The Courier

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The concept of grounding and its benefits has its roots in many cultural and spiritual practices. Simply defined, grounding “is a set of simple strategies that can help you detach from emotional pain.” It’s also a way to dig deeper, reflect on your life, to get to know yourself and your God or your “Other” better. Winona State University, in Minnesota, authored a document, “Grounding, Create Personal Calm,” using materials from Dr. Lisa M. Najavits. She explains that focusing one’s mind (mental), senses (physical), and gentleness (soothing words) are the three main ways to focus or ground oneself. There are numerous techniques available to practice and add to your toolbox of comfort and coping skills.

Here are a few ideas Najavits suggests:

  • Visualize a favorite place or experience and relive that experience using all of your senses;
  • Engage in a body scan, beginning with your toes and focusing on each part of your body. Where you feel tension, breathe into that space and relax;
  • Press your palms together with all your might or clench your fists as tightly as you can for a 10-count, then release. What do you notice?
  • Utilize positive self-talk, and say the same kind words to yourself that you might share with a friend;
  • Practice frequently! If you need help, reach out to your closest chaplain.
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