Client Question: Do you have any grounding techniques for when you get dissociated in public?

There are many excellent grounding techniques.

Take a Deep breath all the way to the bottom of your lungs, hold it a second, then, let it out slowly. When all the air is out as a normal breath, go back to your normal breathing pattern. Then, Take slow, deep breaths to focus on your breath and bring your attention away from any distressing thoughts or feelings. Inhale deeply for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four.

The majority of people shallow breathe the majority of the time. When people dissociate their breathing is disrupted for a second or two. Taking a deep breath is helpful to give your brain the oxygen it needs.

If you are still dissociated use these techniques in no particular order.

  1. Use Your Breath as an Anchor: Focus your attention on your breath. Notice the sensation of the air entering and leaving your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breath.
  2. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique: Engage your senses by identifying and describing five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This helps bring your attention back to the present moment.
  3. Grounding Objects: Carry a small object in your pocket, like a smooth stone or a textured keychain. When you feel dissociated, hold the object and focus on its texture, temperature, and weight to bring your attention back to the physical sensations.
  4. Self-Touch: Gently touch your own skin to remind yourself of your physical presence. You could rub your hands together, tap your thighs, or gently pinch your arm. The tactile sensations can help you feel more connected to your body.
  5. Name Your Surroundings: Verbally or mentally list your surroundings and their details. Describe the colors, shapes, and textures of objects around you. This helps anchor you in the present environment.
  6. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and then slowly release different muscle groups in your body. This practice can help you feel more connected to your body and alleviate tension associated with dissociation.
  7. Counting: Count aloud or in your head. This can help you stay focused and centered in the present moment.
  8. Repeat a Mantra or Affirmation: Choose a calming phrase or affirmation and repeat it to yourself. This can help redirect your thoughts and promote a sense of safety. Saying something a easy as, “I am well. All is well.”
  9. Engage Your Senses: Carry a small container of a scented lotion or essential oil. When you’re feeling dissociated, take a moment to apply the scent to your wrists and breathe in the aroma.

Do as many repetitions of these grounding techniques as needed to bring yourself fully into the present moment. Avoid stressing if you forget one of the techniques. You can repeat two or more over again until you are fully into the present moment.

Then, if you aren’t in a recovery process with a Certified Transformation Hypnosis practitioner may I suggest you give yourself the gift of Mental/Emotional health recovery the you deserve.

If you need assistance on your journey…I am here only to be truly helpful.


Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. Executive and Business Health Consultant

International Best Selling Author – Conceived  To Lead: Dismantling The Glass Ceiling Mindset

Board Certified Clinical Hypnosis & Time-Line Practitioner 

Published August 12, 2023