If your feelings are getting out of control and you feel scared or angry, or if you feel a sense of unreality or of not ‘being here’, it may help to try and bring yourself into the present. The way of doing this is called ‘grounding’. Here are some suggestions:
Wherever you are, make yourself aware of what you are sitting/standing on; feel the seat or ground beneath you; notice what you are wearing; are you feeling hot or cold?; notice the noises around you and/or the smells; look out of a window and bring yourself into the here and now tell yourself that you are okay and that you are safe.
Some people find it useful to touch a familiar piece of jewellery, i.e. a watch or ring, which immediately brings them back to the present and helps them feel better.
Another suggestion may be to telephone a trusted friend or family member, who may help you become more in touch with the here and now, as well as reassure you that you are safe.
Some people find that being in natural surroundings grounds them, so this could include going for a walk in the countryside or near the sea. Alternatively, spending some time with any pets that you may have could be helpful as a way of bringing you into the here and now.
Another way of grounding that many people find really useful is called visualisation. This involves using your imagination, and a really common visualisation that is used is to imagine yourself as a tree. You can do this standing-up or sitting, as long as your feet are flat on the floor. Imagine that you have long, big, strong roots coming from the base of your feet (or from the base of your spine if you are sitting on the floor). Let these roots go right down deep into the ground so that they are anchoring you to the earth. It may sound a bit odd, but it may work for you!