We are offering a weekly blog series with a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques and exercises that can help reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Wednesday for the newest skill of the week. Try them all out and find what works best for you. 

Hear from Dr. Katie Godfrey, LMFT on why she recommends mental grounding techniques:

“I like mental grounding techniques because they give you something active to do with your brain in order to refocus the mind when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. These activities do not require specific tools and can be used anytime, anywhere.” 

The other nice piece about these grounding techniques is that they are something that you can do very quickly to refocus your attention and bring you into the present moment. If you have 2 minutes and only 2 minutes, you have enough time to complete one of these activities. This is also something that you can do with children very easily if they are starting to get escalated and need to shift attention and get grounded. 

Try These Mental Grounding Exercises

Play a categories game: Look around the room and identify things (out loud or in your mind) in various categories. Find three blue things, four square things, five things that represent nature to you, etc.

Do mental math: Count backwards from 100 by 7’s. When you have that number sequence memorized, change the starting point.

Describe an activity: Describe an everyday activity in great detail. Explain it as if you are describing it to someone who would literally have to  follow each instruction as stated. Examples might include tying a knot, starting a car, or changing a diaper.

These mental grounding techniques help you gain control over your feelings and stay present.