Grounding Exercise: Anxiety Skills #5

In this little nugget of therapy we’re
going to teach you how to trigger the parasympathetic response by using a
grounding exercise. In a previous episode we talked about the importance
of our nervous system in managing our emotions there’s both the sympathetic or
the alerting, activating response in our bodies and the parasympathetic reaction
which is the calming, restoring part of our nervous system. And if we want to be
healthy you need to have a parasympathetically dominant nervous
system. One of the ways we create that is by intentionally grounding the body in
our senses. So here’s a quick exercise on how to do that. Start to pay attention to
the present moment and the circumstances around you. Go ahead and take a deep
breath and let it out slowly. Now you’re going to start by grounding our body in
our senses so the five senses that we have are essential to managing our
emotions. So let’s start with our sense of touch so go ahead and touch three
things in your environment and as you touch them describe them in your mind so
for example you might touch the desk and say this is smooth and cold. Do that with
three objects. The next sense that we’re going to
activate is our sense of sight. So go ahead and notice three things in your
environment that you can see. Describe them in your mind as well. the last sense that we’re going to use
in this grounding exercise is our sense of hearing so try to notice three
different sources of sound in your environment and in your mind describe
what they sound like. Notice this sensory input- your body
should become more grounded in the present moment, this is important because
in order for our bodies to feel safe and for our minds to relax we need to send
the message that they are safe. And in general the present moment that we are
in is actually safe, so by grounding ourself in our senses we can send a
message to our body and our brains that we are safe. Pay attention to the
difference you’re feeling in your body as you become centered in this moment. By
becoming more grounded you have impacted your nervous system. This is a little
activity you can do throughout your day to feel a little bit calmer and to
trigger that parasympathetic response the more frequently you do it the
stronger your parasympathetic reaction will be and your nervous system will
become dominated by a calm resolve. I hope this was helpful thanks for
watching and take care