Quiet Distressing Thoughts – Try This Grounding Exercise

Grounding is a technique you can use to pull away from flashbacks, unwanted memories, or negative/challenging feelings. It can help distract you and refocus on the present.

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List 5 things you can hear


  • a fan
  • music
  • people talking
  • white noise machine

List 4 things you can see


  • something out a window
  • a picture on the wall
  • a light

List 3 things you can touch


  • a stuffed animal
  • the chair you’re sitting in
  • your shirt
  • a blanket

List 2 things you can smell


  • a cup of coffee or tea
  • an herb or spice
  • your favorite soap or lotion

List 1 thing you can taste


  • a cup of coffee or tea
  • a piece of gum
  • a mint
  • or a favorite food

Need support for your mental health?

Talk to your care team, a therapist, friends or family, community services, etc.

If you or someone you know is in crisis now, get help immediately by calling a 24-hour crisis center at 988 or if it’s an emergency, dial 911.

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