Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ways to Ground

Feel the body. Settle down into it. Rest inside the body.

Feel your backside on the chair's seat and back. Let the chair hold you up.

Feel your feet on the ground. Sitting, standing, walking, feet on ground.

You are two-thirds water by weight. Pour your water-weight down through your legs into the ground.

Sitting or lying, scan your attention slowly down the body from crown to toes. Slowly, steadily, gently, sliding down through the body and into the ground. Once, twice, thrice, taking several minutes each time.

Put as much of your body as possible on the ground. Face down does nicely. Feel the ground: firm, solid, immense.

Eat grounding foods: roots, tubers, fats, nuts. Stay away from sugar, processed carbohydrates, alcohol, and caffeine. Drink warm water. 

Walk slowly in the woods. Feel the ground, lean against a tree, carry a hefty rock.

Hang out with calm animals, human and non-human.

Get enough sleep. Stay away from bright white light and computers in the evening before bed. Slow down. Spend the last couple of hours of your day quietly, in the twilight, musing, meditating gently and loosely, hanging out with some poems, lazy on the floor. Sleep in a well-ventilated room under warm blankets.

Count your blessings, sincerely recognizing the web of supports that sustain your life. Stay in the body as you reflect, feeling the body relax, relying on what sustains.

Deal with stress:

  • Get regular exercise; at least walk every day.
  • Eat proper food: vegetables, fruits, whole grains; avoid sugar and processed junk. 
  • Get enough sleep by making the time and setting the conditions (slow down, avoid food and computers late at night, etc).
  • Take time for hobbies and pleasurable activities; interest, pleasure, and relaxation are not optional if you want a balanced life.
  • Ask for support from families, friends, and community resources. 
  • Accept that there are events you cannot control; instead, cultivate healthy responses.
  • Stop smoking, drinking, and drugs; they mask symptoms of stress and undermine healthy action. 
  • Set realistic goals and expectations; live sustainably; don't ignore subtle signs of imbalance and stress. 
  • Be forgiving of yourself and others; don't blame yourself, others, the system, or God. 
  • Communicate feelings, regularly, appropriately, to those who are supportive.