Self-care practices, including mindfulness and meditation, in times of stress and uncertainty can feel like a privilege or even an indulgence. I understand, there’s part of me that thinks that too. However we’re affected by the global crisis, it is clear:
We are built for stress.
We are built for crisis.
AND we are built for creativity and community.
When we are faced with feelings of despair and stress, our brains present a special challenge to us. Our brains reduce blood flow to the higher level brain structures that contribute to decision making and compassion. When we stop and move our energy into more intentional practice, whether that be through mindful breathing, grounding techniques, or working through our negative thought patterns. We become superhero’s of our own biology!
Bring yourself to the moment. Try this:
Take a deep breath. What do you notice around you? Name 5 things you see.
Next, name 4 things you can touch. Touch them, breathing in and out with each moment.
Then, name 3 things you can hear. What is happening around you that you can hear?
Next, name 2 things you can smell. Notice, breathe in, then out.
Finally, what is one thing you can taste? Take a moment and sense it.
This is a grounding technique and can be adapted to anyone at any time—reduce what you can hear, if you are hard of hearing, and increase what you can touch, etc. This is an excellent way to get that brain chemistry to move from fear, anxiety and stress to presence of thought.