Most of us have probably experienced an injury or some kind of trauma in our lives, or sometimes we just go through a rough time. The bottom line is, now and then, we all get caught up in some drama or a toxic relationship, be it at home, at work or elsewhere. All these can really take a toll on our bodies because of ‘the fight or flight’. But even getting ready for family celebrations during the Holiday season can keep our nervous system on high alert. But how can we stay calm during the times of craziness?
If you would like to feel a little bit more calm and in control of your experience during the festive time and beyond try my favorite grounding techniques:
1. Focus on your breath
Easier said than done when you’ve got million to dos spinning in your head. But just making one simple change in your busy life — like becoming mindful of your breathing can have huge benefits. Most of us are breathing with our shoulders which is not very nourishing to our bodies. You have to bring the breath down and allow your rib cage to expand. You will feel your tummy to expand too. You can even close your eyes, visualize your breath and remind yourself that you are in the present moment.
2. Connect with Mother Earth
Another thing that I find very helpful in this situation is sitting on the ground with crossed legs. It is very nourishing and it helps me connect with the Mother Earth, especially, if I can’t go outside and walk barefoot on the grass like now in winter.
3. Use Essential Oils
Another technique that works wonders for me is using essential oils. Essential oils are the most concentrated part of the plants. I am a great fan of high quality oils made by Young Living. Two of my favorite essential oil blends made by them I love using are ‘Frankincense’ and ‘Grounding’. I use diffuser jewelery where I put just a couple of little drops. When I feel emotionally spent the help is never far away — I’m literally wearing my mini personal first aid kit. When I get stressed, it’s super easy to just inhale it. It really takes three seconds for the sense to get into the emotional center of our brain called the limbic system. Other essential oils great for grounding are pine, fern or cypress.
4. Get intentional in how you want to feel
Using essential oils and your sense can be very grounding, especially, if you become intentional about it and you start focusing in your mind on how you really want to feel: Do you want to feel grounded? Do you want to feel more supported? Do you want to be more in the present moment?
5. Sit with your feelings
I know this might sound a little bit uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re panicking or feeling overwhelmed or anxious, or even a little bit nervous. Taking time to acknowledge your immediate feelings, sit with your emotions and feel them completely. It will allow your head to process them and not get stuck in you. The best way is sitting with your feelings and experience them here in the moment as much as you can.
6. Question what’s inside you
As you are sitting there you can ask yourself mentally:
- What is my body telling me?
- What word/-s describe that feeling?
- Am I feeling… sad? Am I feeling mad? Am I feeling abandoned?
To sum up: Ask yourself WHAT is the feeling that you’re feeling and WHERE in your body are you feeling it?
7. Ask yourself: What do I need?
And then you may ask within yourself what you need and let your mind uncover what it is that you need. What do you need right now in this very moment? Do you need to take a nap? Or do you need to just lie down for a few minutes? Do you need somebody to come and give you a hug? Do you need to say something to somebody? Do you need to say something to yourself?
8. Make the power of compression work for you
Compression helps our nervous system to feel more safe. The easiest way is to put a hand on your head and just very gently push down through your spine. Or you can ask someone to give you a big bear hug. Or you can lie down on your side and ask your partner for help: to hold you until you feel safe again.
You can actually even remind yourself of what is your name, what is the year, where do you live, all to bring yourself to the present moment so that your subconscious mind is not running the show, but you are.
9. Choose to move forward with a more conscious response
Now you’ve given a full attention to your pain or other negative emotions that could have been perhaps even old rather than anything that you are facing right now acknowledge that you want to move forward in a more positive way — remember, it’s your choice. Just affirm to yourself: I choose to move forward with a more positive/ healthier/ … response now.
Watch my video for more in-depth tips on breathing technique here: