100 Grounding Tools For The 5 Senses: A Reference List

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This is a reference list of ideas you can access quickly when needed quickly.  The list has been organized by our five senses: hearing, sight, sound, taste, and touch.  When distressed or triggered it is the intent of this list to provide you with a way to help you immediately ground yourself.  These ideas are here to help not harm, so please use your discretion. If an item described is not in your best interest please refrain from doing.

100 Grounding Tools By Sense

This guide is an addendum to our guides Manage Triggers with Grounding Techniques and Life Events, Triggers & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Below you will find a reference list of 100 grounding tools for the 5 senses. This list will help you in times when you are triggered to assist you in grounding your body and mind.

Grounding tools for triggers related to hearing

The ever present frequency that allows us to focus on many things as we turn this sense on like an alarm system to warn of us dangers coming at us within our periphery. When activated grounding can be achieved by doing the following.

  • Blow air out of your mouth
  • Call a friend that is safe
  • Complete a relaxation
  • Go for a walk and listen to the sounds around you
  • Go to the store or mall and hear the sounds of others
  • Hum
  • Laugh
  • Listen to a recording of a comforting voice
  • Listen to an audio book
  • Listen to music
  • Meditate using sound which could be hearing the sound of your breathing
  • Name six things you can hear around you
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Say your name over and over
  • Sing
  • Talk to yourself out loud
  • Whistle

There are also many tone and white noise machines that you may find helpful.

Grounding tools for triggers related to sight

Most people use vision as way to validate where there body is in relation to the world around them.  We depend on our sense of sight to let us know what is coming towards us and where we are going.  When the sense of sight is triggered and our vision shows us things that may be real but not true in this moment it can be confusing and disorienting.  Keeping your eyes open and being self aware is the best way to ground yourself when your sight is triggered.

  • Go for a walk and look at your surroundings
  • Leave yourself love notes throughout the house and read them
  • Look around the room for your favorite things
  • Look around the room to identify where you are
  • Look at yourself in a mirror
  • Look at the calendar for the date
  • Look at the clock for the current time
  • Look at your hands and feet
  • Look at all the rooms in you residence
  • Meditate with eyes open
  • Open your eyes wide and look around
  • Play a calming game
  • Put on and take off sunglasses and compare varying items color and texture
  • Read a book
  • Read a magazine
  • See someone and talk to them
  • Squint and look around
  • Put on and take off sunglasses and compare varying items color and texture
  • Validate where you live by looking at your mail
  • Watch a home video
  • Watch a movie
  • Write in a journal

I find meditating on an object such as a salt lamp while a color changing diffuser dispenses my favorite scent to be helpful. You may find this helpful as well.

Grounding tools for triggers related to smell

When the sense of smell is triggered utilizing other scents to ground may at times not be helpful.  You may find that clearing the air or changing your surrounding environment is more helpful.  Some grounding techniques that may help are below.

  • Air diffuser
  • BBQ
  • Breathe deeply
  • Burn incense
  • Burn scented candles
  • Buy flowers
  • Cook with your favorite spices
  • Go for a walk and focus on the smells around you
  • Meditate with a focus on breathing
  • Name five things you can smell
  • Open a window to let fresh air inside
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Spray air freshener
  • Spray your favorite perfume or cologne
  • Suck on a strong mint and blow your breath out to smell the mint

I am sensitive to scents so I really appreciate the ability to infuse my scent of choice to my environment. You may find this helpful as well.

Grounding tools for triggers related to taste

Having ones sense of taste triggered is bothersome to say the least.  Try some of the following grounding techniques to help you when your sense of taste is activated.

  • BBQ
  • Brush your teeth
  • Chew gum
  • Drink a cold glass of water
  • Drink a warm non alcoholic beverage
  • Drink a spicy non alcoholic beverage
  • Drink lemon water
  • Eat an ice cream come
  • Eat sour food
  • Eat spicy food
  • Eat sweet food
  • Gargle
  • Hold your nostrils closed and eat something. Describe the taste and texture. Then eat the same thing without holding your nostrils closed and describe the taste and texture.
  • Touch your tongue to each tooth in your mouth
  • Suck a lemon slice

I find that strong tastes are the most helpful but there are times when I utilize light tastes to focus my mind on identifying the taste which is helpful as well. Something you may want to try and see if it helps you.

Grounding tools for triggers related to touch

The largest organ of the body is skin which permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold.  As the skin covers the complete body, any distress in respect to touch is common and can overwhelm when triggered.  Some ideas to help ground you when this sense is triggered include:

  • Bounce your legs up a down
  • Carry, hold and touch a grounding stone
  • Comb and pet your animal
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Complete a relaxation
  • Dance with a safe person, or dance by yourself like no one’s watching!!
  • Drink a cold glass of water
  • Exercise
  • Garden
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go for a walk
  • Hold an ice cube in your mouth or hands
  • Massage your arms/legs
  • Meditate
  • Pick flowers
  • Pull weeds
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Pluck your wild hairs, ears, nose, chin, brown, lips
  • Rub your hands together
  • Salt lamp – touch
  • Shower
  • Sit in the sun and feel the warmth
  • Snuggle a doll
  • Snuggle a pet
  • Stamp your feet on the grass
  • Stamp your feet in bed while laying on your back
  • Stamp your feet on the floor
  • Stand in bare feet on the warm or cold floor
  • Stand in bare feet on the grass
  • Stretch your body
  • Take a bath
  • Tap your toes
  • Tap your feet
  • Tap your fingers or hands
  • Touch something cold-ice cream, frozen food
  • Touch something warm-a bowl of soup, the sun on the countertop
  • Touch something rough-sand paper, an unshaven face or legs
  • Touch something squishy-a ball, marshmallow, balloon with water
  • Touch something soft to you
  • Walk
  • Walk in a garden
  • Walk barefoot outside in the grass or garden
  • Write in a journal, computer

My go to for touch is to walk barefoot outside in the grass, but when the trigger is deep I lean into holding on to a plush toy or my pillow and writing. The leisure activities I like to engage in for touch include gardening, hiking, and walking. Healthy leisure activities and hobbies are great grounding tools.

Final Thoughts

Not all ideas and tools will work for everyone. Try each one and when you are grounded create your own “go to” list.

The above tools and ideas will help you in those moments where your thoughts are not helpful to your daily functioning.

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