You are on page 1of 14

Grounding exercises

http://www.shamanshealingcircle.com/grounding-exercise.html

How Deep are Your Roots? What are Grounding Exercises and how can they help you?
Grounding exercises are designed to help you focus your attention on the present moment by reconnecting your body energy with the energy of Mother Earth. They are helpful whenever: you are having an experience that is overwhelming, or that is absorbing all of your attention. you feel spacey or dizzy after energy work or healing you feel stressed, anxious or panicky you cannot fully feel your body, especially your legs.

To fully ground our energy, to be able to fully manifest, to hold energy and connect to the healing Earth, we need to develop energetic roots. By being grounded and developing our 'lower' energy we have a solid foundation from which to ascend into 'higher' energies and are able to be fully embodied in our increasing vibration. The human energy field has two 'openings' for energy to flow in: through the first chakra (also called 'root chakra') and through the seventh chakra ('crown chakra'). The root chakra connects the body to the energy of the Earth while the crown chakra allows cosmic energy to flow in. It is important for both chakras to be open for the energy to flow properly in your body. We explain one grounding exercise which strengthens one's connection to the Earth energy and to the cosmos. Remove your shoes and socks. Stand up, or sit straight up in a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes. Focus on slowing and deepening your breathing. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to hold your attention to the Hara point which is about 1-2 inches below the belly button. Imagine that you are a mighty oak tree. Visualize the circumference of your trunk and the texture of your bark. Imagine that from the waist line down are your roots and above are the trunk and leaves. Visualize as your roots grow down from your feet and go deep into the ground. Once your roots are at least six feet in the Earth, picture the energy of the Earth like bits of diamond dust sparkling all around. Imagine this diamond dust being absorbed into your roots and rising slowly up your roots and into your trunk. As you visualize the diamond dust rising up your trunk, stretch your arms up and out above your head just like the branches of your mighty oak tree. See the diamond dust continue to rise and energize every branch and leaf of your tree. Tilt your head back so that your face is warmed by the sun, and smile Take 3 deep breaths while standing with your head tilted back and your arms outstretched, each time visualizing more and more diamond dust energizing you. Slowly return your head to an upright position and bring your arms down with your hands coming together in prayer position over you heart. Give thanks in whatever way you feel is appropriate.

It might feel difficult at first to grow your roots deeply. Repeat the exercise daily and with practice, you'll be able to perform it better at each time. Good luck, and enjoy!

http://www.anisoptera.com/grimoire/ground.htm

Grounding and Centering Exercises


Grounding Exercise #1
This is a grounding that I did once spontaneously and it worked amazingly well for me. It is Far Eastern in flavor, but try it and see. Take a moment after each session to journal. First, if ya don't get it the first or second or third time, don't hassle yourself. Just keep trying and be gentle with yourself. Two, get a notebook because you are going to be taking notes. Three, do this every day for 5 minutes. Four, repeat the first step until you have it in your head firmly. It will be our first and foremost rule. K? K! Sit or lie down. Be comfortable. Put on some white noise if you need too. Or soft music may help. Let's get the basics down first. If anyone wants to make tapes, that is fine. _________BEGIN_____________ This is about grounding. This is about finding your center. Your center is that place that is there when you need inner strength. It is that place you reach for when your world is falling apart. It is always there. You don't lose your center. See yourself in the center of a lotus blossom. The lotus is lovely and open.... pretty pink-purple (color choice is yours) petals laying about you. Now see the petals begin to rise. One by one they form about you. You are in the center with light streaming in from the cracks as the petals draw tighter. See the petals absorb into you as you become the lotus bud itself. Feel the heaviness in your stomach as you sink into the blossom. Be at peace. Feel the quiet you have created for yourself. This is your center and you can find it any time. Try to stay here for a few heartbeats. Don't worry about random thoughts. Acknowledge them and put them aside for now. You can come back to them later. Let the solidness become familiar to you. When you are ready, let the blossom that is you unfold slowly. Petal by petal let them drop softly to the ground until you are once again sitting in the center of the lotus blossom. _________END_____________

Grounding exercise #2
This is one I learned from Starhawk's Spiral Dance - It is a very often-done meditation and you may have seen versions of this one in many places and from many people. This is my version. Get comfortable. For this one, I find that sitting works best. I like to sit in a chair or sit with my back against something.

_________BEGIN_____________ 2

Take a deep breath and hold it. It is this space between breathing that I believe the Buddhist refer to as the "awareness". I need to research that though. Release the breath slowly. Take a deep breath and hold it. (counting 1-2-3-4-5 slowly) and release the breath slowly. Take a deep breath and hold it. (counting 1-2-3-4-5 slowly) and release the breath slowly. Take a deep breath and hold it. (counting 1-2-3-4-5 slowly) and release the breath slowly. Take a deep breath and hold it. (counting 1-2-3-4-5 slowly) and release the breath slowly. Now, see in your mind's eye a tree. Don't worry if the tree isn't crystal clear. Just remember a tree you once knew. Sit down with your back against that tree. Feel the trunk against your back and know that this is a safe spot for you. Now, your spine is the conductor of your chakras. The base chakra is the root chakra. This is literally where your spine ends. I want you to extend that base chakra down. This is your taproot. Press it down into the earth until you can feel that pulling at your center. Relax and just feel how this affects your body for a moment. Now, slowly begin drawing energy up from the earth. Let it fill the root chakra. (pause). Now it moves to the belly chakra. Feel the energy slowly spreading. (pause) Next it moves to your solar plexus chakra. (pause) And now your heart chakra. Note what the energy feels like to you. Is it cool? cold? warm? hot? prickly? itchy? (pause) Now the energy moves up to your throat chakra. (pause) And to the third eye chakra (pause) As it reaches your crown chakra, feel the energy spill up and out like a waterfall. (pause) Let this waterfall flow down to the earth and soak back into the ground. This is the energy pool that is always available to you. Take a few moments to feel the cycle of the waterfall. (pause for at least two minutes here) Now, let the waterfall gradually ebb back into your crown chakra. It slides down to your third eye. Past your throat chakra and to the heart chakra. Now the solar plexus down to the belly chakra. As it moves back to the root chakra, begin to draw your tap root up into the root as well. Excess energies will be flushed through the root chakra leaving behind only what you need. When you feel ready, open your eyes and come back to yourself. _________END_____________ Don't forget to journal after each meditation.

http://www.bcbhr.org/Articles.aspx?7

Grounding Techniques Explained


By: Maryann Rigoni WHAT IS GROUNDING? Grounding is a set of simple strategies to detach from emotional pain (e.g., craving, anger, sadness). Distraction works by focusing outward on the external world, rather than inward toward the self. You
3

can also think of it as distraction, centering, a safe place, looking outward, or healthy detachment. WHY DO GROUNDING? When you are overwhelmed with emotional pain, you need a way to detach so that you can gain control over your feelings and stay safe. Grounding anchors you to the present and to reality. Many people with PTSD or those people who are struggling with feeling overwhelming emotions and memories or those feeling numb with dissociation, benefit from grounding. In grounding, you attain a balance between the two: conscious of reality and able to tolerate it. Remember that pain is a feeling; it is not who you are. When you get caught up in it, it feels like you are your pain, and that is all that exists. But it is only one part of your experience-the others are just hidden and can be found again through grounding. Guidelines

Grounding can be done any time, any place, anywhere, and no one has to know. Use grounding when you are faced with a trigger, enraged, dissociating, having a craving, or when ever your emotional pain goes above 6 (on a 0-10 scale). Grounding puts healthy distance between you and these negative feelings. Keep your eyes open, scan the room, and turn the light on to stay in touch with the present. Rate your mood before and after grounding, to test whether it worked. Before grounding, rate your level of emotional pain (0-10, where 10 means extreme pain). Then re-rate it afterwards. Has it gone down? No talking about negative feelings or journal writing-you want to distract away from negative feelings, not get in touch with them. Stay neutral-avoid judgments of good and bad. For example, instead of The walls are blue; I dislike blue because it reminds me of depression, simply say The walls are blue and move on. Focus on the present, not the past or future. Note the grounding is not the same as relaxation training. Grounding is much more active, focuses on distraction strategies, ans is intended to help extreme negative feelings. It is believed to be more effective than relaxation training for PTSD.

