Here is a simple grounding practice for helping yourself and your body know that you are in the here and now.
Other versions of this practice can be found in Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele and Onno Van Der Hart, as well as in various mindfulness traditions. If getting grounded in the present is hard for you, you may want to speak with a counselor for help with this. You can also check out the Trauma Resiliency Institute’s app, iChill, that has several skills called “Help Now” that can be helpful for this purpose.
Get yourself to a safe place if you are not in one.
Once you are there, take a moment to notice that you are there. You can do this by looking around the space and noticing what you are in the room with. Name objects as you see them. Are there objects that you like? Allow your eyes to linger on them and notice them, looking at them as if you are seeing them for the first time. Tell yourself that you are here, now, with these objects, in this safe place.
Take a breath.
Take some time to listen to sounds that you can here where you are. What does it sound like in the room? Can you hear anything outside the room? Listen as if you are hearing these sounds for the first time. Tell yourself that you are here, now, with these sounds, in this safe place.
Take a breath.
Take some time to notice textures in the place where you are. Is there anything near you that you can pick up and hold? Are there textures that you particularly enjoy? Is there a temperature in the place where you are? Allow yourself to notice these textures in a way that feels safe for you. Tell yourself that you are here, now with these textures, in this safe place.
Take a deep breath.
Is there anything you can smell where you are? Are there any objects that have smells – like grass, candles, oils? Allow yourself to smell these smells and as you are smelling them, tell yourself that you are here, now with these smells, in this safe place.
Breathing in, and out.
Is there anything you can taste? Can you make yourself a cup of tea, or give yourself something to eat? Allowing yourself to linger on the taste, noticing it, as if you have never tasted this before. Allow yourself to know that you are here, with this good taste, in this safe place.
Ushering yourself gently towards the feeling of safety.
Noticing that you are here.
You can repeat this as many times as you need to or want to. And when you are done, you can wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes, and send yourself a sense of gratitude for trying this.