April 16, 2020 - It is hard not to feel stressed out with all the uncertainty that looms over us during this time of pandemic crisis. Many people turn to different coping mechanisms to ease the anxiety such as distracting themselves by binge watching Netflix series or doing chores around the house. Using distractions and productivity are a good way to notfeed into distressing thoughts, but when the anxiety level becomes a little too high, we need a little extra help to combat this quickly. One of the tools that I have found work best for myself is the grounding exercise.
Grounding is an easy way to relieve stress, but it does take practice and a lot of self-awareness to work its magic. For those who are not familiar with this healing technique, grounding helps you break away from those unwanted negative thoughts that create these feelings of anxiety by focusing on the present moment. Here are different grounding techniques that could help you cope with stress and anxiety:
- Deep Breathing – by slowly, deeply inhaling and exhaling and focusing on your breaths, this is the quickest way to bring you mind back to the present moment. Noticehow relaxed you will immediately feel when you do deep breathing. It is because the brain gets a signal to calm down and sends this to rest of your body.
- Stretch or Move your body –get up and walk around your house. Move slowly and notice your furniture and the corners of your rooms or stretch, do some yoga poses and focus on your body and your movement. If you feel like you need to shake off the energy that these negative thoughts bring you, do jumping jacks, exercise, or even dance like no one’s watching. Movement will bring your thoughts back to the present moment.
- Use your senses – pet your furry friend, have a sip of a warming tea, light a scented candle, sing a song, put your hands in cold water, etc. When you use your senses, it will divert your thoughts away from the anxiety and stress just make sure you fully immerse yourself while doing it.
- Listen to music – there’s a reason why music is called “language of the soul”. Music can make us relieve memories, make us move, make us cry, and more importantly, soothe our nerves.
- Transmuting negative feelings – by sitting with your feelings and processing them, you are actually doing a very healthy way to transmute this negativity and change it to positive. You can imagine the stress and anxiety being tangled up in a ball then throwing this in a waste can. You can imagine this in many other ways such as picturing your negative feelings on a TV channel and you switching it to a more positive channel. You can get creative as much as you want, as long as the intention is there, an energy shift will occur. This exercise may take some practice but once you get the hang of it, it is highly beneficial.
- Meditation – just like transmuting your negative feelings using your creative mind, meditation takes some practice but once you get into the habit of daily meditation, you can see how you can easily manage your stress. Being still with your breath will pull you back to the present moment whether you just sit quietly while you allow your thoughts to flow or using guided meditations form different apps and YouTube videos.Holding some grounding crystals such as tiger’s eye, hematite, and red jasper while meditating will amplify the power of your meditation.
All these grounding techniques are powerful tools that we can utilize at anytime and are easily accessible. I learned through grounding that I have full control over my thoughts. However, if these negative feelings still continue to affect you on a daily basis, consult a therapist.
Vancouver resident GK Limcangco started daily meditations five years ago.