WAYS OF GROUNDING There are three major ways of grounding, mental, physical, and soothing. Mental means focusing your mind; physical means focusing on your senses (e.g., touch, hearing); and soothing means talking to yourself in a very kind way. You may find that one type works better for you, or all types may be helpful. Mental Grounding Describe your environment in detail, using all your senses-for example, The walls are white; there are five pink chairs; there is a wooden bookshelf against the wallDescribe objects, sounds, textures, colors, smells, shapes, numbers, and the temperature. You can do this anywhere.

Play a categories game with yourself. Try to think of types of dogs, jazz musicians, states that begin with A Do an age progression. If you have regressed to a younger age (e.g., 8 years old), you can slowly work your way back up until you are back to your current age. Describe an everyday activity in great detail. For example, describe the meal that you cook (e.g.,
4

First I peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters Imagine. Use an image: Glide along on skates away from your pain; change the TV channel to get to a better show; think of a wall as a buffer between you and your pain. Say a safety statement. My name is ______; I am safe right now. I am in the present, not in the past. Read something, saying each word to yourself. Or read each letter backward so that you focus on the letters and not on the meaning of the words. Use humor. Think of something funny to jolt yourself out of your mood. Count to 10 or say the alphabet, very slowly.

Physical Grounding

Run cool or warm water over your hands. Grab tightly onto your chair as hard as you can. Touch various objects around you: a pen, keys, your clothing, the wall. Dig your heels into the floor-literally grounding them! Notice the tension centered in your heels as you do this. Remind yourself you are connected to the ground. Carry a grounding object in your pocket, which you can touch when ever you feel triggered. Jump up and down Notice your body: the weight of your body in the chair; wiggle your toes in your socks; the feel of your chair against your back Stretch. Roll your head around; extend your fingers Clench and release your fists. Walk slowly; notice each footstep, saying left or right Eat something, describing the flavors in detail to your self. Focus on your breathing, notice each inhale and exhale.

Soothing Grounding

Say kind statements, as if you were talking to a small child-for example, you are a good person going through a hard time. Youll get through this. Think of favorites. Think of your favorite color, animal, season, food, time of day Picture people you care about (e.g., your children), look at a photograph. Remember the words to an inspiring song, quote, or poem. Remember a safe place. Describe the place that you find so soothing. Say a coping statement: I can handle this. Plan a safe treat for yourself, such as a certain desert. Think of things you are looking forward to in the next week-perhaps time with a friend, going to a movie.

WHAT IF GROUNDING DOES NOT WORK? GROUNDING DOES WORK! But, like any other skill, you need to practice. Practice as often as possible, even when you dont need it. Try grounding for a loooooonnnnnnngggggg time (20-30 minutes). Notice which methods you like best. Create your own methods of grounding. Start grounding early in a negative mood cycle. Make up index cards.
5

Have others assist you in grounding. Prepare in advance. Create a tape of a grounding message. Think about why grounding works. DONT GIVE UP!

http://healing.about.com/cs/grounding/a/bodyground.htm

Body Scan Grounding Exercise Balancing your physical and spiritual aspects
By Phylameana lila Desy
Grounding exercises help tremendously with maintaining a balance of our physical and spiritual bodies. As a healer, I have learned that being energetically grounded allows me to be better equipped in facilitating healing for clients and also to create and maintain wellness in my own life.

In this article I give instruction for a scanning technique I have used for many years to help balance the body/spirit connection. I do this exercise each night while laying in my bed before I sleep. Note: Doing my body scan exercise at bedtime will work well for anyone who doesn't fall asleep easily, but for those who tend to fall asleep quickly upon hitting their head to the pillow, sitting upright in a chair is a better alternative. The primary purpose of this exercise is to bring body and spirit into balance. Diagnostic in nature, this body scan will help you become more fully aware of both subtle and not-sosubtle sensations of your physical body. This is an excellent tool for identifying all physical stresses and upsets, especially those underlying imbalances you may not be aware of. Pain can be so overwhelming in one part of the body that the rest of the body gets neglected. The body scan is an exercise in assembling the larger hurts alongside the minutest details of stresses which you may have overlooked within your body. It is helpful to bring our awareness to the less obvious. In addition to the apparent grounding benefits of this body scan exercise, another side benefit is that sometimes the most painful hurts are miraculously lifted from the physical during the body scan process. For example: A throbbing headache may get temporary or permanent relief by diverting the focus downwards toward the feet and away from the throbbing, although this will be dependent on the severity of the hurt you are experiencing in your head. Be prepared to be amazed at the discoveries that you will make about your body during this process.

