Recovery is a difficult challenge for everyone, and different techniques may be ideal or effective depending on your circumstances and personality. Grounding in recovery might be just what you need to stop ruminating on the past and focus on healthy, holistic choices in your future. Today, let’s take a look at several grounding techniques you can use in your recovery efforts going forward.
What is Grounding in Recovery?
Grounding in recovery is a mental focus technique that realigns your mind with the present moment and prevents you from either fixating on the future or focusing too much on distressing memories of the past. It “grounds” you in reality, helping you focus on the things that matter right now.
Because of this mental effect, grounding is very helpful for individuals recovering from addiction to various substances and might also help them avoid relapsing.
The Benefits of Grounding in Recovery
One of the reasons this technique is so widespread is because of its benefits and advantages. Indeed, grounding in recovery can provide crucial help in a variety of ways, including:
- It keeps you from worrying about what other people think about you or your past, allowing you to keep your motivation and focus where it belongs
- It prevents you from wasting time feeling guilty about the behavior or things you did in the past, especially those actions related to addiction
- It stops you from letting a single bad moment or setback ruin your day or make you vulnerable to a relapse
- It guides your attention toward present safety and positive emotions and decisions
- It helps you stick to your commitments and your recovery plan, whatever shape that may take
Given these benefits, it helps to know how to practice recovery both within and outside recovery centers.
Effective Grounding Techniques for Recovery
Now let’s take a look at some of the most effective grounding techniques you can use for your recovery process.
Practice Mental Games
Mental games and habits can be effective ways of grounding your attention in the present moment. Out of all the different techniques to practice, the “5-4-3-2-1 Technique” is among the most popular and effective.1 Here’s how it works:
- Name five things you see
- Name four things you feel
- Name three things you hear
- Name two things you smell
- Name one thing you taste
By focusing on these physical sensations and elements in descending order, you’ll bring your mind back to the moment and ground it in your body. If you can’t perform any of these steps, use your imagination instead – for example, you might imagine what a rich forest smells like in the summer.
Embrace the Senses of Your Physical Body
A lot of grounding focuses on bringing you back to your physical self. To that end, many of the best grounding techniques require you to embrace your body and its various senses. Some examples of physical grounding techniques you can use include:
- Stretching, which also benefits you by releasing muscle tension.
- Breathe in for four seconds, then hold the breath for seven seconds. Exhale for eight seconds. This “4-7-8 breathwork” technique is great for helping you calm down. 2
- Do some quick, rigorous exercise, like sprinting or doing push-ups. As a grounding technique, it helps you to dispel anxious or nervous energy and bring about a complete sense of calm.
Self-soothing is a key grounding technique for recovery. With self-soothing, you take your wellness and mood into your own hands. You can practice self-soothing by:
- Saying positive affirmations in front of the mirror, such as urging yourself on, raising yourself, etc.
- Turning to a higher power, like God. This can help ground you and give you the strength you need to succeed
- Treat yourself from time to time, like giving yourself a candy bar or allowing yourself to watch an episode of your favorite show
Contact Clear Life Recovery Today
Many of these grounding techniques are used at some of the best wellness and rehabilitation clinics, like Clear Life Recovery. Our compassionate, knowledgeable staff members will help you learn and master these techniques, as well as provide additional assistance. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs and recovery resources.