3 Things in Your Room to Ground Yourself
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Written by: Heather Gibson, MA, LMFT
During stressful and uncertain times it can be difficult to ‘be in the present moment’. Our thoughts can often trail off into the ‘what if’s’ of the future, leaving us feeling stressed or anxious. Our mind can also perseverate over the past, filling us with regret or shame. It is easy to become 'stuck' mentally, our thoughts on a loop, fearful of things that have yet to be, sad over things we wish we could go back and change.
Mindfulness (or Mindful Meditation) is the act of intentionally focusing one’s thoughts on the present moment, briefly pressing ‘pause’ on thinking about what we need to do next. It is taking a moment to just be aware of your surroundings, the space your body is physically in right now. It can be as simple as asking yourself: what does the air in the room feel like right now? Is it cool, or warm? Can you focus enough to hear the hum of a ceiling fan, or the birds chirping outside? What does the chair beneath you feel like? Is it firm, or soft? Maybe you have your cup of morning coffee near you. We might be so eager to get some caffeine going that we drink it without much thought. This can actually be a great opportunity to practice mindful awareness! Before you take that first sip, notice the color of the mug. Hold the mug in your hands, and observe the warmth coming off of the cup, absorbing into your palms. Look into the cup, maybe you can still see cream swirling around. Maybe you see steam floating away. Hold the mug up close enough to smell the coffee's aroma, and then finally, slowly take a sip, noticing it's richness. Is it strong enough? sweet from some sugar?
Pausing to observe the details that we normally walk right past, can be a helpful way to ground ourselves and create a mindful awareness of our bodies in the present moment. Engaging in mindful meditations and grounding exercises like these can be an effective and easy way to help decrease anxious thoughts and tension in the body. It sends the 'all-clear' signal to our brain, telling our body that it is ok to relax for a moment. And the best part is, a mindful check-in can be done from wherever you are! The car, the shower, wherever you’re reading this from right now.
'3 Things' Grounding Exercise
From where you are right now take a moment to observe and say quietly to yourself:
3 things that you can see (what colors, textures, shapes do you notice?)
3 things you can hear (maybe it's faint and off in the distance?)
3 things you feel (the seat beneath you, ground under your feet, clothes on skin)
3 things you smell (fabric softener on your shirt, a candle burning, food cooking)