Grounding Exercise: Body Scan


Lay flat on your back on your bed, couch or floor. Position your arms and hands comfortably at your sides. Place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees if your lower back requires support.

Begin your body scan by diverting your thoughts away from any mental chatter, switch gears by first focusing on your feet. Do not rush! During the process you will slowly change your focus from one part
6

of your body to the next. Also, you don't need to touch yourself, the scan is mental. Allow your mind to switch focus from wherever it is. Begin with your feet and move upwards. Notice the soles of your feet, your toes, in-between your toes, the top of your feet, ankles, and heel. Do they feel hot? or cold? Do they hurt? Are they numb or swollen? Can you feel the blood circulating through them? Are they feeling tired? Don't judge how they feel, simply notice how they feel. Wiggle your toes. How does that feel? Once you have a made a strong connection with your feet move your attention upwards past your ankle... switching all your focus from your feet to the lower legs, then move onto your knee caps, behind your knees, your thighs, and so on.

Keep reminding yourself not to rush.


Allow yourself to breathe evenly throughout the scanning process. If you come upon any areas of discomfort (stressed muscles, soreness, etc.) or at a spot that feels like there may be stuck energy take two or three deep cleansing breaths to ease the tension or break through energetic blockages.

Once you have moved your attention through your torso and up to your neck, drop your focus at your fingertips. Move up your attention through the length of the fingers and into the hands (tops of hands and palms). Continue your energy scan up your arms and at the shoulders, returning your attention once again to your neck before finishing up with your focus on face, ears, and scalp.
Are You Adequately Grounded? How often have you been told that "grounding" is important? What does it mean to be ungrounded anyway? Taking this quiz will offer you clues as to which characteristics you have, and whether the actions or reactions that you take are helping you to stay grounded or are actually aiding your energetic retreats from your physical self.

http://www.pandys.org/articles/grounding.html

Grounding Exercises Grounding


Grounding is a way of helping yourself cope with stressful periods in you life. While the intrusive symptoms of traumatic stress like flashbacks, memories, and upsetting thoughts cannot always be stopped, you can learn techniques that will minimize their impact. Grounding techniques can help you regain a sense of safety and control in your life. They can help you anchor yourself in the here and now and keep you from getting lost in the past. Below you will find a description of several grounding techniques.** One (or more) of these techniques is likely to suit you better than the others. Choose the technique that you would like to focus on and practice it regularly, especially when you are feeling well. If you become good at using the technique during non-crisis times, you will be better equipped to use it when you are in crisis. Seated Grounded Posture: This is a posture in which both feet are on the floor and your spine is straight, but not rigidly so. In this posture, you are actively aware of your bodys existence and its
7

connection to the ground. Your legs should be uncrossed this allows the flow of energy to pass freely through the body. Your hands may be resting on your thighs or on the arms of the chair. Your head is held high. Notice the way your body rests in the chair; notice the way your feet are resting on the ground. This is a posture that can allow you to feel both strong and at ease. Mindful Walking: Walk carefully, mindfully around the room. Mindful walking can be slow or brisk. The goal is to be fully present with each step as you take it. Bring your attention to the actual sensations of walking. Notice how the heel, then the ball of your foot makes contact with the floor as you walk. Notice the bend in your knees, the flex in your toes, the shift in your weight with each step you take. When your attention wanders, bring it back to your walking. Center yourself in your body and be present in the moment. Count ten steps, and ten more, and ten more, until you feel calmed. Writing / Saying Grounding Statements: Develop several grounding statements that remind you that you are safe and provide you with comfort. You may want to write the statements on a small piece of paper or flashcard and carry them around in your wallet. You may want to write the statement on a larger piece of paper that you will hang on a wall in your home. Write your statements in a color that represents safety and strength to you. You can say the statements out loud, or simply read or think them. Examples of grounding statements include: - This feeling will soon pass. - You are no longer a child. You are an adult now, and you are safe. - You are strong; you are safe now. Develop your own grounding statements, ones that have special meaning for you.

