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This exercise helps you identify anchors to the present that you can use to bring you a sense of safety or calm whenever you need them. Once you have identified what these anchors are, you can use them in the Find Your Anchors exercise to help you ground. 

You can choose anchors for any place where it is important for you to stay present, including each room of your home, your workplace, your car, your therapist’s office, etc. You can also create some anchors that you carry with you, so that you can use them wherever you are. 

This exercise is best done when you’re feeling rested and calm. You can always revisit this exercise and add to it later.

  1. Walk around the space you’re in, and concentrate on the various things you can see, the sounds you can hear, the smells you can smell, the things you can touch or hold, things you can taste. You can pick things up and experiment with how they make you feel. Focus on the things that feel either positive or neutral to experience, and that connect you to the present.
  2. For each room or space you’re in, choose three things you can see, hear, feel, touch, or taste. Try to choose different senses for each anchor, if that feels okay for you. You can write them down somewhere that is easy to check in the future, such as the Notes app on your phone, and you can bookmark it to keep it easily accessible.
  3. Whenever you need some help grounding, you can do the Find Your Anchors exercise here, or copy the exercise into that Note app on your phone and do the steps whenever you feel like you need some help grounding.

For example:

Place: My bedroom


Wall hanging

The smell of lavender room spray 

The sound of the fan


Place: My living room


The tree outside the window

The texture of my couch

The smell of books from the bookshelf


Place: My car


The smell of air freshener

The sound of music that I like

Car charm on my mirror


Place: Myself


My necklace

The taste of a mint 

The feeling of my clothing


Place: _____





( i )      Focusing on your sensory experience in the environment around you prompts you to orient to the here and now. Naming physical objects provide a contextual grounding in time and space that grounds our experience, and serve as the infrastructure for higher cognitive processes.

Finding specific sensory anchors that you know make you feel pleasant or neutral can become future touchstones for your nervous system that remind it to calm back down when it’s dysregulated.