Nassim Sana

How Can I Feel More Grounded?

How Can I Feel More Grounded?

Nassim Sana, MCRecently the news and social media have been shedding more light on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and it connection with our troops fighting for our country. Having had the experience of working with client who suffers from PTSD, I know how much it can affect one’s life.  Without the treatment it makes it difficult for the individual suffering resume normal daily activities.  It is important for all of us to have greater understanding of this disorder.  Greater understanding will allow us to help support those in need.

PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.

According to National Institute of Mental Health about 7.7 million American adults are affected by PTSD . The traumatic events most often associated with PTSD for men are rape, combat exposure, childhood neglect, and childhood physical abuse. The most traumatic events for women are rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon, and childhood physical abuse. In addition research from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows, going through trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 (or 60%) of men and 5 of every 10 (or 50%) of women experience at least one trauma in their lives.  I do want to point out that experiencing trauma does not mean you’ll get PTSD. Even though over half of us go through some type of trauma, a much smaller percent develop PTSD. The question you may be thinking is “Who is most likely to develop PTSD?” Research shows if you experience the following you may develop PTSD If you were directly exposed to the trauma as a victim or a witness, were seriously hurt during the event ,went through a trauma that was long-lasting or very severe, believed that you were in danger, believed that a family member was in danger, had a severe reaction during the event, such as crying, shaking, vomiting, or feeling apart from your surroundings, or felt helpless during the trauma and were not able to help yourself or a loved one.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy (‘talk’ therapy) and medicines such as antidepressants. Early treatment is important and may help reduce long-term symptoms.

  • One of the first things a therapist will teach a PTSD client is how to ground one’s self. This grounding technique is also helpful for clients suffering from anxiety and depression.

Grounding is a set of simple strategies that help the client detach from emotional pain (e.g., craving, anger, and sadness). Distraction works by focusing outward on the external world, rather than inward toward the self. You can also think of it as “distraction,” “centering,” “a safe place,” “looking outward,” or “healthy detachment.” You may be wondering, “Why grounding?” When one is overwhelmed with emotional pain, you need a way to detach so that you can gain control over your feelings and stay safe. Grounding “anchors” you to the present and to reality. There is several ways of grounding.

  1. Mental grounding is where one would describe the environment you are in with detail, using all your senses-for example, “The walls are white; there are five pink chairs; there is a wooden bookshelf against the wall.” Describe objects, sounds, textures, colors, smells, shapes, numbers, and the temperature. You can do this anywhere.
  2. Some examples of physical grounding are running cool or warm water over your hands, tightly grabbing onto ones chair as hard as you can, or, touch various objects around you: a pen, keys, your clothing, and the wall.
  3. The last example is soothing grounding, say kind statements, as if you were talking to a small child-for example, “you are a good person going through a hard time. You’ll get through this.”  One can also think of their favorites, like your favorite color, animal, season, food, time of day.

These techniques bring you back to present day. Do not think you need to suffer from anything serious to practice grounding, these techniques are also very helpful to utilize on stressful days. What I want everyone to remember is that you don’t have to fight through anything alone; with the right support and help one can overcome anything.  Thank you, Nassim Sana, M.C, CC Owner of Beauty in Truth Life Coaching LLC

Nassim Sana, M.C, C.C