Grounding Through Breathing: The breath serves wonderfully as a focus for your attention. Think of it as an anchor that holds you in the present moment and guides you back to the here and now when your mind wanders to the past. By bringing awareness to your breathing, you are reminding yourself that you are here now. Breathe in and attend to the feeling of breathing in; breathe out and attend to the feeling of breathing out. You may want to focus on the air coming in and out of your nostrils or on your abdomen expanding and contracting as you breathe. You may want to count ten breaths on the exhale, and keep counting groups of ten breaths until you feel calmed. You may also want to use calming, grounding statements as you breathe, like: - Inhaling, I am breathing in calm. or I am breathing in good energy. - Exhaling, I am breathing out anxiety, or I am breathing out bad energy, or I am safe.

Other Grounding Techniques - Dance and/or sing to a song that makes you feel good. - Stamp your feet. Feel the power in your legs. - Visual grounding * Make eye contact with a safe person. * Scan the room to remind yourself that you are here now. * Dont direct your gaze downward: Look up, look out, look around.
8

- Hold, look at, listen to and/or smell a grounding object. Grounding objects may be distinguished by their smell, shape, weight, sound, or texture. Any object that comforts you, that helps you to remember that you are in the present, rather than the past, can be a grounding object. Some examples are: * A smooth stone that youve found on the beach * A bell that, when you ring it, has a soothing sound * A piece of sandpaper with a course texture * A photograph of a beautiful scene or of loved ones * A small vial of a pleasant fragrance * A piece of jewelry, like a ring or bracelet * A picture that youve drawn of a scene that represents safety and comfort. You may want to hold, look at, smell, listen to your grounding object while engaged in one of the other grounding techniques. For example, you can hold your stone while repeating your grounding statements, while walking mindfully, or while doing grounding breathing. This way, you strengthen the grounding properties of your grounding object because it becomes associated with other experiences of comfort and safety. If your grounding object is small enough, you can carry it with you wherever you go. Knowing that you have access to a small oasis of calm and comfort right there can help. Dr. Patti Levin http://drpattilevin.com/

http://www.themindfulword.org/2013/grounding-exercises-visualizations/

GROUND CONTROL: Grounding exercises and visualizations


Read more at http://www.themindfulword.org/2013/grounding-exercises-visualizations/#5OHj0eRfkDmIPCKt.99

Grounding is the preparation of mind and body to absorb energy from the Earth. To be grounded is to be in right relationship with God/Spirit and the world you live in. Grounding and spirituality dont oppose each other. Rather, grounding enhances spirituality.

Benefits of grounding

More energy in everyday life to accomplish your goals Improves health Improves concentration so that we can get things done amid distractions Aids in performance under stress, such as working under a deadline, going to court or surviving confrontations In the healing arts, grounding makes your work on others more effective, and leaves you less fatigued

Are you grounded?


Body awareness is a good indicator of ones current level of grounding. For example, martial artists performing with grace and ease of movement often show exquisite grounding. Body awareness includes feeling inside your entire body and all of its parts. Feel your body with your hands. If you dont have much sense of how your various body parts feel, if feeling isnt equal within your body, or if certain parts of your body are cold (such as your hands and feet), your grounding could be improved. Good body awareness also includes knowing if your body is fatigued. When you get sick, is it a surprise, or did you notice that you were dragging? Aches are clues to stressors held in the body, rather than energy flowing usefully through the body when youre grounded.

Grounding exercises and visualizations

Visualization: The volcano


One simple way to improve grounding is to focus on the red and orange spectrum of colour. Gazing or meditating on red and orange and bringing awareness of those colours into your mind and body is a great way to get grounded. Standing comfortably, visualize the red, hot, molten lava deep within the Earth. It seethes with power, constantly in motion. Picture the lava from the Earth moving upwards, toward you, erupting in a volcanic blast between your legs. The volcano invigorates and strengthens you. As you absorb the energy contained in the lava, see the orange-red energy swirling low in your belly. Feel this power, always available to you from the Earth.

Exercise: Using awareness


Another way to increase grounding is to recognize body mannerisms. While driving, for example, check if your shoulders are up. Are you leaning forward? Clutching the steering wheel? At home, while going about your normal activities, occasionally check your knees. Are they locked? Are your hands or jaw clenched? What part of your body aches or feels tension? As you notice your body mannerisms and identify the places that clench or hold, you also discover where you lose energy. As an exercise of awareness, draw your attention to your feet. Practice contacting the ground with the whole bottom of your foot. Get your socks and shoes off and walk around on grass, carpet and other surfaces with texture. Focus on what your feet feel. Play with increasing foot movement, awareness and flexibility by picking up marbles with your toes. The following visualization focuses attention on your feet as the means to tap energy from the Earth.

