“Lose your mind and come to your senses” Fritz Perls
I want to share a simple practice that is useful in times of anxiety and overwhelm ---
The 5 Senses Grounding Practice
I literally have used it several times a day for the past week! And, in times of extreme stress, it has been the one thing that I could do to stay in connection with myself and quell the tendency to drop into depression or float away with anxiety. And, it is a practice that I have taught to both adult and child clients. One client was able to end panic attacks by keeping a note card of these steps in her pocket and pulling it out and practicing when she felt the first signs of anxiety.
This practice works well because it brings you into the PRESENT MOMENT… In order to become aware of your senses, you have to bring awareness to your body, your environment, and to the present moment.
Here it goes…
Take a deep breath and bring awareness to your environment and surroundings and to your body. Bring your senses online – SIGHT, TOUCH, SOUND, SMELL, and TASTE
As you look around, name (to yourself) 5 things you can SEE (examples: a pine tree, a red car, my dog, my hands).
Now name 4 things you can FEEL (examples: the shirt against your skin, the chair you are sitting in, the ground beneath your feet).
Tune into your what you HEAR- name 3 sounds that catch your attention (Examples: the birds chirping, the sound of your breath, the hum of the refrigerator, your heartbeat).
Now name 2 things you can SMELL (examples: the lotion you applied earlier, the coffee in your cup, exhaust fumes, the lunch you just ate).
And finally, name 1 thing you can TASTE or, if you have something to nibble on with you, truly taste it… (examples: toothpaste you used earlier, chocolate, a grape).
Then end the practice by noticing any areas of bodily tension, breathing into those areas, and stretching gently or moving that area of the body. Inhale, exhale, and repeat this exercise a few times, if needed, in one sitting to bring yourself more fully into the present moment.
Sense the peace and stillness that is accessible amidst the chaos and confusion. Halting the chatter of the mind and coming to the senses brings you into contact with yourself and the power of NOW rather than the futility of thinking of past or future and worries of what could or should be. You are strong, you are capable, and you are perfect just as you are.
Much love and appreciation,