Grounding techniques can help you disengage from overwhelming emotions and cravings. Try one of these techniques next time you feel pulled towards unhealthy eating habits like bingeing or eating junk food, especially in response to distressing emotions like anger, frustration, and anxiety.
Grounding is not about relaxation or meditation. It is about being totally focused and rooted back in the here and now of your current environment, not lost in your mind/distress/craving.
Here are some grounding techniques:
- Rainbow 🌈 — Look around your environment and identify objects corresponding to each color of the rainbow, in order: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple.
- Circles & Squares 🔵🟠🟥🟪— Identify five objects in your environment that are circles and five that are squares.
- Read Backwards 📖— Find something to read. Starting at the end, work backwards. For example, the sentence “I am here in the room” would become “moor eht ni ereh ma I”.
- Categories 🐶— Pick a category and list as many things you can think of that belong to it. Example categories include animals, movies, song titles, vacation destinations, and cartoon characters.
- Describe your environment 🌠— Look around your environment and describe what you see non-judgmentally. Describe the objects, the shapes, colors, numbers of things, etc. Be as detailed as possible.
- Repeat a here and now statement 📅— An example: “My name is Tova. I am in my room. Today is Monday December 14, 2020. I am here in the present moment of my life. This feeling will pass.”
- Use sensation 🧊🧊— Put ice or cold water on your face or wrist, place your feet firmly on the ground, smell something like perfume.
- Repeat comforting phrases 🎶— Recite a poem or a song you like. You can also read coping statements or affirmations. You can do this silently or outloud, if you feel comfortable doing so.