Do you suffer from depression or anxiety or any other mental health disorder?
Do you find when you are having an attack you don’t know what or how to ground yourself, calm yourself down?
Maybe it’s time to try a grounding box!
But first off, what is grounding? This is the act of utilizing the 5 senses to bring your self back to reality during a depressive or anxiety episode.
Sight – What can you see around you? What colour is it? What’s it’s texture?
Smell – Is there a particular smell in the air you can identify? If not, light a candle and focus on it’s scent.
Touch – What does your skin feel like? Is it warm, cold, hot? How about things beside or around you, how do they feel?
Hearing – What noises can you hear around you? Are they basic worldly noises? Do you have music playing? What song is it? Do you enjoy it?
Taste – Notice the taste of your saliva. Get something to eat and really pay attention to it. Is is salty? Sweet?
Now what is a grounding box? A grounding box utilizes these five senses as well as other things that have been proven to work on you in the past.
For example, this is what I would put in my grounding box:
- Firstly, I would pick a box that is bright in colour and possibly textured – this not only makes is easier for me to remember the box but also takes care of the SIGHT feature.
- Within the box I would include 2 or 3 types of small candles. I would pick one spicy (cinnamon), flowery (rose), and herbal (patchouli).
- I would also include something for me to fidget with, this for me would be my smooth onyx stone. This is a stone that I used to carry with me in my pocket when I was a teenager to touch when I would start to feel anxious. You could also include a collection of different types of fabric (velvet, satin, corduroy, cotton, etc.).
- A CD of soothing sounds or music – I personally already have a collection of yoga CD’s that include both combined together. This allows you to close your eyes and pretend you are somewhere else. For example, you are listening to waves, and when you close your eyes you picture yourself relaxing on the beach.
- Snacks, your favourites. For me this would be; a few slices of chocolate orange, some dehydrated fruit, popcorn, and almonds.
- Journal. I find it helps when I’m having an anxiety attack to force myself to analyze exactly what I am thinking by writing it out. It does not need to be coherent, it does not need to be perfect, it just needs to verbalize exactly what you are feeling in the moment.
- Sudoku or puzzle book. Is there anything else better at taking your mind off of anxious thoughts than math?
- A comforting item from your childhood. For me this is a stuffed polar bear affectionately named: Chilly. When you are feeling anxious coddling your inner child can be super super important and helpful. It helps you to feel safe.
I hope this is helpful to you.