Updated: Aug 28, 2020
2020 has ushered in a new level of stress for a lot of us. Whether we are struggling with decisions for our family or finances, our health or our sanity, we are all managing a lot.
We know when we're stressed. Our heart beats faster, our breathing rate increases, our digestion slows, our muscles tense. Our brains are affected too. Access to higher level thinking--what we therapists call "executive functioning"--is reduced, as our brains get more activity in the "fight or flight" survival zones that keep us safe and secure. So we have memory lapses, we struggle to concentrate, and we have trouble making decisions.
Grounding--getting our mind AND body back into the present moment--can be a great stress reliever.
One way to ground yourself is to engage your senses. Notice a few things around you--what do you see? Then notice-- what do you hear? What do you smell, taste, feel?
Take a moment and get into your present environment. Notice how things may shift as you intentionally bring your concentration and focus away from the "monkey mind" reactivity and into mindful presence.
When we are mindfully present, we are more able to respond rather than react. We can move into conscious awareness into stressed impulse. And make good decisions for ourselves and those around us.