Observation grounding techniques use what is in your environment to help ground you. They are beneficial grounding techniques because you can use them pretty much anywhere and there is nothing that you need to have with you to be able to do them. For observation grounding techniques to be effective they need to focus your attention on something else and away from whatever is distressing you. It is best if the object or focus of your attention is something that is more neutral and doesn’t bring up any strong emotions (either negative or positive).They can be used for trauma triggers, panic attacks, and other sudden urges when you may not have comfort items available.
Examples of Observation Grounding Techniques
- What are 5 things you can see?
- What are 4 things you can feel?
- What are 3 things you can hear?
- What are 2 things you can smell?
- What is 1 thing you can taste?
Pick an object and describe it in as much detail as possible. Make sure you describe it in different ways: colour, texture, shape, etc. For example, you can describe the colour of a leaf, the lines, how smooth it is, and the shape.
Describe the room you are in.
If you are in a place with other people, take notice of their appearance and describe as many details as possible.
Look at a picture and notice the different colours. Imagine how the different textures would feel. Notice the different lines and how they impact the rest of the picture.
If you can, step outside and notice the temperature of the air and how it is different from where you came from. You can also notice if there is any scents in the air.
Pick up an object. Take notice of the different lines and textures of the object. What do they remind you of? What are the different colours of the object.
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