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Guided Mental Grounding Exercise

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

Over the next few weeks I'll be guiding you in some grounding exercise. Grounding is a set of exercises designed to distance you from intense negative emotions by focusing in a mindful way on the present. It's also useful if you find yourself dissociating.

The script for today’s exercise can be found here:

A common grounding technique is the 5,4,3,2,1 grounding exercise. It’s to help you engage all 5 senses.

  • Name FIVE things you see around you and really look at them

  • Find FOUR things you can touch and really notice them as you touch then one at a time

  • Notice THREE things you hear and really listen

  • Find TWO things you can smell and pay attention to how they smell

  • Find ONE thing you can taste and enjoy the taste.

Although this is a nice short hand for grounding, it can fall short. I like to teach three distinct grounding styles. Today I’ll teach mental grounding. Mental grounding engages the mind. It is how you can activate your pre-frontal cortex so that you can detach and think clearly. You know from previous videos of mine that our pre-frontal cortex goes off line when our body goes into fight or flight. We don’t have to think about the grizzly bear before it attacks us, we just need to react.

Examples of grounding include simple math problems. Naming things, cities, sport teams, books, T.V. shows, etc. Counting. Counting anything in the area.

If you have comments, questions or topics you want me to touch on. You can call text me at 217-731-4638. Email me at - or drop me a line through my website at

You can find past videos on my website here:

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