Hello beautiful people of Expansive Capacity! Hello beautiful people!
It’s time once again for Superpower Sunday! 🙂
As always, this is all about how we can implement wee changes that may turbocharge our *existing* superpowers so that we don’t dim our own lights due to inertia, stress, or any other upper-limit problem that reveals itself along our path.
This month’s Superpower Sunday is a quick and easy technique for grounding when you’re flipping out. (Like *that* would EVER happen, right? 😉 I know.)
I learned during the toughest days of my mind-body healing journey the value in bringing my energy and focus back to the present time. See, trauma of any kind actually displaces all time and place.
When we are trying to survive a traumatic experience (no matter how big or small, how individual or global), our brain actually helps protect us by making time and space no longer exist in the same way. This is that whole “I don’t remember the attack; it’s like I left my body” thing.
So… at times like these, we are not so much IN our bodies and that’s actually problematic in the long term. Sure, if we’re actively being assaulted, there’s great value to this survival tactic, but when we’re living through daily low-grade (or not-so-low-grade) anxiety and stress with bouts of panic, we HAVE TO find ways to get back into our bodies. To let ourselves feel safe being present.
This is called the 5-4-3-2-1 tactic and it’s very simple.
When you realize you’re in a place of stress — no matter how important it may feel to stay focused on the what-is of it all — simply start counting aloud if possible, while tapping on your fingers and breathing with your exhale twice as long as your inhale like this:
5 things I can see are…
4 things I can touch are…
3 things I can hear are…
2 things I can smell are…
1 thing I can taste is…
As you take this inventory while physically stimulating your fingertips and slowing your breathing, you not only calm the amygdala (which you KNOW I love doing), you also teach your brain that it is safe to be present for uncomfortable feelings. You reduce the dumping of stress hormones that so many of us become accustomed to (and having become accustomed to ’em is NOT a good thing, you know). You improve your blood pressure. You make your heart healthier. You actually improve your well-being in physiological ways!
If I were to do this as I’m writing this right now, I’d count off my laptop and my ice water and my iPhone nearby and a tissue and a stack of papers. Then I’d count off this keyboard, the blanket here on the sofa, my journal, and the top of my head. Next, I’d count off the sound of the neighbor’s television, Keith’s breathing, and the car that just drove by outside. Following that, I’d count off the pink citron candle burning over there and the hint of vetiver lotion I used earlier. Finally, I’d count off the slight leftover yumminess of the beet-juice-infused calcium-zinc-D gummy I chewed earlier.
I’m more grounded than I was moments ago.
Try it! Let me how it works for you!
And, if you have other simple grounding techniques to add to the mix, come share them! Comments are still open in the dojo on the March page and soon I’ll welcome you to the April page for us to dive in on Your Relationship with Boundaries. Right on time! I’m gonna share so many lessons from Liz Gilbert and our time in Fiji! Seriously epic tools. Yay!
Reminder: Your April Aligned Hustle Calendar is at the Welcome page if you haven’t already snagged your copy.
As always, I keep so much love flowing your way!