Grounding Techniques for Difficult Times


To say that recovery can be a challenging journey would be an understatement. We are re-learning how to deal with the most difficult moments life can deliver through a new lens throughout recovery. The good news is that working through these obstacles, though painful, can bring joy and satisfaction. In sobriety, we find that after being numb to most of our experiences, being able to feel a full range of emotions can be a treasure though it is often a tricky part of being human. The simple truth is that we cannot have one without the other.

The good news is people have been navigating this “being human” thing since the beginning of time. While it is natural to want to feel good about ourselves and our lives, there is no way to go around the tough stuff. The only path to the other side is through the uncomfortable moments.  However, there are techniques we can use that will ground ourselves in the present experience helping to ease our way when our minds go astray. 

Mindfulness of the Moments

Being mindful is the act of being consciously aware of what is happening within the present moment. When our minds race to the future or past, we begin to feel unstable or ungrounded. One of the best ways to ground ourselves is to be aware of our present moment. Attaining a state of mindfulness can be challenging when our emotions in the present moment are frightening and difficult to access. Yet, there are tools we can use to reduce the intensity of our experience and soothe ourselves.

Body and Breath Awareness

Though it may seem obvious, bringing attention to the body and breath are some of the most potent ways of grounding into the present moment. Here are a few tactics you can use to ground yourself:

  1. Bring your hands to your lower abdomen and sit up straight. As you inhale, fill up your low belly like a balloon. Focus on the feeling of your body expanding and your hands rising. As you exhale, feel your lower abdomen deflate and slightly contract. 
  2. Place your hand on your arms, shoulders, or chest and focus on the feeling of warmth and connection between your hands and body. 
  3. Go outside and stand barefoot in the grass or dirt and focus on the feeling of the earth beneath your feet.


During recovery, there will always be new challenges that we face and situations that feel de-stabilizing. A key to success in recovery is being able to ground ourselves when things feel unsteady. At Avalon, we offer many practices and programs that help you through difficult times. Our programs help you get sober and remain sober in challenging times.  If you or someone you love needs help getting sober, call us today at (844) 857-5992. You deserve to live your best and healthiest life, and that can be just one phone call away. 

We will work with most out of network PPO policies

Call 888-835-8075 to verify your insurance benefits today!
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
Blue Of California