Visualization: The tree


As you stand, imagine roots growing from the soles of your feet, reaching down into the Earth. Allow your feet-roots to absorb water and nutrients and feel these energy aids course up your legs and into your body. Feel your strong trunk (from legs to waist), firmly anchored to the ground. From this firm foundation, your branches reach upward and outward, and take in the vibrant energy.

Get grounded!
10

To increase grounding, be sure to eat well. Including the following roots in your diet may help: carrots, potatoes, onions, rutabagas, ginseng and ginger. Because these roots grow in the ground, they help to promote grounding. Alcohol does not help you ground, nor does sugar. Mental activities can also help us to ground. Too much mental activity, however, detracts from grounding, so be sure to balance your mental activity with physical activities such as lifting weights, aerobics or the martial arts. These disciplines help to increase awareness of the whole body. The parts that get sore are the parts that need increased body awareness. To increase grounding, choose physical activities that focus awareness on your body and the Earth, not ones (such as trampolining) that lift your focus to the heavens. Remember, ground first so that you can accomplish your spiritual goals.

http://www.peirsac.org/peirsacui/er/educational_resources10.pdf

Grounding Techniques - educational_resources10


Grounding is a technique that helps keep someone in the present. They help reorient a person to the here-andnow and in reality. Grounding skills can be helpful in managing overwhelming feelings or intense anxiety. They help someone to regain their mental focus from an often intensely emotional state. Grounding skills occur within two specific approaches: Sensory Awareness and Cognitive Awareness 1. Sensory Awareness Grounding Exercise #1: Begin by tracing your hand on a piece of paper and label each finger as one of the five senses. Then take each finger and identify something special and safe representing each of those five senses. For example: Thumb represents sight and a label for sight might be butterflies or my middle finger represents the smell sense and it could be represented by lilacs. After writing and drawing all this on paper, post it on your refrigerator or other safe places in the home where it could be easily seen and memorize it. Whenever you get triggered, breathe deeply and slowly, and put your hand in front of your face where you can really see it stare at your hand and then look at each finger and try to do the five senses exercise from memory. Source: www.stardrift.net/survivor/senses.html Grounding Exercise #2: Keep your eyes open, look around the room, notice your surroundings, notice details. Hold a pillow, stuffed animal or a ball. Place a cool cloth on your face, or hold something cool such as a can of soda. Listen to soothing music Put your feet firmly on the ground FOCUS on someones voice or a neutral conversation.

11

Sensory Awareness Grounding Exercise #3: Heres the 54321 game. Name 5 things you can see in the room with you. Name 4 things you can feel (chair on my back or feet on floor) Name 3 things you can hear right now (fingers tapping on keyboard or tv) Name 2 things you can smell right now (or, 2 things you like the smell of) Name 1 good thing about yourself.

(Source: www.ibiblio.org/rcip//copingskills.html) 2. Cognitive Awareness Grounding Exercise: Re-orient yourself in place and time by asking yourself some or all of these questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Where am I? What is today? What is the date? What is the month? What is the year? How old am I? What season is it?

http://sass-lane.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/grounding-exercises.pdf Sexual Assault Support Services - www.sass-lane.org 24 hr. Crisis/Support Line: 541-343-7277 or 1-800-788-4727

Grounding Exercises: What to do when you are overwhelmed


What is Grounding? Grounding is the set of exercises to become re-oriented to the present and feel centered again after having a trigger, flashback or emotionally overwhelming state. Basic Safety Safety should always come before grounding. - Do what you need to feel safe: lock the door; turn the lights on/off; call a trusted friend or the crisis line. - Make sure you are not hungry or tired. If you need food, eat; if you need rest, make the space and time to get it. Breathing Exercises Remember that the first thing we do when we get scared is to stop breathing normally. The first thing to do to invite our bodies to relax again is to breathe long and deep. - Belly Breathe: pull in your tummy all the way when you exhale, and fill it up like a balloon when you inhale. - Slow down your breath by counting 1-2-3 on the inhale and 3-2-1 on the exhale. Increase the numbers until you get to 7 and then count back down to 3. 12

