Guided Grounding Practices by Dr. Arielle Schwartz
These audio files can be listened to on the Healbright platform or downloaded on your computer.
As human beings, we are wired for survival. We will respond with stress whether when we experience any difficult life event. Stress involves an increase in cortisol levels. Adrenaline is released into your bloodstream that facilitates a fight or flight response in your body. This prepares you to move in a way that metabolizes the energy released in your body. We are meant to move our bodies to resolve stress. Ideally when we reclaim safety the stress response resolves, your brain receives a signal to stop releasing these neurochemicals, and your cortisol levels return to baseline.
Unfortunately, our culture tends towards stillness in the face of trauma. When we do not include body awareness, movement, and conscious breathing processing we limit our ability access our innate stress management capacities. As a result, the biological effects of stress persist long after events have passed.
The accumulation of stress impacts our mental, emotional, and physical health. You might feel anxious, irritable, have difficulty sleeping or feel weighed down by life. Perhaps it is difficult for you to slow down or to feel grounded. If you recognize yourself in these words, this series of grounding practices is for you.
The term grounding refers to the ability to sense your body and to experience yourself as embodied. When you are grounded, you can feel your feet on the earth and as a result calm your nervous system. Grounding practices will help you to regulate or respond effectively to different emotional experiences; especially those that leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Grounding can be accomplished by tuning into your senses (hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching) as tools for anchoring your awareness in the here and now. Additionally, grounding involves sensing and feeling your legs and feet to help build tolerance for strong sensations or emotions.