April is Earth Month! To celebrate all things Earth related, this week we are talking about ways to connect and be more present with the world around us.
Grounding is the process of centering the body to help reduce anxiety, overthinking, and stress. Typically, we use techniques that help bring our attention to anything having to do with the 5 senses. Developing tools to help bring you to the here and now can help you feel more empowered, confident, and relaxed in any and all situations. Grounding works as a relaxation method because it signals to the brain that we are safe. Anxiety works as one big on and off switch- when we are afraid we release certain chemicals. Our body thinks there is either a lion in the room or there isn't. All the same chemicals are released whether we are actually in danger or not all, because we FEEL the fear. By focusing on the current surroundings and how they feel, look, sound, taste, or smell we show ourselves that we are not actually in danger. This is a skill that can be used to cope with severe anxiety or even just to increase general relaxation and self-awareness!
Whether you're feeling super stressed or just looking for ways to connect and celebrate the Earth, try a few of these techniques and observe for how different you feel!
Focus on 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Engaging all the senses and following a system are two distractions that will show your brain where to focus!
Ice or Ice water is easily accessible and effective. Try holding an ice cube, throwing back a cold glass of water, or even bring yourself out into nature and watch running water. Pay attention to the movement and temperature.
Take off those shoes
And walk! Preferably outside, with bare feet to feel the literal ground. If you can't manage this, try to walk barefoot across cool tile or a soft rug. Notice the texture of the earth or your ground wherever you are. Feel the temperature. Feel how stable you feel on your feet.
Make a list
List off your favorite things! Make it fun! My personal fav is trying to list all the ice cream flavors I can think of. (Vanilla, Rocky Road, Pistachio...) Let your brain search and really work hard! The shift of focus will allow your body time to process where you are and catch up with where you'd like to be.