Thinking Exercises When we feel scared or overwhelmed we go into fight-or-flight: mode, which means we stop thinking with our logical brain and we think from our survival instinct. As survivors, we temporarily lose the ability to distinguish between danger and discomfort. Coming back to our logical brain through the use of thinking exercises helps us be present and notice if we are in danger or just feeling uncomfortable. - Repeat your name, age and location over and over. - Pick a color, and start naming all the things in the room that have that color. - Name 5 animals, 5 states, 5 rivers, 5 countries etc. - Repeat a poem, rhyme or song over and over. - Describe the view out the window, your room, your house, etc. - Do some simple math: 4 X 7, 53 + 96, etc. - Pray in the way that works for you. Sensation exercises For many of us another effect of feeling scared or overwhelmed is the sensation of leaving our bodies, or dissociating. Sensation exercises are helpful for coming back to our bodies. - Press your feet onto the ground, your body and your hands onto the chair. Feel and describe the sensations of pressure, texture and temperature on your body. - Hug a stuffed animal and rock in place. - Walk around the room, around the block, around the neighborhood, walk anywhere that feels safe to you. If you can, walk with someone. - Carry a polished stone, acorn, piece of wood or silly putty to knead and hold in your hand. - Rub your favorite scented lotion on your hands or feet. - Drink tea or juice or any non-caffeinated, soothing drink (drinking caffeine is like drinking stress, it launches your body into hyperalertness and you dont need that). - Draw, paint or do any kind of expressive art. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO RECOVER FROM FLASHBACKS AND OVERWHELMING FEELINGS.

http://www.livingwell.org.au/well-being/grounding-exercises/

Grounding Exercises
It is useful to have a selection of grounding exercises that you can draw upon to keep your mind and body connected and working together, particularly for those times when your are becoming overwhelmed with distressing memories, thoughts and feelings. People who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or adult sexual assault can sometimes be confronted by flashbacks or intense memories of what was done, to the point that they are feel as if they are back there, reliving the abuse all over again.

Grounding exercises are a way for you to firmly anchor yourself in the present.
The following grounding exercises are about using our senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) to build our mind and body connection in the present. In working through the grounding exercises suggested here, you might find one or two that work for you remembering only to use the exercises that you feel comfortable with.

13

- Remind yourself of who you are now. Say your name. Say your age now. Say where you are now. Say what you have done today. Say what you will do next. - Take ten breaths, focus your attention on each breath on the way in and on the way out. Say number of the breath to yourself as you exhale. - Splash water on your face. - Sip a cool drink of water. - Hold a cold can or bottle of soft drink in your hands. Feel the coldness, and the wetness on the outside. Note the bubbles and taste as you drink. - As you wake, during the night, remind yourself who you are, and where you are. Tell yourself who you are and where you are. What age are you now? Look around the room and notice familiar objects and name them. Feel the bed your are lying on, the warmth or coldness of the air, and notice any sounds you hear. - Feel the clothes on your body, whether your arms and legs are covered or not, and the sensation of your clothes as you move in them. - If you are with other people, and you feel comfortable with them, concentrate closely on what they are saying and doing, and remind yourself why you are with them. - If you are sitting feel the chair under you and the weight of your body and legs pressing down onto it. - If you are lying down, feel the contact between your head, your body and your legs, as they touch the surface you are lying on. Starting from your head, notice how each past feels, all the way down to your feet, on the soft or hard surface. - Stop and listen. Notice and name what you can hear nearby and in the distance. . - Hold a mug of tea in both hands and feel its warmth. Dont rush drinking it, take small sips and take your time tasting each mouthful. - Look around you, notice what is front of you and to each side, name first large objects and then smaller ones. - Get up, walk around, take your time to notice each step as you take one then another. - Stamp your feet notice the sensation and sound as you connect with the ground. - Clap and rub your hands together, hear the noise and feel the sensation in your hands and arms. - Wear an elastic band on your wrist (not tight) and flick it gently, so that you feel it spring back on your wrist as it - If you can, step outside, notice the temperature of the air and how much it is different or similar to where you have just come from.

14