PTSD grounding and calming techniques range from very simple to pretty complex. Choosing the best exercise to implement during the onset of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode varies. This may vary by the person as well as their symptoms’ intensity level. You can learn about grounding and calming techniques by asking your therapist, and by visiting your local library, or searching online.
Consequently, when you hear grounding or calming many think of yoga and other eastern practices. But contrary to your perception, these terms have more do with cognitive behavioral therapies than anything else. Although, yoga is not a bad choice in learning optimum controlled breathing. Any calming activity will assist your loved on in balancing and centering themselves.
The most common exercises that I find to work best are using physical sensations and expressing things in real-time, real life – in the moment. Whenever my husband is showing signs of dissociation I will verbally describe items in the room where we are. Starting with something in direct view of him I will say what it is, the color, size, texture, and function. Then I will move on to something closer to him, even the carpet or fire-place.
Another method I will use if he is experiencing the early signs of dissociation is ask him what today is. Then I’ll ask what the actual date is and time of day. Finally, I will ask him things about what he did earlier that day. There are moments when I do not have to provide guided grounding for very long. Yet other times I would find myself attempting to ground my husband for hours. Although this can be exhausting keep in mind that it is even harder for the PTSD sufferer experiencing symptoms.
Lastly, if your loved one isn’t too far gone, grab the closest book and have them read the first paragraph out-loud. This typically grounds someone instantly. The commonality here is to refocus their mind on something in the present. This is done when you engage any or all of their five senses. Check out this amazing PTSD talk radio show about triggers and advice for additional ideas.
Resources for PTSD Grounding & Calming Techniques
In addition to the PTSD grounding and calming techniques, there are a few resources available. Such resources will assist your loved one gaining consciousness and reconnect with their bodies and surroundings. There is a mobile application (app) that both my husband and I downloaded to our smart phones. The app’s name is “My PTSD Coach”. The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage multiple symptoms. You can download the app here. iTunes IOS and Google Play Android are excellent sources to take the app anywhere with you to have at your finger tips. Best of all the app is completely free.
The other resource that I found helpful is a peer-supported online forum for PTSD sufferers and their supporters. You can interact with others which improves the feelings of isolation. You can also post your stories, questions, and show support to others going through the same situations. This forum (myptsd.com) can be found here. Implementing the different PTSD grounding and calming techniques from these sources and from my blog will bring your loved one closer to recovery. The more frequent these are practiced the easier they become. As a result, PTSD Grounding Calming Techniques will become a second nature to them and to yourself.
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