Mental Health Support
There are different strategies that individuals can utilize in order to cope with the impact of trauma and abuse. These strategies are indicators of what could work and each may not be applicable for every individual. It is important to determine which might suit you best and also to consult an expert in order to ensure that you are being able to cope effectively with the lasting effects of the trauma or abuse you have experienced.
- Grounding strategies are effective tools to help individuals who are either hyper-aroused or hypo-aroused to help them balance the same for it to be in a range that is manageable for them. Grounding is a strategy to help modulate arousal and is not the same as avoidance situations which are leading to the symptoms being experienced. It doesn’t alter the medical condition, however, it does enable the individual using the strategy to engage more effectively with their tasks, the people around them and their surroundings. When feeling overwhelmed grounding strategies can help by allowing the individual to calm themselves.
There are broadly three types of grounding techniques
- Mental Grounding Technique-
Describe your surroundings going into the details of all its aspects. For example, “There is a table in front of me. It is made of wood. There is a lamp on it which is currently switched off. There is a sheath of papers which have something scribbled on them”. Describe the objects, sounds, textures, colors, shapes, etc to be able to situate yourself within where you currently are. You can do this anywhere. For example, on the metro you can say “I’m on the metro. I’ll see the big building soon. There is a pole in front of me which is of metal. There are black leather straps for people to hold on to.”
Read something, saying each word to yourself or read each letter backward so that you focus on the letters and not on the meaning of the words.
- Physical Grounding Technique –
Run an ice over your hand and feel the temperature of your hand change as you do so.
Look around you and name for yourself the things that you touch, those that you can see and ones that you can smell.
- Soothing Grounding Technique –
Try to go back to a place that you find safe. It could be the beach or mountains, or a favorite room. Describe it by focusing on everything about that place – the sounds, colors, shapes, objects, smell.
Give yourself positive statements – Say to yourself statements like – “I am in a safe and secure place. I can manage this. This feeling will pass. I will be ok.”
Think of things you are looking forward to in the coming week.
- Mental Grounding Technique-
- Breathing Exercises – Place your hands in a relaxed position. As you inhale, breathe deeply but slowly. Exhale slowly and experience your stomach rise up and fall down with each breath you inhale and exhale. Attempt to inhale through your nostrils and breathe out through your mouth. Maintain this cycle for a few breaths. Attempt to exhale for twice as long as you inhale.
- Becoming Aware of Thoughts, Emotions and Feelings – Trauma and Abuse can impact the way we think , feel or act. Replace maladaptive cognitions (inaccurate or unhelpful thoughts) related to everyday events with more accurate or helpful cognitions by identifying the errors in thinking such as catastrophizing, minimizing, tunnel vision, limited evidence, to name a few. Identifying these can be difficult on your own and it is usually recommended that these be attempted with an expert.
This guide isn’t a replacement for professional guidance or advice. We aim to help you in times of crisis to make informed decisions
- Sanjivini Society for Mental Health – 01140769002, 01141092787 01124311918, 01124318883, 01143001456
- Government Mental Health Rehabilitation ‘KIRAN’ (24X7) – 18005990019
- Vandrevala Foundation (24X7) – 9999666555 ; Whatsapp Chat: +1(256)6662141; E: [email protected]
- Fortis Hospital National Helpline (24X7) – 91-8376804102
- Jagori – 011-26692700/ 011-26691219/ 011-26691220