Addiction recovery can be a challenging process that is both emotionally and mentally draining. If you are struggling in recovery, incorporating grounding techniques into your daily routine can help you stay focused when facing challenges. Grounding techniques are strategies that can help you reconnect with the present moment to reduce feelings of anxiety and manage cravings.
Grounding has many benefits for those in recovery. In addition to reducing stress, grounding can help you to:
- Recognize and manage triggers
- Make better decisions
- Feel calmer and more relaxed
- Become more aware of your thoughts and emotions
- Prevent relapse by providing coping strategies
Grounding Techniques to Use in Recovery
There are many different grounding techniques to try, such as the following:
- Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere and at any time of the day. Deep breathing can reduce stress levels and bring you a sense of calm. To practice, sit in a comfortable position and shut your eyes. Relax and take deep breaths, inhaling for four seconds, then exhaling for six seconds. You can also use a breathing app like Calm to guide your breathing.
- Mindful meditation: Mindfulness meditation can help increase awareness of your thoughts and emotions. You can sit somewhere quiet and focus on your breath. Try to observe any thoughts or feelings as they arise; acknowledge each thought or feeling, then let it go without judging it.
- Body scan: Focus on each part of your body, beginning with your feet and moving up to your head. Pay attention to what areas you feel tension or experience pain in.
- Connect with your senses: Sensory grounding involves connecting with each of your senses to reduce anxiety and stress. For example, name five things in the room that you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
- Visualization: Visualization involves imagining a peaceful scene in your mind. Close your eyes and visualize your happy place. What do you see? What do you hear and smell? Focus on how relaxed it makes you feel.
- Connect with an object: You may want to carry a grounding object with you, such as a rock. When you begin to feel stressed, focus on the object and feel it. Take notice of its texture and how it feels in your hand.
- Do something physical: Exercise can take your mind off daily stresses, help reduce stress, and improve your mood by keeping you focused on the present moment. There are many physical activities to enjoy, such as walking or practicing yoga.
- Repeat positive affirmations: Repeat a positive affirmation silently or out loud. Say something meaningful to you personally, such as “I can handle this,” “This will pass,” or “I am strong.”
- Connect with others: Connecting with others who support your journey can help when you feel alone or stressed. Consider calling a friend, contacting your therapist, or attending a support group meeting such as AA or NA.
- Take a cold shower: You can take a cold shower or splash cold water on your face to bring your mind back to the present moment. Having the physical sensation of the cold water can take your mind off your stress and help you refocus.
Grounding Technique Tips
Grounding techniques are most effective when used consistently and at the first sign of overwhelming thoughts or feelings. Don’t wait until your emotions get out of control, since it will be more difficult to focus on the present. Practice grounding techniques as part of your daily routine, even when you’re feeling calm. This will make it easier to call on a grounding technique when you feel overwhelmed.
Start small. Try short, simple techniques that are easy to do and can be done wherever you may be. You can try more complex techniques as you get more comfortable with grounding.
We are Here to Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, you are not alone. We are here to help. At Twin Lakes Recovery Center in Monroe, Georgia, we can help put you on the path to long-term and lasting recovery. We offer a variety of treatments and services for people of all ages, including inpatient residential treatment, medically supervised drug or alcohol detox services, and a family recovery program. To learn more about what we offer, please contact us today to discuss your options.