Here in New York City tensions are running high. Election Day is upon us and people are on edge. The future is uncertain and folks are rightly anxious.
Personally I’m finding myself especially annoyed at small things. A tangle of electrical cords really got my ire up earlier today. And the way my hair keeps falling in my face is making me want to shave my head bald. It’s not fun being this edgy. And it’s also not helping anything.
Thankfully I’ve got some excellent tools to get grounded when tensions are running high and I’d love to share them with you. This is a great time for you to practice building your resiliency to handle stressful situations. Cultivate your inner Boss instead of being seduced and reduced by anxious times.
If you’re tense, do the following four simple exercises before making your next move. You will make much better choices after getting grounded.
You can use these techniques in any situation that invokes anger, the urge to escape, a feeling of disassociation, the desire to chow comfort foods, or have meaningless sexual encounters. (Those are the five “F”s – the survival defense strategies of a maxed out nervous system: fight, flight, freeze, feed & fornicate.)
To get grounded, do this:
1. Feel gravity: Stand straight or sit down and feel the support of the chair or floor under you. Physically notice what it feels like to be bolted to planet earth. If you are leaning back against something, even better. Feel the support behind your back. Then tap your feet on the ground a bit and connect with the ground.
2. Notice your breathing: don’t change it. Just notice it. Notice if it is shallow (it probably is). Check in with how that affects you. After some observation try to drop the breath lower into your ribcage or even belly. See what that does.
3. Orient yourself: check out your environment purely as an observer. The floor? The walls? The ceiling (or sky)? Other objects in the space? Colors? Shapes? Humans? Plants? Light? Shadows? Sounds? Pretend you are wearing an invisibility cloak so no one can see you. But you can see everything. Quietly get oriented.
4. Be the Boss: feel yourself as the boss of your life. Whether or not things go as you hope, you are still the boss of your world. You are the boss of your reactions. You are the boss of this moment. Own it.
Where are you? Can you feel the pull of gravity…?