‘Grounding’ and Other Complicated Words

This is a personal reference list for me, but perhaps it will help others. Overall I find quieting my mind or paying attention to my body (common suggestions for self-soothing) to be very unpleasant. At some point I would like to increase my tolerance for things on the second list, but exposure therapy is not how you relax.

Grounding:

1. weighted blanket
2. back breathing
3. fidgets, especially cold or heavy ones
4. hard hugs
5. hot showers/baths
6. square breathing

Triggering:

1. ‘body scan’ meditations
2. okay, really any meditation billed as ‘grounding’ [Example]
3. diaphragmatic breathing
4. mindful movement

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2 thoughts on “‘Grounding’ and Other Complicated Words

  1. I had one therapist who just would not or could not understand (despite repeated discussions) that trying to “ground” me by asking to be mindful of my body in the chair was supremely unhelpful and triggering. You are definitely not alone in this. I kept trying to explain that if my body was a “safe and happy place,” I wouldn’t need the darn therapy!

  2. Interesting. Do you find concentration meditation (say, on the natural breath) to be agitating or calming?

    (In my own experience, as well as based on what I’ve heard from other people, and from my understanding of the Buddhist tradition as well, the body scan is absolutely *not* a ‘grounding’ meditation. It’s explicitly potentially *un*-grounding, and can often ‘bring up’ stuff; this is exactly why, traditionally, you cultivate the dyad of focus/stability and emotional non-reactivity through concentration meditation *before* doing any ‘insight’-style practices like the body scan.)

    That anything that requires you to be aware of your body *without* an external ‘comfort object’ of some kind causes you to be agitated may point to something. Two questions to test a hypothesis I have, iff you’re comfortable answering them: are you comfortable going without *all* human contact (including reading, the internet, etc) for a significant (say, 2-5 days, at least) amount of time? Do you need to engage with people every day (or close to it) – alternatively, have you ever gone without such engagement for any significant length of time? (My *guess* is no to both of these, but I could be utterly and totally off the mark here.)

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