Grounding Techniques for Survivors Who Have Experienced a Traumatic Event

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Staying up to date with current conversations and news surrounding sexual violence is important, but can also be emotionally challenging. That’s why we share self-care resources with our readers. Thank you for making issue-awareness part of your journey.

It’s normal for survivors of sexual violence to experience hypervigilance, fear, stress, nightmares, anxiety, and nervousness which is a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder. While it is completely normal to feel these symptoms, grounding can be used as a coping strategy for survivors with symptoms related to trauma. There are a few ways to practice grounding, which can alleviate symptoms and may make it easier to carry out day to day tasks. Below are a few ways you can ground yourself with your 5 senses and practice daily:

Sight

  • Count all of the furniture pieces in front of you and name the color of the furniture
  • Read a book or a magazine
  • Watch your favorite show, movie, documentary, or comedy

Touch

  • Touch and hold a warm cup of coffee or tea
  • Cuddle with your cat or dog if you have one
  • Play with therapy putty or play-do, or fidget ring
  • Squeeze a stress ball

Taste

  • Chew a minty piece of gum
  • Bite into a lemon or lime
  • Try out some new salsa and try a spicy salsa if you like spicy foods

Sound

  • Listen to a meditation playlist
  • Call a loved one and listen to their voice
  • Turn on your favorite music

Smell

  • Light up your favorite scented candle
  • Sniff something with peppermint or lavender
  • Go into nature and smell the flowers or the leaves
  • Close your eyes and remember the scent of a loved one

"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - RAINN."

https://www.rainn.org/articles/post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Accessed 14 Feb. 2023.

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