Mindfulness and grounding techniques are important tools in the treatment of trauma. They can also help improve our health and help combat stress. Many people often confuse the two because they are both helpful in dealing with our natural fight – flight – freeze response; however, in different ways. Read below to understand more.
Mindfulness is a performed by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging, accepting, and being with one's feelings, senses, thoughts, and body sensations, without judgment. Mindfulness can often induce relaxation. A regular practice of mindfulness has a whole host of physical and emotional benefits including building distress tolerance (physical and emotional) so that the body does not slip so readily into the fight – flight – freeze response.
Grounding techniques are to be used when triggered. They are used to control symptoms by turning the attention away from emotion, cravings, thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing attention on the present moment. Grounding is used when either feeling too much (overwhelming emotions and memories) or too little (numbing and dissociation). The idea is to manage your thoughts and experience toward safety, which is different than mindfulness. The aim, in this case, is to diminish the fight – flight – freeze response when activated or triggered.
List of Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques
Many of the mindfulness and grounding techniques are similar but vary by whether the intent is to accept and be with difficult feelings and sensations (mindfulness) or manage them to induce a sense of safety (grounding). The associated figure includes a list of mindfulness and grounding techniques that you can use, depending on your goal in the moment.
Counseling Can Help
Trauma counseling can also help you with your fight – flight – freeze response and help you heal.
It's time to heal...
Please contact Suzanne at (720) 443-1480 or email me to schedule an appointment.