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After a long week of giving yourself to your daily schedule, your work, and the needs of others, what do you do to get yourself grounded again? Sometimes, there are weeks that go by without realizing what habits have formed, what thoughts have come up, and what emotions have risen. At times, we can feel like a robot, continuing to live according to the program of what our days demand.

Let’s Pause and Reflect

When we pause and start to pay attention, we can begin to notice those subtle reactions, thoughts, and emotions that weren’t even on our radar. The practice of reflecting can be understood as giving an intentional consideration to a thought or experience. Through self-reflection meditation, individuals can recognize thoughts, feelings and values as they are.

Reflection on your week or even your day could promote numerous positive outcomes. Reflection offers opportunities for new perspectives and can allow you to make meaning of an experience. There are so many ways to engage in reflection and reflective thinking. Whether that be going on a walk, through journaling, or sitting in silence with our thoughts, we can start to become attuned with ourselves.

This New Awareness

Being conscious, is being aware of your whole being and what surrounds you. Let’s take a moment to pause again. For some, including myself, this intentional pause can sometimes get overwhelming. When I begin to notice the stress I’m feeling and the difficult emotions I’ve been avoiding, I find myself not wanting to have that consciousness anymore. It’s too much to sit with sometimes. Instead of finding peace, I become more aware of all of the worries I have and think about the future instead of how I’m feeling in the present moment. This is where grounding techniques can be helpful.

Let’s Ground Ourselves

Grounding exercises are helpful when we begin to feel a sense of distress. When we feel overwhelmed, it’s like our thoughts are going into hyperdrive. We feel as if we can’t control them anymore and they run wild. Grounding exercises can help bring us back to the present moment and manage the stress. Here are 2 simple exercises that I’ve found helpful:

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique:

  • Name 5 things you can see
  • Name 4 things you can feel
  • Name 3 things you can hear
  • Name 2 things you can smell
  • Name 1 think you can taste

Square Breathing:

Breathing is a tool we always have on hand and is something we can always rely on. Imagine yourself breathing along a square. Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold that breath for 4 seconds. Let go of that breath for 4 seconds. Hold out the exhale for another 4 seconds. It’s recommended to repeat this at least 4 times.

There are many more grounding techniques that can help with becoming present! The practice of reflecting looks different for each person. At times, there are experiences that truly are too overwhelming to handle alone.

If you feel like you would like to take on this process with someone who can meet you where you are at, please reach out to myself or one of the therapists here at Optimum Joy today! Let’s reflect and process together.

Written by therapist Melissa Del Carmen

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