Grounding techniques are a way to maintain focus on one thing, and to stop your racing
thoughts in their tracks. People use it for a wide range of things, from stopping a panic
attack, to helping with emotional stress. It can also be used in combination with
mindfulness and mindful eating.
Mindfulness Itself is a Grounding Technique
The first thing to understand is that mindfulness itself is actually a type of grounding.
What you do in mindfulness is grounding you, from remaining in the present, to
choosing what to focus on. Grounding is not a complicated concept, though it can be
confusing in the beginning. It is just a way to relax in the moment and try to maintain
your focus on one thing.
People who have anxiety often use this technique to find one thing to focus on in order
to slow down a panic attack. With mindful eating, you are using grounding by paying
attention to your food, instead of focusing on other things while you are eating.
Don’t Forget to Use All Your Senses
When you start paying more attention to each individual sense while practicing
mindfulness, you have an easy way to stay grounded. Any time you notice your mind
wandering or stop paying attention to your food, pick a sense and focus on it. This might
be taste, the feeling of your food and the textures, how it smells, or what it looks like.
Just keep bringing yourself back to that, and you will be using grounding for
Focus on Just One Thing at a Time
If you are becoming overwhelmed and notice your attention swaying often, think of just
one thing to focus on at any given time during your meal. This is helpful when your
senses alone aren’t helping. Maybe you have a table centerpiece you can look at to
bring you peace, or some artwork on the walls. It is used in the same way as your
senses, where you keep bringing your attention back to it if your mind wanders and your
thoughts become stressful.
Notice When Your Attention Shifts
Paying attention to mindfulness will help you see when your attention shifts, then you
can use grounding techniques to bring your attention back to your food. The more
mindful you are, the more you will notice when you are no longer thinking about your
food and noticing how your body feels while eating.