By Barbara Jandu
August 27, 2020
Have you ever tried to relax, only to find yourself feeling more stressed or even triggered in the process? If this happens to you, you may want to try grounding instead. Grounding techniques are a bit different from relaxation strategies, in that they are designed to bring your attention to the present moment, especially if you’re stuck thinking of something that happened in the past. If you incorporate an element of something you find spiritually healing as well, grounding can be a powerful way to remind yourself that you’re safe.
Aromatherapy: Experiment with different essential oils or fragranced lotions and compare which make you feel alert or relaxed.
Create Art: Drawing, painting, or coloring helps you enter a state called ‘flow’ which is very soothing; you can even draw a place you find safe & calming.
Do a Mental Puzzle: Trying counting and matching at the same time, such as 1-A, 2-B…this uses both sides of your brain, and helps you focus.
Feel Textures: Compare different textures like a soft fabric or a hard, smooth stone in your hand to engage your sense of touch as you explore what is present with you.
Go Barefoot: Literally get grounded by taking off your shoes and standing in some cool grass.
Go for a Walk: Walking, especially in nature, releases endorphins and helps with clarity – Mindfully notice what’s around you and how each footstep feels.
Grounding Object: Keep a small object that reminds you that you’re strong, safe, and loved.
Laugh or Smile: Even if it’s hard, put yourself in a ‘smiling time-out’; you may find yourself laughing, which is good medicine; it boosts immunity, relaxes muscles, and relieves pain.
Listen to Music: Choose music that is familiar, soothing, even loud. Of course, it all depends on what will be most helpful to bring you to the present.
Mindful Eating: Try biting into slice of lemon or tangerine. Notice the scent, texture, and finally the flavor. Doing so will keep you present.
Pet an Animal: Petting a cat, dog, rabbit or other pet can quickly lower anxiety.
Rainbow Colors: Look around you and see if you can find one object of every color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
Reach out for Support: Call or text a friend and share how you’re feeling or schedule an appointment with a trusted therapist.
Run Your Hands under Water: Warm water tends to relax; cool water will make you feel alert.
Sing or Hum a Favorite Song: Choose something you find calming or reassuring.
Stretch: Reach up to the sky; let your body hang loosely over your feet; stretch your fingers and toes; hunch your shoulders then let them drop down again.
The next time you find yourself feeling distressed or focusing on the past, try one of these grounding techniques to bring you back to the present moment. It may help you to remember that you’re safe as well as to stay calm and connected to your surroundings.
“…that according to the riches of His glory, God may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith— that you, being rooted and grounded in love….”Ephesians 3:16-17
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