Like a tree that has its root deep into Mother Earth’s belly, we, too, as humans need to ground ourselves when things feel off balance in our lives. One way of grounding is using grounding statements instead of positive affirmation statements.
Grounding statements are defined as statements that feel true to us and help regulate us. For folx who have experienced trauma, positive affirmations may not be as effective because they feel untrue. For example, saying to oneself, “I feel safe right now” may not feel true because the feeling is still one of “not feeling safe.” However, a grounding statement such as “I can feel my feet pressing on the ground” or “It’s okay to not be okay right now,” may resonate with someone who may not feel safe at the moment while also creating grounding.
Dr. Nubia describes that “during a trauma trigger, the body reacts to a cue in the environment that the amygdala perceives as danger. The nervous system reacts as an attempt to protect you - because it believes you are still in the moment of the original past trauma…the grounding statements help ground us in the present…signal to our amygdala that we are not actually in danger in the present moment.” (@dr.nubia)
Other grounding statements can include:
- I am having a moment right now. It will pass.
- I am grateful for ___________.
- I can take space when my body asks. I don’t need permission to take space.
- I don’t like this feeling. I know that it’s just a feeling and it won’t last forever.
- It’s okay to make mistakes. I’m still learning.
- This is hard. I can do hard things.