Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques
Mindfulness and grounding techniques can be very helpful strategies to relax and manage emotions.
Mindfulness is a practice where you learn to focus on your breathing, release thoughts and learn to observe without judgement. There are many ways to practice Mindfulness. Breathing exercises, meditation or yoga are some examples. There are many simple ways to practice mindfulness. Some examples include:
Pay attention. It's hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises, such as:
Body scan meditation. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
Walking meditation. Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.
Below are some links and resources which you can use for free to explore different mindfulness and stress reduction techniques
Free Mindfulness Apps
Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is 100% free, no subscription required. Children, teen, and adult friendly, meditations range from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and cover a variety of programs which cover topics such as: sleep, relationships, workplace, and mindfulness foundations. They also have specialized programs for children and teens.
Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is 100% free, no subscription required. Meditations are offered in English and in Spanish. Meditations range from 3-19 minutes long and focus on topics such as your body, working with difficult emotions, and cultivating loving-kindness. This app also features a “Getting Started” section which includes and explanation about mindfulness, a guide on how to pick a mediation, and a guide on how to pick your meditation posture.
Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is free to download and can be used without a subscription. The app allows you to create a personal journal to help you reflect on how you felt throughout the day and track trends and emotional highs and lows. This app can help reduce stress, gain perspective, develop gratitude, and gain kindness and empathy.
Stop, Breathe, & Think
Available on Apple and Android devices, this app is free to download and can be used without a subscription. This app allows you to have daily emotional check-ins, reflect on you day via guided journaling, gives you daily inspirational tips, and offers meditations, sleep tracking, breathing, and yoga.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has on their YouTube channel, calming MeditOceans which are free guided meditations with visuals of different oceanscapes. Also on their channel, are some very calming live videos which include footage from their tanks. Here is the link to the MeditOceans: MeditOceans
These journal prompts from Journal Buddy are designed for children but can be used at any age. There is no time requirement, you can write for as long or as little as you like. The focus is on getting the thoughts on the page. You can find them here: https://www.journalbuddies.com/journaling-resources/mindfulness-journaling/
Goodful has short meditations on their YouTube channel which are free and available for anyone. They range from 5-15 minutes. You can find them here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQiGxGHwiuD1kdxsWKFuhE0rITIXe-7yC
These 18 prompts from Healing Brave focus on reflecting on and discovering ways to honor, embrace, and identify emotions. There is no time requirement and can be used at any age. You can find them here: https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/honor-your-feelings-journal-prompts
Calm provides short, 10-minute meditations for free on their YouTube channel as well as music for relaxation and sleep, soothing sounds, and short videos aimed at helping you take a moment for some deep breathing. You can find these videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/calmdotcom
These 105 prompts from Reflections from a Redhead focus on self-reflection and discovery. Each prompt is different with many of them not requiring a certain amount of time, however they may require a list of a certain length or a short activity which you will reflect on afterwards. You can find them here: https://reflectionsfromaredhead.com/writing-prompts-for-self-reflection/