How do you ground yourself?

ms spock

Sponsor
What are your strategies for grounding and bringing yourself out of dissociation? I so struggle with grounding and dissociation. How do you notice that you are dissociated? What are you doing to come out of your dissociation?

How do you break down your depersonalisation, just a little each day? How do you feel more yourself? How do you connect with your self? How do you know that you are depersonalised?

How do you manage your derealisation? How do you know you are in derealisation? How do you find a place in the world? Do you have any strategies to break down your derealisation, just a little bit each day?
 

Sideways

Moderator
Derealisation is definitely the easiest for me to recognise in the moment. Because for some reason I find it incredibly amusing that the whole world could be just a 2D image, or a movie set or something. It's much harder for me to notice I'm on auto-pilot. Usually some time has to pass and I eventually have that "What happened to the last few hours?" moment.

In both cases, I use plants if I can. I go outside, look at the leaves moving, the light changing in the foliage, and rub leaves in my hands for the texture and smell.

I'm lucky to have an assistance dog, and engaging wih him is something that I now just do fairly constantly and it has definitely reduced the amount of time that I spend dissociated.

There is definitely an element of stress that seems to be the key trigger for dissociative episodes, so working more generally on anxiety reduction and suds monitoring also helps me.

Have you noticed any kind of triggers for your dissociation? Because that might help you identify not just what makes it worse for you, but also potentially shed some light on what needs to change in those moments to bring you back to the present.
 

Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
Breath, natural scents of comfort, nature in all of its forms, nurturing substances, soothing self-talk, smudging self (and spaces) whenever possible with sage sticks, and checking in with all of my senses, repeatedly if necessary. Depending on how much I practice each method/technique when I'm not stressing out determines how well it works for me once the proverbial shit hits the fan.
 

Nyssa

Confident
Unless the dissociation is strong, I have a hard time noticing. Especially if I am alone and indoors. Interacting with people and going outside helps me getting aware of my level of dissociation.

When the dissociation is strong, I tend to find it amusing. Unless of course, it comes with intrusive thoughts and memories in which case I need emergency grounding techniques.

The most efficient one for me is drawing. I'll draw whatever is in front of me, it works like magic. Unfortunately, it is not always possible. When it is not, I try to look at things as if I was drawing them (moving your hand as if you had a pen can help). It's very efficient but I don't always succeed in reaching the level of concentration it requires.

Another technique I found consists in looking for random words in my head. I'll say at loud (or out loud in my head) the first word that comes to me. Then I'll look for another random word, that should not be linked to the previous one. For example, if my first word is chair, the next one can not be table because it would be inspired by chair, and therefore wouldn't be random. So I search/wait for a new word, and so on and so forth. I find this source of randomness amazing.

I like these techniques because they are mine. I tend to do poorly with grounding skills that I read about or were taught to me. It always makes me feel like someone else is telling me what to do. And when I need to ground myself, I can not stand the idea of being told to do anything.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I name a color, then count how many times I see it wherever I am. Then I name another and so on. I work hard outside. I enjoy derealization. It's like I'm floating through a different world. I've had a lot of that today, and dissociation. I worked outside twice today in the hot sun, and while I was working I was grounded, now I'm floating off again. It's ok, I need to today to stay out of the hospital.
 

LoveTea

Not Active
Realizing I am dissociating and figuring out what to do about it in the moment has been pretty rough for me. I'm trying to keep a couple lists, so that I pay attention a little more and start to learn the signs and then what to do. I have a few close friends too, who will notice and help me get out whe I can't on my own.

A lot of my grounding techniques come from senses. A popular one is holding a frozen orange, which works for me, but isn't always accessible. I like to carry a small tin of altoids, tic tacs, gum, cough drops, anything with a strong taste, it is pretty descrete too. Same goes for strong smells like vanilla or essential oils. One I particularly like is rapping on my stirnum in my upper chest to get an "echoey" feeling.
 
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