Emotions are vital to us as humans yet they can become so extreme that they can overpower and overwhelm us. We’ll call this emotion overwhelm. We can become overpowered with less desirable emotions like anger, sadness, grief. We can also become overwhelmed with emotions of ecstasy, anticipation, or joy.
In each of these cases when we get very emotional, we can lose connection with the parts of our brain that help us plan, organize, and rationalize. When this happens we can get lost in emotion. Of course we need to value the emotions we have but we also need to find a way to get grounded if emotions become too strong.
Quick Tip Video: Grounding for Emotion Overwhelm
What is Grounding?
When we get very emotional we tend to turn into ourselves, becoming very aware of and focused on our bodies and what’s happening inside of our bodies or what’s happening in our mental state. Grounding is a way to use your 5 senses to turn outwards, keep your eyes open, head lifted, and take in the environment around you which helps to reduce your emotionality.
Grounding Tips & Ideas for Kids
– Count all the red things in the room.
– Tell me how many shoes there are in the corner
– Think about your favourite Disney Characters
The goal is to get them to think about something outside of themselves.
Grounding Tips & Ideas for Adults
– Count books
– Name colours
– Look at objects in the room
– Use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Technique:
- Name 5 things you see, 5 things you hear, 5 things you feel
- Then name 4 things you see, hear, feel
- Next name 3 things, and so on, until you get to 1.
Regardless of the technique used, the goal is to look outwards, use your 5 senses to pay attention to things outside of your body. This allows our emotions to take a back seat for a little while so you can re-engage with the part of your brain that helps you to think and rationalize and become more aware of how to manage those emotions.
Give this a try this week!
*This video is part of a Quick Tips for Mental Health Series on our YouTube channel
and one of many video blogs on our website!*