When life is overwhelming, and anxiety is taking hold, how to you reclaim yourself again? How do you find that calm center so you can feel in control again? One of the ways that have been used by thousands of people around the world is called grounding exercises. These are visualization and meditation exercises that help you move the stress and confusion out of your body and mind and clear it so you feel more grounded. Grounded means that you don’t have your energies scattered everywhere, that you are back in control of yourself, like grounding electricity to the earth, so it’s safer.
- The “Tree Exercise”. Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground, or you can even sit on the ground, as long as you are comfortable and your feet are touching the floor. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, in for 7 count, out for 7 count, until your breathing is slower and more relaxed. Then visualize and imagine that your feet are putting out roots towards the earth, and connecting you physically to the ground. The middle part of your body visualize as the trunk of a mighty tree and the top half, visualize as branches reaching towards the sky. Once you have this visualization firmly in mind, “see” in your minds eye all the stress, negative thoughts and emotions and bad energy leaving your body flowing upward and out of your branches above to leave you. Also visualize at the same time or near same time that your “roots” in the ground are pulling up pure energy, untainted by stress or anything negative. This is rejuvenating you by flowing up from your “roots” and then flowing throughout your body. Keep this exercise up as long as you need to, until you start to feel more calm and less stressed. When you are done, allow the rest of the negative energy to float out the top, and then release your roots and return to your every day world.
- Be mindful of your surroundings technique. This is where you stop and concentrate on the world around you. Go outside if possible and look into the distance, concentrate on seeing and naming at least three things that are in the distance from you. Once you name things in the distance, stop and look close by, try to name three things that are near you, and if they are small details, even better. This will take your concentration off what is stressing you and onto something neutral.
- Shielding. When the world seems scary, and out of control. You can visualize a shield protecting you. Sit down and be comfortable. Take several deep breaths in and out until you have calmed some. Next pick a color that feels strong to you, for me I choose red, but you can choose any color you feel an affinity to. With your eyes closed, start visualizing your entire body. Be aware of everything from the top of your head to your arms, to your feet. Then visualize having a large bubble that is fitting over your body (or a bodysuit works also for this). See it covering every part of your body. “Tell” it in your mind that this will stay around you, protecting you from harm, and will only allow positive energy and healing to penetrate you. The mind is a powerful thing, if you put this shield over you, your mind will help you gain control over your anxiety and stress so you can function better.
- Centering. Centering is simply returning all of your energy that is scattered back to you. Most people have their energies divided. You may be typing up something, and watching the clock and waiting for lunch all at the same time. Centering will help bring all of your energy back to you, so you feel more calm. Again, sit comfortably and breathe deep until you are calmer. Visualize all the little bits and pieces of your energy that is all over the place as a golden color. See the tendrils going out from yourself in your mind. Mentally start gently pulling on all those tendrils and bring them back to you. It may take a few attempts to get the hang of this, but once you do, you will be able to eventually do this exercise anywhere and anytime you need to calm yourself.
Creative visualization and meditation exercises are great ways to regain control of your mental state. Those of us with chronic illness and thyroid disease often feel like our bodies are pulling us every which way and make it hard to keep oneself in check mentally. Try one or more of these exercises when you start feeling anxious or out of control and see if they can help you regain a bit of yourself again.
See Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney
Visit the Warrior Butterflies Website and find other great articles, doctor recommendations and recipes at http://www.WarriorButterflies.com