Whether your experience was recent or a long time ago, it is normal to feel strong emotions, and it is never too late to get support or learn new coping methods. Here are some techniques and resources that our clients find helpful.
Grounding techniques can help you manage overwhelming thoughts and feelings by refocusing your mind on what’s happening around you. These exercises can be done anywhere, at any time.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
5: Acknowledge five things you can see around you
4: Acknowledge four things you can touch
3: Acknowledge three things you can hear
2: Acknowledge two things you can smell
1: Acknowledge one thing you can taste
Pick a broad category and take a minute or two to mentally list as many things from each category as you can. Here are some ideas of categories that you can use:
Focusing on your breathing is one of the most straightforward things you can do to bring yourself back into a calmer mental state, as you always have your breath with you. Focus on taking long, slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, hold for a few seconds, then exhale through your mouth. Keep your attention on your breath, counting the length of each inhale and exhale.
One version of this technique is called Box Breathing.
This involves imagining breathing around a box, inhaling as you visualise going up one side of the box, pausing, then exhaling as you picture going down the other side.
Here is a video resource explaining the technique
Recite your favorite song, poem or book passage that you know by heart. You can say it out loud or in your head. As you do so, try to visualize each word as you’d see it on a page.
Grounding techniques and coping methods are very personal. What works well for you may not work for someone else. Try different things out - but make sure you stop if the technique makes you feel worse or unsafe.
Helpful apps and websites
Here are some free resources that provide yoga, guided meditation, and other resources that our clients find helpful.
Oho Mauri's holistic approach focuses on bringing an awakening to all aspects of our Tinana (body), Hinengaro (mind) and Wairua (spirit).
This great app provides 6 free beginner videos to introduce you to Māori meditation.
An app to provide guidance and self-help tips for improving well-being. It can also be used to help others who might be going through hard times, distress or depression.
The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma.
Fact sheets, tools and other helpful resources