and to practice the necessary techniques to help return to a more normal state of awareness. Practice is required, and participants should be reminded that they are already practicing grounding in the program by becoming more conscious of one’s own breathing. The basics are the same: 

  • Keep your eyes open (closed eyes will reinforce dissociation). 
  • Practice conscious breathing. 
  • Scan the room.  
  • Keep the lights on (to stay in touch with the present).  
  • Focus on the present, not the past or future. 
  • Calm your busy mind.  
  • Remind yourself that the worst is over. 
  • Be gentle with yourself.

Grounding work can be practiced by participants any time, any place, and anywhere.  Remind the men that since most grounding work is invisible to others, no one has to know that they are practicing it.  

The best way to augment one's grounding practice is by incorporating meditative breathing along with cognitive and physical techniques: 

Grounding by meditative breathing

  • Notice your body sensations such as tension, breathing, or pulse.  
  • Practice diaphragmatic or square breathing (as we have been practicing). 
  • Practice progressive relaxation techniques (as we have been practicing as well).

Physical grounding

  • Run cool or warm water over your hands. 
  • Touch various objects around you. 
  • Dig your heels into the floor or stamp your feet. 
  • Notice your body sensations such as tension, breathing, or pulse. 
  • Go for a walk, stretch your body, or other light exercise. 
  • Eat something, describing the flavours.

Mental grounding

Statements like 'This feeling will pass' may also help. Treating yourself to something healthy (e.g. a warm bath, a nice meal), and playing soothing music also may help during this transition.  Don’t be surprised if you feel physically or emotionally exhausted afterwards—again, practice compassion with yourself.

 

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Last modified: Friday, 7 April 2017, 3:15 PM