Learning how to 'ground' - a path to meet anxiety.

anxiety overwhelm depression grounding meditation whole-body focussing the grove counselling & therapy st kilda east elsternwick elwood caulfied

As the year starts to roll on and the pressures of life ramp up, many people can begin to feel anxious about their capacity to cope.  Anxiety is often a response to a feeling out of control or overwhelmed.  To help combat this feeling of anxiety, it can be helpful to develop skills around 'grounding'.

To begin let us unpack by what it is we mean by ‘grounding’…some would describe it as ‘coming into present moment experience’, others may describe it as an aspect of ‘mindfulness’…there is no right or wrong here, but simply an invitation for you to find your own description of your experience, as you engage in this exercise…


Open your mind…open your body…

So to begin, I invite you to open your mind and your body and allow this practice to unfold.

Knowing that each time you engage in this practice, you are likely to experience it differently

Differently also, from how another may experience this practice

And as such there is no right and no wrong in your experience

There is simply your experience in this moment

Whatever it is

Full of noise and chatter

Or deep calm

We take time in this practice, to simply notice what is


Invite the body to find comfort

Take a moment now to find a comfortable position

You may choose to do this standing, sitting or lying down

Whatever your position, invite your body to be at ease

Giving permission for the body to move at any time, as it needs to throughout

This is a time for you

To feel supported, connected and present to your experience


Invite the body to find contact with the earth

I invite now to, take a moment to simply notice your body here, right here right now

Noticing the experience of perhaps standing or lying on the floor, or sitting in the chair

Whatever your position, taking some time to notice your experience

Coming into awareness of the contact points of the body and the chair, the body and the floor, the body and the bed

Noticing the experience of standing, lying or sitting here in this way

Really feeling the contact points between your body and the surface that you are being supported by

Beginning to invite your awareness to extend now, to the floor and the earth below you

I invite you to take some time now, to invite the parts of your body that are in contact with /or closest to the floor, to really come into awareness of the earth below you

Perhaps scanning these parts of the body that are closest to / or in contact with the floor

Extending that awareness now to …contact with the earth

And noticing the quality of your experience, as you bring awareness to those parts of the body that are in contact with the earth


Invite the body to feel the support of the earth

Taking a moment to invite the body to begin to feel the support offered by the earth beneath you

Again, in doing so, noticing the quality of your experience, as you invite the body to become aware of the support offered to you by the earth


Come into awareness of experience

Whatever you notice is happening for you at this time…

Simply allow it to be…

If there are thoughts…let them come …and just as they arrived…let them go

If there is irritation

Notice it, acknowledge it, perhaps even say “hello” to that part of you that is irritated at this time

Knowing there is no right or wrong here

Simply allow whatever there is to be…


Use the breath as a barometer

Using the breath as a barometer, I invite you to take 3 breaths in and out of the body

With a sense of curiosity, simple notice how that experience is for you

As the breath moves in …and …out of your body

Perhaps noticing where the breath flows …and where the breath catches…where the breath moves…and where the breath doesn’t reach….as you breath in …and…out through the body

Simply notice the quality of your breath, the quality of your experience …as you invite breath to move through your body


Returning to awareness of your bodily contact with the earth

Returning to the parts of your body that in contact with / closest to the floor…

Once again, invite these parts of the body, to come into awareness of their relationship with the earth

Inviting the body to feel the support of the earth


Invite the body to feel the breath move through the earth and into the body

Take a moment now to extend that breath awareness, as you invite the breath to move in and out through the body…

To invite the breath to move up through the earth into your body on the ‘in’ breath…and out of your body down into the earth on the ‘out’ breath

Repeating this for a few cycles of breath


With a sense of gentle curiosity, finding a capacity to be with experience…

Again, with a sense of gentle curiosity, simply notice the quality of your experience

As the breath moves up from the earth and through the whole body on the ‘in’ breath and out through the whole body and into the earth on the ‘out’ breath

Noticing the quality of experience…whatever it is at this moment…as you invite the wholeness of your breathing body to be supported by the earth beneath you

Simply being with your experience as it is, at this time


Preparing to return, find contact with your physical body

In preparation to return to your world of your life beyond this moment

I invite you now, to bring awareness to your those parts of the body that are touching / in closest proximity to the floor

I invite you to feel the temperature of the air on your skin, to become aware of the quality of the light falling on you, aware of where you are right now

Inviting your palms to come together and feel the contact of your palms, to feel the temperature of your body through the palms

Using your palms, gently pat down your body, from head to toe

And when you are ready and in your own time…I invite you to gently open your eyes with a lowered gaze

Allowing the eyes to gradually adjust to the light and the visual stimulus

I invite you to come into present moment awareness of being right here, right now…back in this space


Thanking your body and inviting completion

I invite you now to take a moment …

To invite the body to find its own right way to bring this grounding to completion for today

To thank the body for being with you in this way today…


Completion

To complete the grounding, take a moment to notice the quality of your experience now, as compared to when you began

Again thanking the body for being with you in this way

Take a glass of water


(Trained as a whole-body focussing oriented therapist, Sarah Sacks is an experienced counsellor, who often incorporates meditation in her work with clients struggling with anxiety)

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Sarah Sacks

Sarah is a qualified and experienced counsellor, meditation teacher and group facilitator. Sarah's years of body based based practices, in meditation and yoga, have led Sarah to believe in the inherent wisdom of the body. In line with this belief, Sarah has trained and qualified as a Whole Body Focusing Orientated Therapist, Transpersonal Counsellor, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and Group Psychotherapy Facilitation. Over the last 5 years Sarah has worked in the not-for-profit sector, the community health sector and privately, as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator. Sarah has experience working with children, families and adults around issues of; isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health. Sarah's warm and intuitive counselling style, along with her extensive life experience, enables Sarah to gently support her clients towards their own path of change. Qualifications - Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling, Bachelor of Business (International Marketing & Trade), Diploma of Arts (Japanese), ACA (level 2), qualifying member for CAPAV