Grounding Rocks: A Coping Skill for Anxiety, Stress & Life
Grounding: Connect to the Present Moment
Grounding techniques are meant to help you connect to the present moment in a nonjudgmental, realistic way often though helping you feel more connected to the present moment. I recommend clients use grounding techniques to clear their mind of worry and anxiety. It’s great to practice even when your calm so when the moment does come when you feel anxious you can easily focus on your grounding rock or other grounding activity.
When to use a grounding rocks
Truly you can use grounding rocks anytime. In fact, I recommend practicing on a regular basis when you are calm or even happy. However, some of the times when grounding rocks can be especially helpful include:
- When you are transitioning between two things (like school and work) and want to let go of the previous activity and refocus on the positive
- When you feel really judgmental of yourself and are having a lot of negative self talk
- When you notice that you are disassociated or don’t feel connected to reality
- When you begin to feel anxious or notice the start of a panic/anxiety attack
How to use a Grounding Rock
First, take a couple of deep breaths to focus your attention. Notice air rushing into fill your lungs and then warm air being released into the air around you. Try to bring the incoming air deep to fill your lungs to the point where your belly begins to rise. Slow your breath perhaps even allowing your exhale to take a little longer than the inhale.
Now, hold the rock you’ve chosen (see below for ideas about choosing a rock) in your hands. Notice the texture of your chosen rock. Feel the temperature where your skin touches it’s surface. Feel the weight of the rock in your hands. Observe the rock closely taking note of any defining features that set this rock apart from all others.
Now take a moment to engage in one of the following experiences depending on your need and the type of rock you are holding.
- Hold a rock with a word that has special meaning for you. You can either purchase such a rock or make your own. Take a moment to meditate/focus on the word. See this as a gentle reminder and think about what the word means to you. Common words on grounding stones may include healing, happiness, serenity, peace or dream.
- Holding a gem or crystal that is meant to hold a specific meaning or aide in something special. Here is an article that details some crystals that are said to specifically aid in grounding. As you hold the gem or crystal, pay attention to it in your hand and also recall the purported benefits of that rock.
- Hold a rock you picked up on a special trip or from a place that is meaningful to you. Close your eyes and as you hold the rock let yourself recall the space where you found it. Remember the sights, sounds, smells, sensations and even tastes you may have experienced in the moment when you acquired the rock.
- Find a rock outside near where you are right in this moment. Consider how the rock got there. This simple rock you found on the ground right here, right now. Why were you drawn to this particular rock? Is there anything unique about it? Consider the connection of this small rock to the larger area around it and even to the earth. What role does this small rock play? Allow yourself to feel connected for a moment to the earth through holding this tiny rock.
Learn even more coping techniques
If you are looking for a safe space where you can look at, acknowledge and just let yourself experience your strong emotions, I invite you to consider contacting Aspire Counseling today. We are a counseling center in Columbia, MO that welcomes clients from all walks of life. Our therapists take a wholistic approach to mental health basing your treatment on your unique situation, your goals moving forward, mindfulness and specific evidence based treatments that we’ve been trained to use.
Jessica Tappana, LCSW is the founder, director and a therapist at Aspire Counseling in Columbia, MO. She began Aspire Counseling in May 2017 to provide mental health services to individuals in the Mid Missouri area looking for healing from trauma, grief, anxiety and overwhelming stress. The practice now has several therapists and serves primarily ages 12 through retirement. Jessica values providing clients with a safe space that promotes healing and only brings on therapists who share her vision of providing counseling by getting to know you as an individual and then providing treatments that work. If you’re interested in beginning your healing journey, you will find a safe and inviting space in our office.