How to stay grounded and get the best from Forklift Truck Training

Training involves learning new skills and you have to listen and assimilate information and apply it. At Wallace we have been training forklift, lorry and bus drivers for over 50 years. There are certain instances where a trainee/learner is not focused due to a variety of reasons which could include stresses at work, issues at home or getting stuck in the traffic on the way to training site. We are going through a challenging time due to the COvid-19 pandemic and people are often worried about their jobs, finances and health of their family members.


Wallace Forklift Training has been open throughout the lockdown as forklift training is deemed an essential service to keep the country moving. If you are not focused, handling a large piece of equipment like a forklift truck or an HGV lorry could cause considerable damage and injury to yourself and others.

You need to be focused to get the best out of your training. Sometimes, you are not feeling the best on the day and at these instances using “grounding” techniques may help.

What is Grounding

Grounding is a practice that can help you pull away from your worries and negative or challenging emotions. These techniques may help you refocus on what’s happening at the moment. There are three techniques of grounding: Mental, Physical and Soothing.

Mental Grounding Techniques

These are all about focusing your mind and getting back to the present. There are a number of techniques you can use which include:

  • Imagine – Think of a pleasant or comforting mental image. Make it as real as possible. You could say this is about going to your ‘happy place’.
  • Use humour – Take a few minutes to think of something funny or a joke somebody recently told you. This can quickly jolt you out of a negative mood.
  • Memory Game – where you look at a detailed picture for 10 seconds and the look away and try to recreate the picture in your mind or list all the things from the picture.
  • Categories – Choose one or two broad categories, such as football teams, countries or car models. Take a minute or two to mentally list as many things from each category as you can.
  • Use maths/numbers – Even if you are not good at maths, numbers can help centre you – Count backwards from 100 or think of a number and ways you can arrive at, e.g. number 20 (10+10, 10×2, 5+5+5+5, 30-10, 4+16)
  • Recite something in your head like a song or poem. Visualise each word on a page.
  • Anchoring phrase – this might be like “I am John Smith, 25 years old, live in Wembley. Today is 14th May, I am at Wallace Forklift Training Site, You can describe the weather or your surroundings, etc

Physical Grounding Techniques

This method is about using your five senses to bring you back into the moment and help you focus. Examples of Physical Grounding possible at a training site include:

  • Run cool or cold water over your hands or wrists
  • Clench and release your fists, stretch or even jump up and down if it is possible
  • Focus on your breathing, noticing each inhale and exhale
  • Take a short walk if you are early for training. Concentrate on your steps — you can even count them. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.
  • Listen to your surroundings or noises around you. Do you hear machinery or traffic? If you hear people talking, what are they saying? Let the sounds wash over you and remind you where you are.
  • Feel your body, either sitting or standing. Focus on how your body feels from head to toe, noticing each part. Curl your fingers and wiggle your toes.
  • Try the 5-4-3-2-1 method. Working backward from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, you might start by listing five things you can see, then four things you hear, three things you can touch, etc.

Soothing Grounding Technique

This is all about using techniques to comfort yourself at times of distress by giving you a positive experience to counter any negative ones.  This enables you to concentrate. Techniques include:

  • Thinking of your favourites like colour, food, sports, movies
  • Picture the voice or face of your loved ones – the people you care about and how they make you feel
  • Plan a treat for yourself like a holiday, meeting friends going to your favourite restaurant
  • Practice self-kindness – Repeat kind, compassionate phrases to yourself like “You’re having a rough time, but you’ll make it through”, “You’re trying hard, and you’re doing your best”, etc.
  • Visualize your favourite place. It could be anywhere. Create a mental image with colours and sounds. Remember the last time you were there.

Grounding, also known as anchoring is an effective way to focus, remove negativity and be in the present and generally does not cost you anything. Forklift, lorry or bus training could be quite expensive and your future career prospects dependent on you doing well. Therefore, use the grounding technique to get the best out of you. There are lot more techniques and with practice you will get better at it.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years’ experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training on 020 8453 3440, choose option 3 or click here to email us.

Scroll to Top