by Bethany Eggers, MA, LPC-MH
According to the University of New Hampshire, “Grounding is a self-soothing skill to use when you are having a bad day or dealing with a lot of stress, overwhelming feelings, and/or intense anxiety. Grounding is a technique that helps keep you in the present and helps reorient you to the here-and-now and to reality.” We live in a fast-paced and often overwhelming world in which it can be difficult to find moments of calm. It is especially true as we head into the holiday season. Our 5 senses are our link to the world around us. I want to share a technique that can be used anywhere, at any time, to give us a moment of pause in the hustle and bustle of life.
The 5 senses grounding technique is a mindfulness exercise that allows you to become more present and aware of your surroundings. By engaging each of your five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste – you can anchor yourself in the present moment and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. This technique involves intentionally focusing on what your senses can pick up on in any given moment. It is a simple yet powerful tool that can be practiced anytime and anywhere.
Start with your sense of sight. Look around and notice five things you can see, paying attention to colors, shapes and textures. Move on to your sense of touch. Notice four things you can touch, focusing on their temperature, texture and weight. Next, focus on your sense of sound. Listen for three things you can hear, and try to identifying where they’re coming from and what they sound like. Move on to your sense of smell, and identify two things you can smell. Finally, focus on your sense of taste. Notice one thing you can taste, whether it’s the lingering taste of your toothpaste or maybe your morning coffee.
By taking a few minutes to practice the 5 senses grounding technique, you can bring your attention back to the present moment and away from stressful thoughts. This can help you feel more calm and centered.
At all four of our locations - River Counseling Services in Platte, Sioux Falls Psychological Services, and Stronghold Counseling Services in Sioux Falls and in Yankton, our mission is this- we meet you where you are, offering hope. You may schedule an appointment at the Platte office at 605-337-3444 or meet with one of our Sioux Falls or Yankton based therapists from your computer, smartphone, or in person at any of our clinics. To schedule an appointment, please call 605-334-2696.