My last blog post focussed on grounding and what it is. This time I will look at senses and how you might use them for grounding.
We are usually taught that there are five senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.
Grounding involves feeling more connected to the here-and-now, rather than on worries or concerns. So anything that stimulates your senses enough to focus on and cut through anxiety might help. This is why I suggested a variety of things for different senses in your cuddle baskets and comfort boxes.
However, anything harsh or unpleasant could cause discomfort rather than bodily connection. You know yourself best and what is likely to cause you to reach out for more and what might make you withdraw. Choose carefully based on your own experiences.
Here are some ideas if you struggle to think of anything:
Sight: an image in your favourite colours (or even one you can colour in yourself), a pretty piece of scenery, a toy kaleidoscope, a glittery object.
Hearing: your favourite music, birdsong, the sound of waves, running water, wind through the trees, a purring cat.
Smell: aroma oils, baking bread, your favourite perfume or scent.
Touch: soft jersey fabrics, a pet’s fur or skin, a cuddly toy, objects to ‘fiddle’ with (e.g. a physical puzzle such as a Rubik’s Cube).
Taste: mild spices (e.g. cinnamon), chocolate, fresh fruit, warm milk. You could experiment with different types of taste – e.g. salty, sweet, umami, bitter, sour.
This isn’t the end, though! You might have sensory difficulties or disabilities that make using some of these difficult or impossible. You might also find that these examples don’t stimulate you very well.
Interestingly, it seems humans have more than just the five “traditional” senses! You might like to explore ways to stimulate these as well:
Temperature sense: the ability to distinguish warmth or cold.
Kinesthetic sense/proprioception: the ability to know where parts of your body are relative to the others (particularly limbs) without looking (martial artists sometimes practice blindfolded to develop this sense).
Balance/acceleration: the ability to tell what way up you are and when your speed changes (close your eyes on a roller coaster!).
Organic sense: the sense of what is happening internally, such as hunger or thirst. Do you listen to these signals?
Vibration: the ability to detect small changes in pressure.
What might work for you?