Making Self Care a Lifestyle: Getting Physically Grounded
This weekly blog series offers a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques that can reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Monday morning for the newest skill of the week.
“We spend much of our time worrying about the future or going over things that have happened in the past. I like this exercise because you focus on the present moment and the physical sensation you experience that often go unnoticed.” ~ Mitra Lebatschi, MA
Getting Physically Grounded
Sit in an upright and comfortable position with your feet planted on the ground and your hands resting on your thighs. Relax your gaze at a specific point in the distance. Begin by simply noticing your breath. No need to change it in any way, just notice. Bring your attention to the physical sensations associated with each part of the breath, the inhale, the exhale and the space between.
Begin by noticing all of the sounds around you. Hear them without judgment, just notice. You might hear internal sounds like digestion or breathing. You may also hear things in your environment like the ticking of a clock or distant traffic. You may notice subtle sounds you did not notice earlier. Shift your attention to your sense of smell. What do you notice? Smells associated with food, plants, paper, or perfume? Sometimes closing your eyes can sharpen your sense of smell.
Transition to noticing what you see in your environment and open your eyes if you had previously closed them. Observe the space you are in. What colors do you notice? What shapes and textures? Now move you attention to your sense of taste. This can be done by notice the current taste in your mouth or with a sip of a beverage or a bite of food. Notice your tongue in your mouth, your saliva and the taste of your breath as you exhale. Run your tongue over your teeth and across your cheeks.
Lastly, bring your attention to the sensations of your skin. Notice the temperature, the skin contact with your clothes and contact with the chair. Notice the pressure between your feet and the floor or yourself and the chair. Notice surrounding objects and their texture, temperature and shape. End by slowly bringing your attention back to your breath.
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