Grounding techniques, similar to mindfulness, can be a great way to help you cope with everyday times when you feel a little bit stressed.
- Breathe in deeply and out again, three or four times. I do in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7. This helps to breathe oxygen deep into your body, which helps you think more clearly and calm yourself more quickly.
- Take a look around, do a quick check of your surroundings and your body. Are you too close to the car in front? are you rushing too quickly to cross the road? are you holding your breath? is your heart beating a little too fast? Take a step back and notice how you feel.
- Focus on your five senses. Sometimes you can’t focus on all five, often taste is the one you need to miss out, but this really helps you to slow down, take stock, rethink and focus on what’s important. It is ‘grounding’ because it ‘brings you back to earth’ from the heightened state you were in.
This is how I used my senses this morning, while out walking my dogs and thinking about the operation my mum was about to have.
Sight – I saw fishing boats, several seabirds; sandpipers, oyster catchers, gulls, the offshore wind farm with it’s turbines standing majestically against the horizon, the calm sea reflecting the beautiful blue of the sky, glittering sand grains shimmering in the early morning winter sun. The more you look, the more you can see!
Hearing – I heard waves lapping at the shore,dogs barking excitedly, gulls calling across the sky, the distant rumble of traffic, the coconut shell clops of horses galloping across the sand.
Touch – I felt the soft sand beneath my feet, the warmth of the sun on my face, and the biting cold of the wind.
Smell – I smelt the salty tang of the sea, the earthy smell of the seaweed washed up at the high tide line.
The more you stop and use your senses, the more you will find that you are aware of. This is a great exercise to do when you are feeling stressed. Plus the more you do it, the more self aware you become, and the easier you will find it to think calmly and cope with life.
Try it and tune in to your self.