This first exercise uses mental grounding methods. Start by reminding yourself that you are safe. You are here, in this moment. Now take all the negative feelings and thoughts you are experiencing and put them in your container. If you don't have a container, try to imagine putting a buffer between you and all of your negative feelings. Imagine that your feelings are bundled up and put in a container. Next, think of something you can put between you and that container of negative feelings. Perhaps it’s a wall, a suit of armor, or a big open field in the country. Anything that creates safe distance between you and your negative feelings. Good!
Now let’s focus on the room. Look around the room. Name as many colors as you can. Good. Now name as many objects as you can. How many chairs are there? How many windows? If you can, look outside the window-what is the weather outside? Good. Are there paintings or posters? If so choose one and describe it. Not judging it, just describing everything you can about it: colors, shapes, content. Excellent! How many doors are there? How many lights are there? What color is the carpet or floor? Do you see any words printed anywhere in the room. On a poster or book jacket? If so, read each letter backward. The reason we we read it backward is that you want to notice the letters themselves-as if you're seeing these letters for the very first time. Terrific!
Next we'll try naming some facts. Tell me the names of cities-as many cities as you can name. Wonderful! Now try naming T.V. shows and movies - if you prefer name as many books as you can. Now name as many animals as you can. Excellent. Now take the number 100; subtract 5 from that and notice the new number; subtract 5 again and notice the number. Keep going for a bit, subtracting 5 and noticing the new number. Don't worry if you can't get the math - just let it go.
Other suggestions for mental grounding include:
Look outside. Count the number of trees and street signs.
If you're on a busy street-count the number of blue cars.
Listen carefully and name all the sounds you can hear.
Count how many A’s there are on this sheet.
Sudoku or other puzzles could be used.