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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.

This week, Katie Godfrey, PhD, LMFT, shares Physical Grounding Techniques.

Physical grounding techniques are helpful tools to use when you are feeling overwhelmed and need to calm down.  These simple techniques use the sense of touch to bring you back into the present moment.  I recommend these for adults as well as children.

  1. Pocket Object: Carry a special stone, some beeswax, a coin, or any other small object in your pocket.  When you feel stressed, just reach in your pocket.  You have your familiar object with you to help ground you.
  2. Water: Ground yourself with the element of water.  Run your hands under cool or warm water and notice the difference.  Take a shower.  Hand wash some dishes.  Water some plants.  Listen to the sound of water flowing in a fountain or a creek.  
  3. Nearby Objects: Touch nearby objects and identify them out loud.  Doing so will help ground you in your present time and space.
  4. Your Feet: Ground yourself to the earth with your feet.  Remove your shoes and notice what your feet feel.  Dig your toes and then your heels into the floor and notice your connection to the ground.